Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seeds and dreams!

We've gotten about half of the seeds we ordered in so far and are anxiously waiting for the rest.  We are committed to buy from pesticide free seed sources and I just wanted to showcase some of the varieties I am most excited to grow for the CSA (and have been dreaming about)!

Japanese Black Trifele

I ran into this tomato while working on Friendly Farms in Iowa City with my friend Bob Braverman. Doesn't crack as much as other large heirlooms and has the best taste. We got our seeds from Seed Savers and hope to have a bunch of these in our CSA shares from July on!

New England Sugar Pie
We are excited to be growing one of the best pie pumpkins for our CSA this year and hope to have at least a couple to put in each share in October so kids (and adults) can get their pumpkin pie fix. I learned the value of buying good pumpkin seeds last year when we went to market with pumpkins from an unknown source. This year we corrected that mistake and purchased from the Missouri based, Baker's Creek Seed Company.

Bull's Blood Beetroot
Finally we have this dark red beet that is great for pickling, boiling, eating raw, or dyeing your hair with (I know from personal experience). Some people say they don't like beets because they taste like dirt, I say great, that leaves more beet for the rest of us.

Hope you enjoyed a look at some of the varieties we are itching to get in the ground for this next year, I personally can't wait, only a few more months to go.

See you in the fields,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

inching closer and closer...

Well... we pushed our goal "Find Land" back from January 15th to January 31st, but things are still moving along. We have a few more plots to look into before making our final decisions. I think we all have good feelings about things coming together. It would be nice to have more time, but doesn't it always feel that way before the growing season starts? It seems like you're ordering your seeds, starting your seeds, and mapping our your garden with plenty of time before the last frost hits and everything shifts into full speed ahead. Then it feels like you're in a marathon race all summer long. But perhaps that's why so many of us love growing food... it keeps the blood pumping. :)

In other news...
  • The collective decided to make our plot on 35th and Cass (at the Gifford Park Community Garden) a "pizza garden." We'll grow tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, oregano, and basil with the help of youth from the Gifford Park neighborhood who are interested in learning more about gardening.
  • Almost all our seeds are ordered! We even struck while the iron was hot and got a little discount from Baker's Creek. Woo woo!
  • We got some great seeds from the "Seed Swap" at City Sprouts last Saturday. A special thanks to Betsy for organizing and City Sprouts for hosting. I also caught a glimpse of the book, Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, which I've been told is a "seed saving bible" of sorts. I think seed saving would be a great workshop to host toward the end of the season. It is a skill I personally need a lot more practice with. 
  • Matt and Brent and working on a composting service that will collect from a few restaurants in Dundee. This is a great way to help local restaurants use their scraps (rather than throwing them in the trash), which we'll stir into our compost, and with some time voila! soil is built. 
  • We're getting closer to opening registration for our 20 share CSA. Can't wait to find and meet our members...
  • Ali is getting excited about add-ons, a few ideas at the top of our list are -- making our own herb vinegars, definitely jams and jellies, and dried herbal tea mixes.
  • A few of us attended a CSA training at Tomato Tomato yesterday. It sounds like they are going to offer 500 shares with their CSA this season (wow!), which they source from many local farms. Our friends from No More Empty Pots will also offer the Market Basket program again this year, which allows folks to purchase a CSA using SNAP (Food Stamps). So Sweet.

Big Muddy Urban Farm

Friday, January 6, 2012

Land Acquisition!

Big Muddy Urban Farm is now the proud lessee of three plots located just east of 33rd and California for the grand sum of $1. We have alot of work left to accomplish but the train is picking up speed and things are looking up. Wish us luck in the next coming weeks, so many things are up in the air and we can only try and make them fall in the right places.


Big Muddy