Archive | March, 2015

Denver Report

30 Mar

Howdy, just took a quick trip to Denver. I was invited by Lisa Rogers of Feed Denver, an urban farming organization that was putting on a conference for folks in Denver growing food in the city. I was blown away by some of the urban farmers I met. It’s always so humbling and fun to meet some fellow dirt grubbers. We have many of the same troubles and triumphs.

Here’s Lisa, a farmer from Seattle named Patrick, and Steve, a farmer at 5 Fridges Farm.
denvergh

5 Fridges was really cool. Steve uses 1.5 acres of a 13 acre nature preserve (yes, in Denver city limits) to grow a CSA for 70 families!! Holy bio-intensive planting. Besides veg, they also had goats and chickens.
denvergoat
And they had built a commercial kitchen that they were going to rent out for classes and pickling sessions.

One of the big problems in Denver is the dang land is so expensive! I was shocked to hear about the high rents and property values. Some of it is that Denver is having a boom, partially driven by the legalization of recreational pot. Seems like every warehouse was growing the stuff, and so there are fewer places to live so rent is high. Denver rents were as high as those in Oakland/SF!! It actually made me worry about what will happen when (if?) California passes recreational pot legislation. Will it be another giant land grab? Sadly, one of the oldest urban gardens in Denver–Gabrielle’s Garden, run by UrbiCulture Community Farms–has to relocate because developers are selling the land for $3 million dollars. It reminded me of Hayes Valley Farm (RIP).

But then there was good news, too. I met a husband and wife team who have 7 acres of family land in Denver that they are cultivating. Everitt Farms is hoping to become a community center and market, selling produce and flowers.

The scale, the wide open spaces, the potential–that is Denver.

Farm Tour: June 13

9 Mar

Oh goodness. I’ve been in deep dormancy for the past three months, only now just feeling like peeking my head up and checking in on the blog. Here’s the report:
-The two bee hives are doing extremely well. They are heavy with honey and lots of signs of new hatchlings.
-I expanded the chicken run. The girls were not getting enough exercise, so I opened up the back area for them. In addition to weed control, they are now eating dead bees, disturbing ant habitat, and probably eating codling moth larvae under the apple trees. Their eggs have turned a much darker orange color.
-I have been eating way too much broccoli. Got a little crazy with the planting and now we have to eat it every night for dinner. Good problem to have.
-Planted the last fruit tree in our mini-orchard a few weeks ago. I read about the new Zaiger’s NectaPlum in Sunset magazine and had to buy it. Only 300 chill hours!!
-Finally, finally, replaced the yucky, disappointing sour orange (supposed to taste like a Seville but it never did) with a Bearss lime–to recreate the one that died a few years ago.
-Gearing up for a couple turkeys. Getting poults in May, raising them til T-day.
And, I’m going to be part of the Institute of Urban Homesteading’s Urban Farm Tour 2015. June 13, mark your calendars, and check in soon to buy tickets. It’s such a fun event, and I can’t wait to show off the trees, the turkeys, and maybe a drip irrigation system if I ever get that off the ground.