Monthly Archives: February 2011

Sunday Gala: Details

First: tumbler guy: gschalin at comcast dot net

The forecast calls for sun this Sunday, February 27. Good news for my little fundraiser/pop up farm stand/party in the garden. There will be rabbit pot pies for sale, made by Becky Fresh.  There will be bundles of chard and kale and braising mix for sale. There will be chai made from Bebe milk and Ghosttown Honey. There will be nettle tea for those of us who are trying to be healthy, from nettles grown in the garden. There will be Ghosttown T-shirts made from organic American Apparel shirts, printed by Oakland’s own People’s Choice (they come in black with a red logo for girls, and army and yellow for the dudes). There will be (hopefully) goats in the garden so I don’t have to drag everyone into my backyard. And if all goes well tomorrow, a brand spanking new Hen House built by Just Fine Design out of recycled materials (think beautiful pallets). There will be copies of Farm City. We will celebrate near spring and the gifts that nature has given us. Hope you can make it!!

When: Feb 27, 11-2pm

Where: Lot next to 665 28th Street, Oakland

What: A party in the garden

What else: If you drive, park on MLK, not 28th, as it gets crowded.

Poo Wrangler

Howdy there, sorry about the lag. I’ve been, er, chasing poo. Animal turds, just to clarify. I feel like a spend half my morning scooping manure. Then I work in the garden–trying to get it in shape for the Feb 27 gala (u r invited: 11am-2pm at the farm: snacks and ribbon cutting)! The sunny, climate change weather keeps prodding me to get all my beds laid out and seeded even though really it’s too early for that.

But back to the poo. I had the pleasure of going to the ranch where they make Pt. Reyes Blue, and, to make the cheese, they have 350 milk cows. The location is  stunning out there in West Marin. Of course I was there to cover the shit story–which is a compost company that is recycling the cow poo into black gold for your garden. Watch for it in the Chronicle, in the garden section.

Back to my animals’ turds, though. I don’t have a tool called a Separator like they have at the Giacomini’s ranch. Instead, I just lay down some wood shavings (scrounged from Wooden Window off of San Pablo–love them!) let the animals void, then scoop it up. But then what to do? At first, this winter (that’s when the shit really hit the fan because I built up my rabbit operation) I would lay the turds and bedding into berms and let it rest. Now these berms are mostly broken down and ready to be planted into. But the poo keeps flying. And I can’t make more piles of bedding and poo (no more room, rodent problems if the pile gets too big). What to do? I went to Dublin, Ca.

Because Dublin is where my tumbler compost hook up (thanks craigslist) lives. In the garage of their home, an adorable family builds these here contraptions:

This is where the angels and rays of sunlight  come in.

Note that it’s made of plastic–recycled from sturdy olive containers. Note that a rat might have a hard time chewing on it, or getting into that screw on lid. Note that it tumbles around, so I don’t have to pitchfork it around all day long. The family is building them to make college money for their son. It’s really sweet. (We might start selling them at the Oasis–stay tuned if you want to buy one in the East Bay. If you want my tumbler guy’s email, just post a comment with your email and I’ll forward it to him.)

So far I’ve bought two, and all the farm turds from one week fit in one of these babies. It takes a month for them to break down, so I need to buy two more and then I can start the rotation. I can even–gasp–start food scrap recycling again.

Ok, gotta go to Arkansas now….I’ll be speaking at the University of the Ozarks. Can’t wait!