Category Archives: Urban Farming

Schoolhouse Construction Update #1

I mentioned earlier, but I’ll say it again – it’s happening!!! The schoolhouse construction has begun and it is quite possible that I’ll be able to host my first spring class on the 15th in my new space! Of course, it won’t be totally done by then, but it will likely be damn close! Words cannot express how thrilled I am! This is making my midwinter merrier for sure!

An outsider wouldn’t notice much difference at this point, but we certainly do. Much time as been spent hauling things out of the space so I even have an empty space to work with. And that, my friends, has been huge. We’ve also begun prepping the space for electrical (for all my awesome new lighting, which the whole interior design has been crafted around – that’s enough for a whole other post!). Those super awesome schoolhouse lights have been ordered and are on their way!

imageI wanted to replace the existing door with a door that had a window so that it’d have a bit more character and would let more light in. I thought we’d be able to use an old antique door we took off the basement door frame, but it turns out it was just a bit too big. Luckily, we have a super amazing contractor who listens to my vision and pays attention to my style. He went to the ReStore in Ballard and scored an even more awesome door than we had before. The window is quite a bit longer and will now match up with the bottom of the windows I’m putting in the side of the garage. Plus, it fits perfectly! Score! My mother-in-law said it best, “It’s a door to a whole new world!” A world where I get to bring people together in the name of homegrown food and live my dream! I’ll take it!

Produce by the Pound: September

photo (1)More than celebrating the actual poundage of food I harvested last month, I am giving myself a hearty pat on the back for harvesting or cooking anything at all. September hit me like a truck and I consider it a miracle that I actually harvested some food, did some garden cleanup that was way over do and even got some fall and overwintering seeds sown. It feels like a bigger accomplishment than winning a blue ribbon. As much as I love being out in my garden, I am grateful that the rain is watering my seed beds and that my to-do list is wrapping up. I think both my garden and I could use a little time to recharge.

I managed to get a pretty decent newsletter sent out for the month of October. This month, I shared my current favorite kale salad! I’d invite you to check it out. Better yet, sign up and get it for free, delivered to your inbox every month! It’d be my pleasure!

September 2013 – Produce Tally:

Personal Consumption –

Kale – 1 lb 2 oz
Beets/beet greens – 2 oz
Rhubarb – 1 lb 4oz
Radhishes – 1 lb 2 oz
Tomatoes – 9 lbs 8 oz
Carrots – 1 lb 6 oz
Garlic – 8 oz

Eggs – 13 (Molt much, ladies?)

Total produce harvested during the month of September: 15 lbs

Total food bank donations for the year: 9 lbs

Grand Total for 2013 (as of October 1):

Approximately 107 lbs, 2 oz and about 28 dozen eggs

Check out the first post in this series here.

Produce by the Pound: August

kaleAs I calculate my August totals, here is what I’m celebrating:

  • Sharing with neighbors is awesome!
  • My fall kale crop, which I started in late summer, is amazing!
  • One word: tomatoes.
  • Vitamixes are awesome at pureeing the baby beets, stems and greens that I often make into smoothies. Beet smoothies are like raspberry smoothies in disguise.
  • Holy cats, Batman! I’ve almost produced 100 pounds of food this year! I live on the little urban farm that could!

Here is what I’m noticing:

  • I need to step up my squash game. Summer Squash 2014 challenge accepted, wherein I try and produce the poundage of zucchini and cucumbers I know I’m capable of producing.
  • All the single ladies are getting up in their years and it shows in this summer’s egg production. It might be time to add a few new chicks into the mix next spring.

August 2013 – Produce Tally:

Personal Consumption –

Pears – 3.5 lbs (Overhang from my neighbor’s tree! Score!)
Kale – 1 lb 11 oz
Cucumbers – 9 oz
Beets/beet greens – 1 lb
Strawberries – 3 oz
Raspberries – 6 oz
Zucchini –  1/2 lb (Honestly! Not my year!)
Tomatoes – 17 lbs
Carrots – 13 oz

*Culinary lavender – 10 oz

Eggs – 31 (2 dozen plus 7 eggs)

Total produce harvested during the month of August: 26 lbs 4 oz

Total food bank donations for the year: 9 lbs (Just about 10% of what I’ve harvested)

Grand Total for 2013 (as of September 1):

Approximately 92 lbs, 2 oz and just under 27 dozen eggs

Check out the first post in this series here.

My New e-Lesson for Your Fall and Winter Garden

On Wednesday, I taught my favorite farm school class yet. It was a class on fall and winter gardening. The sky was overcast and it rained on us for the occasion. I turned on the lamps in the living room for the first time this summer. The warm glow of the lamps and the energy from all the students in the sold out class filled my living room. I was beaming the entire night.

bootsThere is a sense of anticipation that comes along with fall and winter gardening, much like the feeling I get in the spring when it’s about time to get my garden started – the planning, the strategy, the attention given to new plants, the hope of harvests to come. It’s magic for a garden nerd.

Riding the high I’ve been on since my students left my class, I spent the entire day that followed creating an e-lesson on the subject. I spent the entire day, hours, putting it together, but I loved every minute of it and I’m damn proud of what I came up with. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

I made a little prezi to give you an introduction to the class. That alone makes me giddy!

For more information about the course or to register, click here. I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.

Alternatively, you can take my word for it and buy it here. It’s 10 bucks. Once you make the purchase on Paypal, your e-course will be delivered to your inbox, easy as pie!