Monday, April 27, 2009

Snow Farmers

Last Saturday we had (yet another) lovely spring storm. We delayed our planned planting by a day, but we really needed to get the plants in on Sunday. Colorado weather presents a lot of challenges for those with planting "schedules," but our farmers are tough enough to plant right through the melting snow!

Morgan and Darin marking the spaces for the herb transplants.

Tom weeding. He pulled out all of the weeds he could see (many of them were still buried under the snow!).


Our version of automatic watering.


Tarragon plants going into the garden.


By the time we got over to Erin's garden, the snow had already melted! Our group planted the 43 garden beds (some with transplants, some with seeds) in just a couple of hours.


Tom and Chad working together on the lettuce bed.

Morgan and Darin marking the space for more herbs. They did such a good job with the herbs at Mary's house that they took on a few more herb beds at the second garden.


The lettuce transplants in their new home.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Chick(en)s at Four Weeks

They're getting so big! Here they are during a (closely supervised) adventure in the yard a week ago.


(If you're not able to click on the video and view it, just click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSrwKk7uVko)


Brian also did a neat stylized version of this video --- check it out if you'd like to!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Did It!

Our group of working members and volunteers have created 6 new gardens, totalling over 8,000 square feet. It is an incredible achievement, only possible because of everyone working together. Some gardens were done in less that 2 hours, and a couple took almost 4 hours. Each project had between 12-22 people contributing their time.

Thanks so much to everyone for your work, ingenuity, and cooperation. We're going to have a great summer!

A little overview of our garden spaces....































In the News - Cairn Magazine

An article on Heirloom Gardens in the recent issue of Cairn magazine. Written by Josi Snyder.

http://www.cairnmag.com/Colorado-Interests/Denver-Urban-Farming-and-CSA.html

Weekend Digs

This weekend we completed our last 2 garden-creation projects. On Saturday we worked on the garden at Erin's house. At 1500 square feet, it's our second largest space --- and it's south-facing!

However, it has some challenging aspects. The garden space is on a hill. That is certainly not unique. People have been growing food on hills for as long as they've been growing food. One of the most famous gardens in modern history was started in 1966 by Alan Chadwick (the father of BioIntensive gardening) on a slope in Berkeley, CA. We discovered that the soil at Erin's garden is also very silt-y, which made it more difficult to create stable terraces.

The gardeners did a fantastic job carefully scultping out the beds and paths, doing everything possible to tamp down the soil.


Working on the hillside. Brenda is walking along the path to push the soil into place. Check out those great farming overalls!


Working the top bed.


The finished garden.


We had a crew of about 18 people that all worked to create the garden. This group stayed to put on the finishing touches.

On Sunday, we went a block away to create the garden at the Gates house.


The backyard "before."


We had some rain --- a light drizzle at first, and then a steady pour.


The guys finishing the sod removal.

Dorian with the big rototiller.

Keith took care of delivering the compost, one wheelbarrow at a time.

Finishing up by marking the beds. Everyone was getting pretty wet!
The finished garden.
The final crew - happy but wet!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting Her Goat: A story of a family's quest for miniature goats



A story of a woman in Collierville (near Memphis) who wants to keep two small goats for her family....

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/apr/04/getting-her-goat/

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hangin' with My Peeps

Our baby chicks were born on March 21st, and arrived (via mail!) on March 22nd. We've got pictures of the day-old chicks first, and then at the bottom of this post there's a link to a video of the chicks at 2 days and 2 weeks.

We tried to get chicks that would produce a variety of beautiful - and tasty - eggs. The Rhode Island Red, Silver Laced Wyandott, and Dark Brahma lay brown eggs. The White Leghorn lays white eggs, and the Araucanas lay blue and green eggs.


For the first day the chicks needed to be on newspaper, so they would eat their food (instead of their bedding). Newspaper is too slick for them to walk on for long, so after the first day we switched to pine bedding.






Sage (Araucana) and Thyme (Silver Laced Wyandott).



Cinnamon (Rhode Island Red).









Cayenne (White Leghorn).



Sage, Cardamom (Dark Brahma), and Cinnamon. Cardamom has feathers on her feet!















The flock - Sage, Cardamom, Cayenne, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme and Cinnamon.



Sage stretching her legs.




Sage smiling for the camera.


If you'd like to watch a great video of the chicks at 2 days and then 2 weeks, click here:



They grow so fast!






Tackling the Big Garden

Our largest garden this year is at Mary's house. It is a 2400 square foot, south-facing yard. We can grow a lot of veggies here!

On Saturday, March 21st we spent about 3.5 hours transforming the space from a yard into a garden. We were lucky to have about 18 adult volunteers, plus lots of kids who jumped right in to help!



The yard "before."



We started at the front of the yard and worked our way back. We'll put an herb garden in front of the fence.




Tearin' it up.



One of our regular garden helpers.



Hazel is not intimidated by the big shovel. :)




Working our way back.
















The kids are digging in!




Examining the worms.








Moving the grass out - it is headed for the compost pile.




Lucy is getting tired just watching everyone work! We got her some water ASAP.



We're getting there!




Nathaneal putting some extra "oomph" on the shovel.








Lucy has a lot of kids that like taking care of her.







Peeking over the backyard fence.








I was contacted by my 4th grade teacher, Judy Elliot. She read the article in the North Denver Tribune, and stopped by to watch the project in action.







The garden "after." We have 63 of our 4'x6' garden beds at this location.

We ran out of twine at the end of the project, so we had to pause while one of our Working Members ran to the store. A small group stayed behind to finish up!