Saturday, March 31, 2012

Community Meeting and Potluck Brunch Tomorrow Sunday 11:00-12:30

Waffle garden used for centuries by the Zuni Indians

Tom Watson spent a couple hours with us on Thursday, looking at our site and bringing his wise permaculture perspective to our quest to develop a model of food production that will maximize the use of rain water.  


The idea of terrassed beds is being explored. Every cultivated surface would be leveled (using 2 buckets and a hose for leveling) and would thus capture as much rain water as possible, as well as prevent run-offs and erosion.  We are also exploring a variety of irrigation techniques as there are benefits to watering an entire garden vs just irrigating plants via a drip system.  When beds and paths are being watered, the entire garden becomes a sponge and reservoir of humidity.

As we are now at this phase of designing our fields and getting them ready for direct seeding and transplanting, we are inviting a variety of perspectives.  In creating this urban farm, we are seeking to model water conservation and water re-use practices.  To the extend that we grow a lot of food with as little water as possible (we intend to meter our consumption), we may be able to inspire other people to take on the creation of urban farms around Santa Fe.

As the instigator of this project, I have no pretense to know anything about (urban) agriculture.  My experience with gardening and farming only spans a meager two seasons.  So I am asking a lot of people for input and I am deeply appreciative for the guidance that we are receiving.  Richard Bernard recently made a great suggestion as far as designing our beds in relationship to the reach and shape of each sprinkler location where we use overhead watering.  Thank you Richard!

In six weeks time, we've accomplished a lot in terms of staging the beginning of a small farm.  10,000 sq' of soil have been amended, a compost yard, greenhouse, water lines and camping area for interns are now in place.  A fair amount of organizations have been visiting the farms or participated in meetings about the farm (Earth Care, Youth Shelters, Community Options, HomeGrown New Mexico).

Our immediate next steps are to shape our beds and paths in the main growing area, and plant a lot of seeds in the greenhouse (we already have 3,000 plants going).

Another area of focus is to clarify our mission, create a governing council and reach out to the neighborhood and enroll their support (as in donating their food waste). (Please feel free to attend our community meetings/potluck brunches on Sundays 11:00-12:30)

Kaylyn and Tiel sifting soil for our planting trays

Will Atkinson, back-filling the water trenches

Jay delivering horse manure for our compost yard

Adam (82), one of the residents on the property visiting our compost area

Building-up the compost pile with straw, manure and coffee grounds

3' high so far...

John playing the wheelbarrow...

and Miss Tiel on the shovel...

Rowan, our youngest farm hand

Jennie, demonstrating fruit tree pruning

Thank you Will for your tremendous help in preparing the farm with your equipment!

Jay and Will (post breakfast burrito)

The new camp fire area.  Benches donated by Will and fireplace by Pat, one of the residents on the property.  Modeling by Dominique.

Our regular FARM DAYS for volunteers are held every Thursday and Sunday from 2:00-5:00pm


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