Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season full of friends, family, and local FOOD. We've missed you! Farmer Dan and I didn't get much relaxing in. (Imagine that). Dan has been spending his days 45 feet off the ground dismantling the roof of the historic barn we are tearing down and reconstructing on our property. Most people think we are nuts for doing this, but it translates into $40,000 worth of material for $1,500. Nuff said! I, on the other hand, have been spending my days spreading endless beds of straw mulch for our 2011 "no-till" vegetable production. "No-till" is a type of cultivation practice that views the soil as a living organism, thus avoiding the disturbance of it's precious microbiology through machine powered plows, tillers, etc. This practice is commonly employed on smaller scale homestead gardens and not commercial production due to it's labor intensive nature. But, what can I say, Dan and I have impenetrable ethics and furthermore we are masochistic fools! So, here I am laying thick straw mulch over endless fields in January in (sometimes) below freezing temperatures. The particular straw I am working with right now is 3 years old, and has begun to break down quite a bit thus covering any exposed parts of my body with a black film of filth which I lovingly refer to as my "dirt mask". While wearing my "dirt mask" surrounded by my straw-covered heaven (or hell), I often fall victim to sinful fantasies of giant tractors ripping through my field at full speed pulverizing my precious soil into lifeless powder....me in the midst of it all laughing wickedly as I effortlessly sow bed after bed of corn and beans into the freshly tilled dirt. When I tell Dan about these fantasies he looks at me with sheer disgust. But alas, these are the shameful sins of a "beyond organic" farmer. Other people's sins consist of adultery, gluttony, or greed. Mine consist of fantasies of deep tillage! It's comical isn't it? Anyway, I promise to leave both my sins and my "dirt mask" behind this Friday at the BADSEED Farmers Market from 4-8 PM!!!! This Friday is "first friday" in the Crossroads which means we will have live music from our favorite "folky" friends of Checkered Past. What more could you ask for - live music and live, nude farmers.....just kidding! What I meant to say was live music and live, nude vegetables!!!!!
Okay, before I get to this week's organic offerings, I have a whole bunch of "farm up-dates" and announcements to share with you. I haven't been on the ball with that lately, and now I can hardly keep up! Here we go:
URBAVORE Urban Farm is Born -
(ur-ba-vore [ûr'bə-vôr] noun - one who consumes urban-grown foods)
What's in a name?? Apparently, a lot. The most common question I get as a farmer is not "what crops do you grow?" but "how'd you come up with the name BADSEED?". Well, don't worry, BADSEED isn't going anywhere. It will forever be the name of our Farmers Market and community-based business that advocates for local food and urban agriculture. However, the new farm (which is it's own living and breathing organism) deserves a name. Thus, URBAVORE is born. It is a made-up word with a made-up definition, but I think the significance in the name is pretty obvious. As the seasons pass and our urban farm becomes more and more fruitful, there's a pretty good chance many of you will indeed become "urbavores". Move over "100 mile diet"!! The local food of the future is but a metro bus ride away!
COMPOST IS THE FUTURE -
The alchemy of composting is truly one of nature's miracles. The fact that today's left-over meat loaf can become tomorrow's heirloom tomatoes is mind-boggling. On that note, BADSEED is proud to announce that we have received a very generous grant from the Mid America Regional Council's (MARC) Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources to initiate the city's very first Residential Composting Program. Isn't that exciting!!!
I'm a girl who has lived in extremely progressive cities like San Francisco where composting is actually a law and glass bottles can actually go into the recycling bin for curb-side pick up. Imagine that.....recyclables in the recycling bin! When I moved back to KC I was sort of offended! I was an environmentalist and this city made it so hard to be "green". Although we don't have the "greenest" of city services or policies, we do have some pretty awesome "green-minded" entrepreneurs willing to take matters into their own hands.....with the help of awesome non-profits like MARC. Take for instance what the Boulevard Brewing guys have done with Ripple Glass. You can now find glass recycling bins all over the greater metro area. Then there is Missouri Organics who take food scraps from businesses, grocery stores, and institutions and transform them into valuable top soil and compost that is sold back to the community. BADSEED hopes to join the ranks of these fine businesses in sincerely contributing to the "greening" of KC.
In a nut shell, here is how the program will work: URBAVORE in east KC will be open for compost drop-off during regular hours throughout the week. We will have large dumpsters in the parking lot which will accept ALL food scraps (including meat and dairy as well as cooked foods). We will also accept yard waste within certain parameters. We will manage the compost in large windrows at the back of the property. Compost will be spread heavily onto the vegetable and fruit production at specific times during the season. The compost will feed our soil allowing us to produce loads of healthy, organic fruits and vegetables which will be sold on-site at our farmstand.
The opening of the BADSEED Residential Composting Program will simultaneously occur with the opening of our farmstand in June. I will keep you posted on the details!
URBAVORE 2011 Apprentice Call -
We will be accepting two full-time apprentices this season as well as two "volunteer" apprentices. Only serious applicants need apply. Details of the program are attached. (SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR DETAILS)
Geez!! That was a freakin' mouthful. I apologize but I had to get it all out. The REALLY BIG NEWS is being postponed until next week. Hopefully by then I, myself, will have come to terms with it! Stay tuned....
This Week's Organic Offerings:
JJ Farms, John Kaiahua (Raytown,MO)
**John will not be present, but I will be dealing his goodies: