Friday, May 22, 2009

Rural Lifestyle on Highway 6

Well, I made the jump onto Twitter a few weeks ago, at the urging of one of our CSA members, Jenice Johnson who is a media guru and works for the Dallas Morning News. I was trying to follow some event that was going on in town and they kept saying to follow it on Twitter but I thought it was only for cell phones or something. Jenice set me straight and now occasionally, I Tweet.

The significance of what I am doing throughout the day seems pretty mundane to me, but apparantley, there are 25 people out there who find it worthy of "following". ok. Among them, just happened to be a radio program out of Iowa called Rural Lifestyle on Highway 6. He became interested in the farm and what we are doing down here in Texas and has invited me to be on the show this Sunday morning at 8. If you follow the link in the heading, you can follow the link to hear the show on line. I guess they podcast it, too if you miss it and want to hear it later.

I'm not sure what exactly he will ask me yet, but you can be sure we'll talk about the proposed ban on roosters here in town as well as our wonderful CSA and getting the good stuff (organic food) out to as many people as we can through Eden's Garden.

Hope you can tune in!

On the Farm

I (and you) am anxiously awaiting things to ripen and grow! I pulled 3 baby potatoes out of the pile yesterday just to see if they were really down there, and there they were! They are no where near ready yet, but the good news is that they are growing and tasty!

I fried them up with some onions. There are spring onions and we're getting some larger ones, too - funny how they all go in at the same time, but grow at different rates.

So, keep the rain coming once a week or so and I think we'll be eating from the garden again by the early part of June!

Don't be strangers to the farm inbetween seasons though. Market Days are 1st and 3rd Saturday and next Saturday, May 30th, I have invited a guest speaker to come to the shop at 10 and talk all about insects. This would be a good one to bring the kiddos to, because Kim usually does some show and tell. Yeah, really. ;)

I hope you all have a peaceful weekend this Memorial Day holiday. We'll not have an official work day. Look for your email next week when I catch up on newsletter stuff. I'm hoping Butch and Bubba are almost done with our web page so we can update everyone there instead of creating an email everytime.

Y'all take care,

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Doctors warn about GE Foods

The best way to know you're not eating GE or Genetically modified foods, is to know your farmer. Eden's searches high and low for organic seed and plant starts for you! And if I can't find them, I research what I'm getting before we plant it to be as sure as we can be that it is safe, not GE'd and/or full of pesticides.

Sweet potato starts have been a real challenge. I'm not late yet, but we're probably not going to find organic starts to get started this year so I will be using the same producer as one of my farmer peers who is USDA Certified Organic. He's known the guy a long time and uses his starts. Then, we'll try to have enough of our own starts for next year and the future. THAT is the best way I can assure we're using organic sources.

But, when you buy processed foods or eat out - you may very well be eating more GMO than you realize.

Pass along the word - Who's YOUR Farmer?

And, if that wasn't sad is this? CSA is the only way a small farm has a chance with these kinds of statistics... the wonder of it all....who gets all of the money?

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day at the Soggy Farm

Whew - when it rains it pours, eh?

This was the sight on the back end of the pond the afternoon of Gleaning day a few Saturday's ago. And the pics are from the front end of the pond where we usually walk. Would have needed a rowboat that afternoon! The taters flooded, but I think they'll be ok, thanks to our sandy soil. It drains pretty fast out here.

Other than weeding there isn't a lot to do with it so wet though. I've got the irrigation lines all run and will be splitting it up into 2 systems later this week. 300' of flat tape and all of those 100' drip lines are just a bit too long to do an efficient job. So we'll water it like 2 gardens rather than up our power needs or stress the pump.

We have had 2 meet and greet days at the farm and I would like to welcome 4 new shares! Heather and Jason, Amy and Greg, Stephanie, and Kristen. We have 1 more date, next Saturday, due to the rain we had yesterday. Amy and Greg were troopers though, I must say - came with their golashes and everything!

I am constantly humbled by everyone's commitment to sustain a local farm in the Dallas area. I do not know what all is in store for its' contribution to this community, but I feel it will be wonderful. It is all possible through the support of you great folks, too! Without your financial backing, I can't do all I do.

And, here is one of those things I am going to have the opportunity to do next Sunday -

Eden's Garden will be visiting with Michael Libbie of Rural Lifestyle on Highway 6 radio show next Sunday 8am go here for details of webcast, unless you'll be traveling through Central Iowa and can listen on the radio.

Cool eh? from Texas to Iowa! We'll talk about the farm/CSA and our fight to keep our rural way of life, including our right to keep chickens and roosters in town. And you can betcha I'll tell everyone how our CSA family is making it all happen in DFW!

Well gang, it's too wet to play in the dirt today, so I'm taking some inside time and R&R.

Remember, you can always call me up (or email) if you want to come out to the farm for a mom's day out or kids trip. We can always find simple things to do that won't leave you too sore. ;)

I think we're still a few weeks from harvesting, but I see squash and maters growing and the taters are blooming, too. It won't be too long!

Enjoy this beautiful weather - see you all soon.


Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Court and the Farm

Our first mater! The heirlooms that were planted several weeks
ago are just starting to put out some green fruit.

Now, for some not so great news....

I went to the court hearing with my fellow farmer this past Tuesday. Court, I must say, is NOT the best environment to get to say what you need to and make your points clear. My friend was unable to clearly state her side, and unfortunately, by the time she found her voice, the judge had already decided that because she wasn't electronically available at all times, basically, she would be advised to work out a monetary settlement with her customer.
For those of you who've never farmed, believe it or not, some of us don't generally take our cell phones out in the field with us. At least I don't, unless I know I am expecting a call. It is so sandy/muddy/wet/dirty out there - and guess what.....cell phones don't much like that. And in this case, cell phone signals weren't even available until recently at her farm. And you know what, by the time we get inside at the end of the day, we're pretty tired. And probably, it is pretty late. So when our email is down, and we leave a message on your phone, and you can't reach us back - it isn't because we're avoiding you. We're busy and pooped!

I must add though, I told the court that I really, honestly felt that if one of my CSA supporters was trying to reach me, and didn't hear back from me in 2 weeks, that you'd probably come out to the farm to make sure I wasn't dead out in the gardens! THAT my friends, is what CSA is all about. Creating a caring, bonding relationship between the person that grows the food and the people who eat it.

If you've missed the last posting, please scroll down and watch the sweet, loving video that our CSA member Charity Gordon (and the help of her kiddos) made for me. This is just one of the wonderful things that keeps us going on bad days. When the pump fails, the field is flooded, the fire ants are stinging, the sun is scorching, the tractor is stuck in the mud, or the bones are aching. It is all soooo worth it to me! I love you guys - and I love what we're all doing together!

Only a few of our community took advantage of the Gleaning Opportunity
this past weekend. They all left with a nice variety of yummies though!

Unfortunately, some people in some CSA groups are more worried about themselves than the concept of community. I hope we've not totally lost our farmer friend from the farming world. One unpleasant CSA member can really dampen your spirits though. Your farmers care enough to grow the very best for you all - it is hard to think that not everyone has the same kind of care back for those who do the growing. CSA is supposed to be a partnership of sorts, not a consumer/vendor situation. I guess sometimes at the bigger farms, it becomes less of a partnership with the farmer and more of a pay your money/pick up your food type situation. But you can be sure that this is NOT what Robyn Van En had in mind when she introduced CSA's concept to America. And this is not what Eden's CSA ever has plans to become.

The judge's decision really had nothing to do with the original reason this lady filed the suit against her fact, he swore he backed the farmer up on the fact that she had a bad year because farming had inherint risks and she, as a member, accepted those risks. What he did say, basically, is if the farmer had called her customer back more (what is enough?) times to tell her there wasn't anything to come pick up - he wouldn't have a problem with the situation. I guess he'd have dropped the case if the computer didn't crash and there was cell signals up there. Sometimes, I think the courts just want to show they forced a comprimise - no one wins then. But, it was a setttlment, not a judgement and that part at least is good. But the farmer still had to pay money out of her pocket as her spring season begins....not good.
Anyway, if I am ever not providing you guys with the customer service you feel we need to give all of our members - please, let me know directly. Come see me at the farm if you've not heard back from me. Email is usually the best way, but you know what, computers crash, AT&T's DSL is not invincible and sometimes, I just plain can't keep my peepers open another minute to answer another email! But, we'll talk about it, as we've done in the past. And, if needed, we'll put it in front of our Advisory Committee. We'll resolve it as a COMMUNITY!
Thanks again to Eden's Garden CSA family; for making this farm possible. I coudn't do it without your support and your help!
Come out to the meet and greet Saturday if you'd like to meet some potential new members. There were about 12 shares worth of members that decided our CSA wasn't working for them and the final installment of their annual commitments need to be picked up. Normally, we don't do seasonal shares, but this is a good way to let someone "try" our farm. We'll ask for annual commitments when our new farming year begins in the fall. Bring a friend or neighbor who may be interested in our tomatoes, potatoes, onions, squash, peppers, melons, cukes, zukes and whatever else we harvest. YUM!

After only 2 inches of rain Saturday afternoon - the already saturated soil
just couldn't take it anymore. Ladies, this is the road you walked on earlier
in the day on Saturday when you came picking!

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Life on the Farm

Y'all are going to LOVE this little video that Charity Gordon from our CSA family put together!

I already love what I do, growing the best food I know how to grow for great, appreciative wonderful families, but boy, on a hard day - all I'll have to do is come inside and watch this to remember how worth it, it all is.

Thank you Charity! I'll be playing this on Saturday at our meet and greet for potential new CSA members.


Eat Your Food - Naturally!