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Posts Tagged ‘Local farms’

Hey Locavores!  It’s that time of year again, when the wonderful folks at Riverdance Farms, host their annual “Pick and Gather”, it’s always a wonderful time rain or shine!

We’ll see you there with our bee~luscious lemonade!  Find the up to date info on facebook @ Hey Honey! Artisanals & Riverdance Farms Pick & Gather!

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The summer has been a busy one with many new and exciting projects around here on our very young evolving farm, and yes, I said “farm”….

For many years our CaMp TuRloCk homestead has been a place for family celebrations, a respite for friends to recharge with some country-time & a menagerie of well loved animals and of course home to Local Choices.

Today it feels good to say our homestead has added a new venue:  A farm!

A farm that grows our own food organically, a farm that provides a pastured haven for chickens of  Shady Oak Organic Eggs, a farm that feeds our family and beyond!

So stay tuned as we look forward to sharing with you our growth, new projects & this amazing gift of nature that is right out our back door.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos from our garden. See, we have been working hard!

(Check back soon for the sound of  happy chickens)

Growing Corn

Lavender at Local Choices

A day's berry harvestPhotos taken by Alexandria Araiza

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Happy planting, harvesting and eating!

by Neal & Marie Curran

 

Spring is coming and so is our garden! Here at Nine Acre Farm, we are incredibly busy planting our spring/summer garden. Most of this work as of yet is indoors. Our plants go through quite a journey to make it from seed packet to the field. We are trying our hardest to keep conservation-intensive methods in mind even as we work indoors. We hope our process will be helpful to you as you begin your 2011 garden.

1)  A garden-ready greenhouse



Our greenhouse is small, but can fit many plants. We built tables for our plants. On two of our tables we have plastic tubing (a waste material) arched over the tables to support insulating plastic at night.  To warm the greenhouse when it’s cold and at night, we have use an old wood stove and a homemade chimney. Discarded fencing posts from the property fit perfectly in the stove. When it gets too warm in the greenhouse, the walls double as windows that lift open from the bottom.
Also, we make our own potting soil in our greenhouse. It is a mixture of homemade compost, peat, and perlite (available at most Lowes).

2)  Seed packet to greenhouse


In late December and throughout January we started plants such as broccoli, artichokes, celery, kohlrabi, beets, lettuce, leeks, brussels sprouts, and many more. Instead of using plastic trays, which aren’t always space efficient and are wasteful when they fall apart, we use soil blocks. We use the soil blocks to punch out a mold of soil. Each block mold contains 20 1-inch spaces: one for each seed. After seeding, we sprinkle our homemade potting soil over the block and water.

Currently we have begun seeding our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Because these members of the Nightshade family require higher germinating temperatures than our winter crops would find agreeable, we start them on soil blocks on an electric heat mat. This is an excellent way to get a jump start on summer crops!

3)  Greenhouse rotation

When our seedlings begin to grow out of their one-inch cubes, we move them to two-inch cubes made with a larger soil blocker. The two-inch blocks remain on the tables to be covered with plastic at night, just as the one-inch blocks. After a couple of weeks, we move them to our uncovered table. Here they begin the process of hardening off. The lack of plastic covering at night exposes them to lower temperatures.

4) The Cold Frame


After plants have spent a week or two on the uncovered table, they are moved to the cold frame outside our greenhouse. The cold frame is a wood frame on the ground with a tarp covering the soil. At night, the plants are covered with plexiglass (a waste material available to us). They are uncovered during the day but sheltered with sheet when it gets to warm/sunny. Plants spend about one or two weeks in here.

4) Greenhouse to field


I’m not going to talk much about this part, but I will tell you that once plants leave the nursery and go into the great adult garden, they still receive a little help. They are sheltered nightly with a light row cover. So far we have a few rows of transplants and additional direct-seeded vegetables (snap peas, carrots, turnips, beets, leaf lettuce, radishes, etc.) growing in our garden.

~ For more information about our farm or to join our CSA (starting in mid-March!) check our our website at www.nineacrefarm.com and email us at neal@nineacrefarm.com.


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Lavender Hollow Farms Boutique in Escalon

will be open & offering new items for your enjoyment!

December 3rd ~ 12th

10am – 4pm

find more details @ Lavenderhollowfarm.com

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Visit LHF website to see their beautiful farm at….

www.lavenderhollowfam.com

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It’s that time of year again when Cindy Lashbrook and Bill Thompson open the gates to their biodiverse Organic Blueberry and Cherry farm. In celebration of the peak season of these fruits at their finest the “Pick & Gather” farm festival will be held on June 5th and 6th this year.  Bring your family and friends because this by far is the BEST spring event going on here in California’s Central Valley!

The Pick & Gather weekend on the farm venue seems to improve every year thanks to a group of hardworking locavores that have brought together all things local, with the best of the valley from foods to musicians.  The list is long of activities, entertainment, educational workshops, river fair and of course our tastey Hey Honey! Organic Lemonade will be there.  Visit the P & G website & facebook page where you can get details, tickets and all the daily farm buzz!

Now I want to share a little about the farm….

Riverdance Farms is a simple, eco-friendly working organic farm hidden along the Merced River in Livingston, CA.  It has been nurtured by some of our favorite local farmers who work with mother nature not against her, practicing permaculture principals.  If you are unfamiliar with this farming technique here it is in short from Wikipedia…

“Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture.”

Every visit I make to this farm takes my breath away with it’s unpretentious preservation of nature, if only all farmers could harness such beauty for us to appreciate or cared about the wellness of our farmlands with this much respect.

See you at the “Pick & Gather!”

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Take this opportunity to hear what’s going on in your Central Valley every first Friday of the month with Tom Willey and guest speakers on KFCF radio….

Down on the Farm ~ KFCF 88.1  fm

Friday Feb. 5th

5:00-6:00 pm

The topic: “A recent immigrant to these parts from No.Carolina has discovered Fresno’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods to be a veritable food wonderland. Host, Tom Willey will interview James Collier whose fascination with our food culture led him to co-found the online community, “Taste Fresno”, fast gaining members and notice. It’s possible newcomers recognize treasures underfoot to which we locals have become complacent. We’ll discuss a citizen food activist’s vision of the celebrated edible culture we could become on KFCF’s Down on the Farm. “

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What is a Community Garden?

Any piece of land gardened by a group of people

A few months ago I visited a community garden and met an inspiring woman who is truly in love with dirt, gardening and the well being of her community. This kind preserver of nature is an ER nurse that admitted playing in the dirt was a great stress reliever. I applaud her for taking this passion one step further by following her dreams and bringing her community together to successfully build 4 community gardens in Riverbank, in just one year!

Her name is Dotty Nygard, she is president of the Riverbank Community Garden Coalition. Partnered with the school district, the city and the community this amazing hands on team have created a wonderful opportunity and educational environment for all, their goal and belief ….” creating consciousness for our earth, our community and ourselves”.

As I strolled through the first garden across from California Avenue School, with my camera in tow, Dotty sat with a group of children and read “Our Generous Garden”, a lovely children’s story about gardening. Quietly listening I could feel the profound respect and connection between Dotty, children and the dirt they learned to love and nurture together.

If Riverbank is your community don’t miss out, become a part of this experience and get dirty!

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mercedfoodfaire

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Happy October my Locavores,  how will you eat this month and beyond?

As a true believer in eating local and trying to do my part I am spreading the word…..
Elc90x901

The task really is not that difficult and can actually be fun finding what fabulous family farms are in your back yard, especially if you live here in the Central Valley surrounded by loads of farms big & small.

The challenge is about eating within a hundred miles and making conscious food choices. I have already done the leg work for you, just browse through my blog and find farms, farmers & farmers markets close to you and connect with them….trust me, you will wish you had done this sooner!

Your First tip:

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.

More reasons why & how @
www.eatlocalchallenge.com & www.familyfarmfresh.com

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