Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Red Lips, Pizza and Jiminy Criket

Our beloved garden keeps giving abundantly.  We've been selling produce at our farm stand 3 days a week and are now doing 3 farmers markets a week (Railyard on Tues. and Sat., and Eldorado on Friday).

Rosa, one of our favorite customers, can eat raw beets and raw potatoes, and harvests basil like a pro.

Karim, my 15 year-old nephew was in Santa Fe (from Seattle) last week, and helped us harvest everyday, as well as worked all the farmers markets.  




He survived several days of getting up at 5:30am and working until 8:00pm.  Good job Karim!

Our last monthly community potluck on August 6.  A wonderful way to meet our neighbors and customers

Tom Watson presented a workshop on water harvesting a couple weekends ago

Our horno (earth oven) is now finished and will be inaugurated at our next community potluck on Monday Sept 3  (6:00-7:30pm).  We'll be baking bread, pizza (and cookies if your bring some cookie dough!), as well as roasting peppers from our garden.

We've been attending the Tuesday Farmers Market at the Railyard and will be selling there on Saturdays as well. Come say hello (we may be inside the Farmers Market building).

Will Atkinson, the Bobcat operator extraordinaire who helped prepare our land early in the year, paid us a surprise visit a couple weeks ago.  He hadn't seen the garden since March.  Huge gratitude Will for all that you've done.

Scarlett runner beans on the fence

Our first cauliflower (4lbs)


Needless to say that we've been running with the plants. In eight weeks, we've harvested and sold nearly 1,500lbs of produce.  We've started our fall crop (collard, chard, kale, mustard) and will be soon be transplanting the seedlings in the garden.

We did not know what to expect the first year.  We started with very poor soil and did not know how much water we could draw from our well.  Even though we worked diligently at building soil with compost and compost tea, we did not know how the plants would do on this plot of land exposed to full sun and strong winds.

Frankly, it's been short of a miracle.  Everyone of the plants has done well.  Insects, which were very active in this extra hot and dry season, took our radish crop away and left us alone after that.  Rabbits and gophers incursions were mild compared to what our neighbors had predicted.  The response from the neighborhood has been great and our farm stand has been consistently doing well.

So, what's next?  Winter is on our minds.  Will we raise the money to build a large greenhouse and keep growing year-round?  Will we manage to keep this land and preserve it as farm land for future generations?

We are just beginning a conversation with the Santa Fe High School to see if they would use our project as a classroom for their sustainability program.

We've been moving fast, trying to establish a good track record as a producing urban farm, offering classes as well as volunteer and internship opportunities.

We were featured 3 times in the local press in August (see articles here).

A lot needs to be done to stabilize this project and assure that it will have longevity.

We need to develop a curriculum for next year.  We need to find teachers to offer classes on topics related to small-scale agriculture and sustainability.  We want to plant more trees. We've increased our flock of birds from 4 chickens to now 15 chickens and 3 ducks.  We've made over 5 tons of compost in 6 months.

All that was accomplished with just a few of us.

Imagine what could happen with a larger group of people, and a little bit more financial resources.

We've been going pedal to the metal because that's what it takes to accomplish what's been accomplished in that short of the time.  We wholeheartedly believe that we need to create efficient models of organic urban farms in our city.  There are lots of plots of lands that have wells and water rights.  Every school ought to be connected to an urban farm and kids should be learning in the garden-about growing food of course, but also running a farm, selling produce, preserving food, building stuff, repairing tools, vehicles and farm structures, cooperating (vs. competing) with others, understanding and revering Nature, and more.

We all know that we've got to regain control of our food sovereignty.  Buying food and supporting your local organic farmers is a great step.  But we need to go beyond that and start regenerating our local biosphere by fostering dozens of little farms like Gaia Gardens.  It's so healthy for the local population of bees and birds (come bird watching early in the morning.  It's a delight!).  It brings the neighborhood together.  It brings health all around.

So.  Things you can do:
  • Come visit our garden (vs. just following this blog!)
  • Taste the food we grow
  • Come volunteer and take some produce home (or earn Time Bank $ if you are on Time Bank)
  • Come to our monthly community meetings (1st Monday of each month)
  • Consider teaching a workshop or on-going class at the farm if your feel qualified
  • Donate if you have the means-every little bit helps 
  • Come buy from us at the Farmers Market (Santa Fe and Eldorado)
  • Bring your kids on Wednesday 5-7pm for our kid-centered afternoon
  • Help us find grants we can apply for, or help us write grants
  • Or just come visit to say hello and keep our spirits high
Thanks for all your praises, encouragements and patronage!

We recently submitted a grant with Root2Fruit through the Santa Fe Community Foundation.  We will also be applying for a value-added USDA grant (due Oct 15).   If you feel inspired to help with that one, please email us.


COMMUNITY POTLUCK DINNER (First Monday of the month)
Monday Sept 3
Bring the kids and a wholesome organic dish. We'll be cooking bread, pizza and cookies in the horno.
Next potlucks (Oct. 1, Nov.5  Dec. 3)  

Mon., Wed. & Fri. 7:00-11:00am 
(As of Sept 15, 8:00am-12:00pm)

Mon., Wed. & Fri.    7:00-11:00am 
(As of Sept 15, 8:00am-12:00pm) 
Wed. 5:00-7:00pm  (kid-centered afternoon)

For more info on our activities and schedule, please visit here

QUIGONG CLASS (led by Dominique. Free)
Monday 7:30-8:00am 

Sign-up on the right of blog (Follow this Blog by Email) to receive announcements posted on this blog.


If you wish to support this project, you can make a tax-deductible donation here.   See our Wish List

1 comment:

  1. Poki and all you great folks in Santa Fe, greetings and congratulations from Linda in Seattle, who has been getting nutritional counseling from sister Mali. Yay! I love your garden from here...remember mine? Those were the years!