Monday, June 7, 2010

Urban Farming at InFARMation

This Wednesday June 9th at 6:30pm, I'm moderating an awesome panel of 10+ urban farmers for InFARMation at Roots Organic Brewery in SE Portland for Friends of Family Farmers. We wrote to over 30 farms we know that live and farm in the city or commute to land in neighboring towns with a questionnaire and are really excited to introduce you to them and get a great discussion going.

It's FREE and the organic beer is cheap, so if its raining... it will seem wise to go inside a cute organic beer establishment and chat about farming ; )">Wooo hooo!!

Edible PORTLAND's new issue is out and talks about watermelons to drool for in Hermiston, marionberries and includes an article on the Growing Farms program through OSU, featuring a bit on Diggin' Roots Farm, Red Truck Farm, Tipping Tree Farm and also a sweet photo of Shari of Dancing Roots Farm!

The sun is out right now and it feels shocking and familiar at the same time. Maybe a bit more rain to bear and then a lot more of this? The last few weeks of Northwest Monsoon have been hard on so many people. We all knew winter and spring were too dry and often too warm (that's always hard to admit)... but it's impacted a lot of home gardeners, landscapers and farmers dealing with unseasonable flooding, and more pest and disease pressure for plants unable to put on normal growth needed to be healthy and out compete them. There's been some hibernation. In December it was unseasonably dry and then the freeze hit many plants both ornamental and edible pretty hard. In theory, we could have been out watering to some degree and providing more cover and insulation, but when it pours repeatedly in late May and June and land can't keep up, creeks and rivers rise, it's much harder or impossible to manage on the fly.

With the old sun coming back out on a more official basis, it's good to remember how dramatic it can be for us and animals. Shade and water are things we haven't all had to think about too much yet, but soon will be part of our normal life, (right?) We've started improvising more shade areas here and additional water buckets in different spots. Good to remember to take care of ourselves to. Just came to terms that the boots I love are finally blown out after 3 years of living in them.. found some on sale and wow, it makes a big difference. (Rossi, made in Australia, sweet shop in Rainier, WA and they have sale pairs on ebay) Are you taking good care of yourself, perking up with the idea of summer really landing?

Our old window (red) greenhouse is up! Relocated from our old house on N. Williams. The chickies got a new run within the pen. There's a skinny ramp in and out and a little ledge. It looked goat proof and they appeared uninterested, but before we could add the additional egg shape to the door, Sebastian did manage to suddenly be in the run, enjoying the Q-Bar Lucy Diamond Pullet Developer....... illegal. For a couple days it seemed he definitely strained himself on that effort, but is back to full spunk. We're working another enclosed run for the ducks with a water feature and more space to stay up late and not be snackable, since there's no chicken bedtime with ducks and they're not fond of being completely housed... some time this summer we have to have a photo and idea sharing with fellow duck keepers. Let us know if you're interested. Duck workshop?

Workshops! The goat workshop was really neat. Emily and Amanda of the Going Goaty Collective in NE Portland, brought their Mini LaMancha, Darlin', for a milking demonstration along with one of the kids, Milky way, so soft brown and smelling so good. Thanks to everyone who came and if your interested in a future goat workshop, let us know and we'll start another sign up list. (+ more photos on our facebook site)

And teaching more chicken workshops for PCC here in June and July and again in the fall.

Our sunflower berm along the fence and the straw bale beds really loved the rain. Our demonstration garden is growing and we are working on signs (it wants to talk), so it will be getting more informative and funny soon... Got mobile electric fencing for the goats to start moving them around the far sections, but may need to get more so we can make a bigger roving pen or make an additional fixed day pen.

We're working on finishing the clean up of the neighboring lot we're adjacent to along 99E. There is a lot of free wood left, especially suitable for firewood and possibly other projects. We'll also have some irrigation parts for sale soon. (Nellie's called dibs on this piece... goat raft adrift in a sea of woodchips)

Thanks to everyone sending and bringing in photos what you're up to and your animals for our binders in the shop and to post online!