Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Great Steps Forward

Working share member Monica Walker shows
volunteer Emily how to plant Eden's way.
Last Saturday was a great day for Eden's Garden! We had several volunteers come out to help weed and plant seeds, yep more seeds, and water and fertilize. Things are growing slowly, but they are growing and I have seen some buds for the tomatoes, squash and cucumbers - so if ol' Jack Frost will stay away long enough, we could be getting some fruit soon. Perhaps our first season has gotten off to a much later start than I had planned, but I'm basically pleased with the current progress the farm is making. I do wish we'd get a bit of rain, as it would jump start the seeds that are in the ground waiting for moisture to arrive. But, help is on the way....

Saturday late morning a gentleman approached the field to inquire about joining the CSA. He asked some of the typical questions such as what we were planting and how much we were planning to harvest, etc. While I was answering these questions, as I usually do, I mentioned that I was striving to create a sustainable environment on the farm by using wind and solar power to fuel the water pump and future lighting. I shared my plan for the irrigation holding tank and rain water barrel system that will feed the elevated 55 gallon water tank which feeds the drip tape via gravity.
The gentleman nodded, and noticing two of my CSA workshare members fussing over the electric fencing set up, walked over to offer his assistance. That is when he began to share of his ability and interest in helping us with our energy goals.
Herb and his wife, Barbara, have pledged to help the farm achieve its goal of a sustainable energy program. His experience in designing and installing a wind turbine system is going to enable me to skip a lot of trial and error time and his generous offer to donate his expertise and time will save money, too. I'm still not sure about all of the watts and such, but that is where Herb has said he can help simplify things for us non-engineer types.

This is going to be an expandable system and so in the future, it can power much more than the little water pump and a few lights. I am very excited about this opportunity to move even closer to being sustainable out on the farm! Harnessing nature's power to work for us, working with nature instead of against it - is a part of what the organic spirit is all about to me. Why create or use something artificial, if it already exists in nature? And, perhaps more importantly, why pay for it!? Wind is free, sun and rain - free! Right?
I know everyone is anxious, as am I, and as with almost any start up of anything - the set backs have been plentiful, and we're all still wondering about the first harvest dates. All I can say is that things are in the ground and growing. I'm planning and planting for successive harvests, so our winter season should come in more on time. But, I've got my calls out for sweet potatoes and other goodies for your Thanksgiving baskets - things that would have had to be planted much earlier if this were an established farm - and will next be year! I didn't envision it taking so long to get the ground plowed up and ready, but with the lack of rain - it would have been damaging to a plow with that ground as hard as it was. That is all behind us now....

CSA member Sara Barnard works side by side with
volunteer Leo and Sam, a working share member of
the Walker family.
I am so looking forward to future seasons! For those of you who have been in this with me since before we even turned a spadeful of dirt - we have come a LONG way baby! and it wouldn't have been possible without your support. Those of you who have chosen to jump in on the ground floor of this farm, are to be commended and applauded! You are making a difference by supporting local farming - organic farming and a sustainable one, at that. We may not have the bounty we hoped for this first season, but we are laying the ground work for a future of many to come.

This will be a special Thanksgiving. To have this opportunity to farm this way for folks that want to take better charge of their health means so much to me. There are adults, seniors and children all over the metroplex who will benefit in the long run from this farm as it grows.
I'll give thanks for all of you jumping in there with me this first year. And thanks to those of you who are spreading the word and recruiting more members. The best thing I think could happen is that I'm able to break away from dependence on working outside of the farm full time so I can devote more time here. 2 hours of daylight before or after work is not a lot of time to get a lot of things done.

Thank goodness for our workshare folks and volunteers! Here are some of them from this weekend - THANK YOU! What a hardworking group of folks.

Sara Barnard, Butch Gordon and his camera shy son Bubba,
Emily and Leo. Not pictured, but equally as tired,
the Walker kids and Jennifer Smolinsky-Ross.
The plan as it stands right now, is that I will have something for everyone for Sunday, November 24th. For those of you who took advantage of the Heritage Turkeys, you'll be heading down to the farm anyway that day. So, we'll make the first official day of share pick up that Sunday. If you haven't ordered a turkey and can't make it on Sunday, let me know and I'll have yours ready on the regularly scheduled day of Saturday. We'll share more details as the date draws closer and I have a better idea of what will be in your shares.
Keep praying for some rain and thanking Him for all of our members!
Eat Your Food - Naturally!

1 comment:

  1. PS - the frost that came through the other 2 nights didn't even cause a flinch in our garden. I covered the most tender of things, but the acorn squash, zuchinni and cole crops are still looking good. The beet seeds I planted 2 weeks ago are UP, too! We're growing!


Please feel free to leave a comment.