Friday, April 24, 2009

Eating Local in Dallas

Wow, there were over 100 new people on the list waiting to hear from me about our farm! Dallas - I think you are really starting to GET IT about local food! That is great! I'll be setting up appointments for potential new CSA members to come visit the farm soon. We will only be filling in those shares that were abandoned before the year's end. I think 25-28 is a nice number of shares to manage and grow for and it makes for a nice "community" size, too.

I'll plant a bit extra this season as more people are looking for produce at market day and of course left over food from unclaimed shares are putting some smiles on the faces of a few "hungry families". I have a few specific items requested by Chef Gilbert that I'll be planting, including some of the potatoes that are in the ground. Eden's community gardens' Swiss Chard has been a big hit with Chef, too! The monies raised will help pay for some new "drip bucket" irrigation systems I am hoping to get soon. This will get us off of "city" water and on rain water in our community gardens.

The magazine Edible DFW is in town, more local chefs are tuning into local farms and there are way more mini-farmer's markets than the farmers can keep up with! What a good problem to have I guess. The awareness level is growing fast. I hope this encourages more people to make better food choices. I want to introduce some of you who are willing to be profiled as this farm's supporters in upcoming articles I will be writing. You all are very special folks and are what it takes in this country to help turn around our messed up food system. Many a small farm couldn't do it without CSA backing them.

If you or someone you know are interested in farming, even on a small scale, get in touch with TOFGA. It doesn't take a huge piece of land to grow food and there are many people like you willing to help support small farms via CSA. There are many people who want to eat organic food, and many more who really NEED to eat it because of current health issues. We all SHOULD eat local, organically grown food for our own good, but it is for those who's health is already compromised that I really wish more was available for. We're working on it at TOFGA with workshops and our annual conference where we encourage and teach folks just like me and you to get their hands in the dirt.

The new driving group location at Green Spot is working very out well it seems. I have even had a few who used to come to the farm that are taking advantage of this. New members will pay $50 a year for the "delivery" of their shares. We'll look at other locations perhaps for the future if our members' addresses merit. There is a "north" group that has joined together informally and they take turns picking up at the drop point.

Well, I am excited to tell you that I found a wonderful deal on a small used garden tractor and brush hog that I can use for keeping the pasture mowed. It is being fitted with a very useful implement for the farm, too. This should help me tremendously! I know our work shares and volunteers all have other lives to lead but ol' JD, yeah, I named it, he will be here full time with me. : ) Not only does this mean we shouldn't have to hoe our rows by hand in the future, it will help us with weeding, too! Maybe we'll even be able to have "hay" rides this fall....anyone up for riding in the 4th of July parade here in Balch Springs?

Well, our winter crops are coming to an end as the heat is on, big time. We'll keep the lettuce in the ground as well as the beets until they are all done growing, but pretty much everything else will be coming out this weekend. So, we should have a pretty big harvest again - hope you all know what to do with cabbage and radicchio. I'll see if Chef Gilbert has any ideas.

Speaking of Chef Gilbert and his restaurant, Lazare - Chef wants to plan a farm picnic out here at Eden's this summer for his staff and Eden's CSA members. Sounds like a great time and some great food. We'll see when it looks like a good variety of food will be available for harvest and plan around that date. Some of his staff came out and pitched in hilling up potatoes and doing some weeding this past Tuesday. I think they were all happy to get back to their restaurant jobs!

Sous Chef Ryan and co-worker Bryan work the potatoes.

Well gang, it looks like rain but I think it will hold off until Sunday night. That is good news as it means I can get the rows ready and get some things in the ground beforehand. If you want to come out Sunday morning to help plant, let me know - plus, we need to make sure the rows are ready so be sure to call before you come in case we aren't ready.

Until then - see you tomorrow for our pick up. Don't forget your cotton bags.

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

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