Work Day is On

Howdy folks, work day is on for this Saturday, 10-1pm. If you’re coming, bring some gloves, water and a sun hat–it gets scorching out there. We’ll do a tour around 10:15, then I’ll talk a little about chicken coop clean up, planting, and weeding, which we will be doing! I’m hoping to make some snacks from my friend Bryant Terry’s new, amazing book, Afro-Vegan: Farm Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed. Holy yum. I’m on this caffeine-, dairy-, and wheat-free diet and it’s killing me. But Bryant’s book makes it bearable.

Tonight: Me and the Kraz

Sorry for for the short notice, but I’ll be at Dominican University tonight at 7pm in conversation with Michael Krasny. We’re going to be talking about my first book, Farm City, which was selected as this year’s One Book, One Marin read. The event is in the Angelico Concert Hall. Good times! Take a hike, then come on over to Dominican.

Work Days Are Here Again

It’s spring, and I know people want to get their hands dirty. I know my hands are dirty. So, how about these days for volunteer days:
March 29 (Yes, this Saturday), 10am-2pm
April 19, 10am-2pm
May 10, 10am-2pm
Right at 10, I’ll do a little tour, then we’ll get down to work. This Saturday will be a tomato planting day, and I’ll have starts to give away to volunteers. April 19 will be a bed prepping day, and I’ll do a worm composting demonstration. I might have some yummy snacks, too.

Garden is at 2727 Martin Luther King Jr Way, at 28th Street. Entrance is on 28th Street. Bring gloves, water, sun hats.

Also, there’s only one person signed up for the chicken class. It’s on April 26, and will be lots of fun. If you want to sign up, email me at novellacarpenter at gmail.

First Farm Stand of 2014, March 22

Ok people, it’s GhostTown Farm Stand time again.
gtfarmstand
That means I’ll be setting up my little table, putting out my chalkboard sign, and selling some vegetables. This month there will be: radishes, cilantro, and head lettuces, fava beans, arugula, herb bunches, tomato starts, succulents, books, and a few t-shirts for sale. Sorry no honey yet. Stop on by!!
Where: 2727 Martin Luther King at MLK and 28th Street (look for the abandoned building)
When: Saturday, March 22, 3pm-6pm
Thank you Jillian Piccirilli for the photo of the chalkboard sign….

Mushroom Inoculation

I think this isn’t going to work. But that’s never stopped me before.
innoculationtools
I was ordering rootstock and strawberries from Raintree Nursery, saw these lion’s mane mushroom dowels, and just couldn’t resist. If you’ve never had lion’s mane ‘shrooms, imagine a sea sponge-shaped object that tastes like meaty forest, and there ya go. I didn’t know they were “domesticated” so I splurged and spent $18 on 50 dowels inoculated with the mushroom. When the rootstock and strawberries and mushrooms arrived, I promptly potted up the trees and planted the strawberries. The mushrooms sat around for awhile. I found the instructions daunting. I had to find some big pine logs or stumps and a drill before the whole process could happen. Luckily Billy had a drill at his shop, and brought it home. A few days later, I encountered some big logs at my favorite log dump off area on Hearst in Berkeley (that frontage road west of the fancy 4th street shopping area).
drillinglog
After I drilled what seemed like 50 holes, I tapped the little dowels in…tap
with a hammer, then sealed them with wax. I melted some beeswax I had lying around the house, and just daubed that onto the filled holes. I guess you have to do that because other spores can get in and take over the log instead of the lion’s mane spawn. Of course I dropped the hot pan of wax and ruined my kitchen floor first. innoculated
Here they are, all inoculated. Now I just wait. The instructions said it’ll probably be a year before anything happens. In the meantime, I think I’m going to put these guys under my outdoor produce washing sink so they keep good and wet this summer. Fingers crossed, but not holding my breath.

Thanks Marin!

Who would have guessed that my foul-mouthed, grungy memoir, Farm City, first published way back in 2009, would be chosen as One Book, One Marin for 2014? Not me. Not my mama. But somehow it has happened.

novellapluslibrarians

Here’s me and a bunch of librarians and a couple of booksellers at the launch event for OBOM, at Book Passage in Corte Madera last week. I didn’t know what a big deal it was until I got to the store, which was packed, and saw this massive wall of Farm City at the front of the store.

walloffarmcity
That’s Joe, a high school teacher who is starting an urban farm at Redwood High, just down the street from Book Passage. They already have a garden, but the school is going full-out with chickens and other projects. I can’t wait to see that grow.

The premise of One Book, One Marin is to have everyone in your community read a book together; but from that book comes an opportunity to branch out and learn more. In the case of Marin and Farm City (which I sometimes misspell Fart Cimy, the librarians and everyone else involved put together a great list of events and workshops: urban beekeeping, food and social justice, raising goats and rabbits with K. Ruby from the Institute of Urban Homesteading. Check out these free events–it’s an amazing list. I’m so proud to be a part of this.

My next Marin event will be at the Pt. Reyes Library, March 8 at 3pm…hope to see you there!