20110225 Funky Friday Farmers Market at BADSEED - EAT LOCAL FRIDAYS IN THE CROSSROADS

Glorious Food Revolutionists -

Can you believe it?? This Friday from 4-8 PM will be the last *Winter* Farmers Market of the season!!! As an "eater" I am DEVASTATED......but as a farmer, I am thankful for the break so that I can focus on spring planting. You should be thankful too. Without this much needed "hiatus" from market, many of us farmers would not be able to zero-in and focus on the DELICIOUS BOUNTY intended for our big Season Opening on Friday May, 6th. That's right - the BADSEED Farmers Market will be back in full swing come May. Mark your calendars......or simply pay attention to the grumbling of your bellies!! Your favorite gang of "dirty-finger-nailed farmers" will be bustin' at the seams with glorious earthly delights plucked straight from the dirt. Until then - don't forget to stock up this Friday on a wonderful selection of free-range/grass-fed meats & eggs, gourmet mushrooms, raw honey, artisan baked breads, canned goods, sweet treats, farmstead sheep's milk cheese, and more.
As if that weren't enough: POT-LUCK PARTY this Friday at the BADSEED Farmers' Market!!
Originally I had asked just the vendors to bring a little dish to share so that we could feast in celebration of a long market year. Then I thought.......why not extend the invitation to my wonderful customers?? So, if you'd like to "feast with the farmers" please bring a yummy dish to share. Booze are welcome as well!!!!!.....(says the pregnant lady). Carmen of Bigg Blue Farm is bringing a big ole' pot of Romanian Food & cabbage rolls. Whatever your specialty is, bring it and partake in good food, good drink, and good community. I will have plates, glasses, and silverware available - the REAL THING! I may be up until 3 AM doing the dishes......but we have a NO WASTE policy at BADSEED.

**Our "house band", Checkered Past, will serenade us as we eat. Usually they only come on "first fridays", so this is a real special treat!

Moving Along.....

I apologize in advance! This may be a bit of a long-winded "market e-mail" because it is my last one for a while. BADSEED has A LOT going on these days and we need your on-going interest and support! Read on if you are "hard-core", if not......just come see us this Friday and EAT! (.....however, if you are junkie for KC Politics, I suggest you read the Tales From An Urban Farm section - it is pretty juicy this time around!!)

Spring Cleaning anyone???.....specifically the garage or the garden shed?? BADSEED is asking for the donation of any unwanted garden tools or building tools alike. Shovels, forks, hoes, spades, wheel barrels, rakes, hammers, axes, etc.......we'll take anything and everything in that category. Rusty and Ugly is A-OK, however we don't need any broken tools....(we have enough of those!!). Please don't give us anything that you will use someday. We only want to help you rid your life of excess. No charity!! You can drop stuff by this Friday at the BADSEED Market. If you'd like to drop something by the farm at a later date, please e-mail me.

2011 BADSEED/URBAVORE Events Not To Be Missed:

1) Organic Transplant Sale at BADSEED, Friday, April 15th, 4-9 PM
"Join your favorite gang of farmers and get your hands on heirloom tomatoes,
eggplant, peppers, herbs, flowers, and more for your glorious homestead garden!!"

2) BADSEED Farmers' Market Season Opening, Friday, May 6th, 4-9 PM
"....yay for Spring! Feast upon the first "fruits" of the season. Our usual gang of
growers will tantalize your tastebuds with the freshest flavors in town. Expect new
vendors and a whole host of local/organic goodies!!!....plus live music and festivities!"

Saturday, June 4th, 2-6 PM
(the farmstand will be open every Saturday through October)
Come and visit our 13.5 acre urban farmstead in it's very first season of production!! Experience first-hand where your food is grown. Enjoy a wide array of delicious, seasonal vegetables and fruits grown organically and with love in the Kansas City dirt!! Take a self-guided farm tour during your visit and don’t miss out on our whimsical chickens, goats, geese, and ducks!! Bring your food scraps while you’re at it!! We will compost them on-site and turn them into next season’s bounty!!! We accept FOOD STAMPS & can double your money through the Beans & Greens Program!!!

Saturday, June 4th, 2-6 PM
Drop-Off Hours: Wednesday thru Saturday, 9-6 PM (starting June 4)
*Sponsored by BADSEED, the MARC Solid Waste Management District, and the MO Dept. of Natural Resources
(That's right folks! It is a double whammy with our farmstand opening!)
Composting is the solution to the solid waste crisis that faces municipalities nationwide. It is among the most basic means of CONSERVATION ensuring the health of our environment for future generations. Join us in our effort to “green” our communities by utilizing Kansas City’s first Residential Composting Program at URBAVORE. Please read more about this on our website!! It is soooo cool!!

Tales from an Urban Farm

I bet I've never told you the story of how two, totally whacky, 28 year old, anarchist farmers ended up with 13.5 acres of "prime development" land in the heart of KCMO...

Well, it's a long one, and I probably wouldn't bother except for the fact that today is the primary election for the KCMO City Council candidates. There is a connection way too juicy for me not to open my BIG FAT MOUTH! Here I go:

In 2009, the City came down hard on my beloved BADSEED Farm (a 2.5 acre mini-farm in South KC) due to the whims of a few politically-connected neighbors who felt that the presence of an organic farm would bring down property values. The situation harkened back to the racism and classism that has for so long divided East and West in Kansas City. The story caught the attention of both local and national media, and eventually spawned the city's first "urban agriculture ordinance". Farmer Dan and I had hoped to keep that farm afloat, but we ultimately had to move on. Somehow an unwelcoming neighborhood filled with bigots in which composting, volunteerism, and community supported agriculture receives the highest levels of scrutiny didn't seem the place for us to spend the rest of our days. We began looking for our "dream land".....large, mistreated, vacant lots & wasted space in more blighted parts of Kansas City!! Our thought was: we may have lost the "battle" with BADSEED Farm, but when it comes to urban agriculture, we will win the "war"! Our plans included the creation of a large-scale, diversified urban farm with orchard grounds, a vineyard, and livestock!

We scoured the city like madmen for several months; both by car and by Internet we searched for large open spaces that were not parks or cemeteries. We finally came across our now beloved 13.5 acre lot on the east side of town. Through Dan's master research skills, we got the scoop on the land's owners, zoning, history, etc. We came to find out that the land was owned by the Housing Economic Development Financial Corporation (HEDFC) - a non-profit, low income housing agency that worked with the City and HUD on very large low-income housing projects. For the last 60 years the land had been slotted for huge developments. At one point it was supposed to be Long View Community College, then a middle school, then something else, so on and so forth. HEDFC bought the land over fifteen years ago, and had been paying $20K a year just to mow the damn thing!! (By the time we came along to purchase it, they had sunk a quarter million without even drawing up a plan.) Talk about a waste of resources! We also ran across HEDFC's name on several other large properties in the City. Why, we wondered, was this non-profit sitting on so much land?

Turns out that about a decade ago, HEDFC had gotten itself mixed up in a HUGE scandal. Apparently the organization "misappropriated" (Is that a fancy word for "laundered"?) a lot of funds, and got caught! The story broke when it was discovered that HEDFC was constructing homes at a cost of about $600K when the homes were only worth about $150K. While the story had not yet found its end, it looked as though some wheels were being greased with federal money. As a result, the organization went into receivership. At the time I didn't even know what "receivership" meant. (It basically means that a non-profit's assets have been turned over to federal court because of mismanagement.) To most people, receivership is code for bureaucratic nightmare, but Dan and I were naive so we approached the "guy in charge" and unknowingly launched ourselves into the most wild roller coaster of our lives. To make a VERY LONG story short, we spent over 9 tireless months leveraging this land, having to deal directly with the City, HUD and federal court. We got exposed to a system that (frankly) I wish didn't exist. BUT, after endless proposal writing, community meetings, door-knocking, lobbying, pleading, bleeding, crying, screaming, cursing WE FINALLY SUCCESSFULLY PURCHASED 13.5 ACRES OF URBAN LAND......land that no one in a "suit" thought we would (or should) ever get our hands on. Developers everywhere beware!! We then somehow managed to re-zone the property from "residential" to "agricultural" freeing us from the problems we faced on BADSEED Farm and creating quite a buzz at the City Plan Commission. Apparently it was the first time in the city's history that a property has been down-zoned. They laughingly commented that we were "plowing new ground". This final step made our dreams of creating a large-scale diversified farm in the city a delicious reality.......and a pioneering effort yet to be seen in most cities across the USA!! Thus URBAVORE was born.

Okay, Okay.....so what's the connection with the City Council Elections??

Well a certain Ken Bacchus is running for the 5th District seat. (URBAVORE resides in the 5th). Ken Bacchus also happens to be the former president of HEDFC!!...you know, the guy responsible for, at the very least, some very serious mismanagement of federal housing dollars. I'd be hard pressed to name another person who is more directly responsible for the dismantling of HEDFC and the liquidation of all their properties. He's the very reason two anarchist farmers now own this crazy bit of land!! Well folks, it sure gives credence to the phrase "the crooks in city hall". Geeze!! We don't know whether or not Mr. Bacchus was engaged in any wrong doing, but he certainly never faced any consequences. Most of the financial responsibility of non-profits falls to the board of directors. Seems unfair to me. Considering the current situation, I don't know if I should slap the guy or shake his hand. Did he steal from the taxpayers? Did he abuse his power? Hard to say, but I do know he's the reason I have my land, for crying out loud! It's weird...AND it's also a good cause to think twice about voting for the guy in the final election, if you happen to be in the 5th District.

So, in conclusion??.....who the hell knows! Sometimes I feel like Big Brother is always watching and I should just keep my mouth shut and play by their rules (or my precious land will be taken away from me). But then I get a little sunshine on my face & a little dirt under my nails.....and I simply cannot resist the urge to open that big mouth of mine and howl at the moon! Power to the people.

Until next time on Tales From An Urban Farm....

This Weeks Organic Offerings:

Chris Glenn, Baker Extraordinaire!! (KCMO)
*GORGEOUS ARTISAN BREADS baked with love in a wood-fired oven. Don't miss out......this guys sells out fast!!

Bigg Blue Farm, Stan & Carmen Biggs (Mosby, MO)
*ACORN SQUASH in several colors and varieties!! Last of the season!

PJ's Mushroom Farm, Paul & Judy Miller (Warrensburg, MO)
*Farm-Fresh BROWN EGGS !!
*Recycled Art and Wall-Hangings
Western Hills Produce, Alice & Marvin Huenefeld (Wellington, MO)
*Farm-Fresh Brown EGGS
*Jams and Jellies from homegrown fruit
*Baked goods from homegrown, hand-milled wheat including:
-moist breads
-pumpkin pies!!
-chocolate zucchini and pumpkin loaves
-banana bread
-cookies & a whole lot more
**hand turned wood carved items by Marvin!!

Parker Farms, Tom and Paula Parker (Richmond, MO) www.parkerfarmsmeats.com
*A variety of 100% grass-fed beef and all natural pork including:
*Pork Brats
*Pre-cooked Chipotle Brats (with cheese and cranberries)
*Pre-cooked Franks (both hot and mild)
*Spare Ribs
*Rib Steaks & Ribeyes
*Ground Beef and patties for the grill!!
***Delicious LAMB CUTS!!!!
**Tea Towels and homegrown Teas in orange, chocolate, lemon balm, spearmint, and peppermint!!!! Samples available.

Wells Family Farms, Kim & Steve Wells (King City, MO) www.wellsfamilyfarms.com
*Certified Organic Grass-fed Beef in steaks, roasts, ground, and special cuts
*Natural Bug Repellant
*Diatomaceous Earth

Green Dirt Farm, Jacqueline Smith & Sarah Hoffman (Weston, MO) www.GreenDirtFarm.com
*ARTISAN SHEEP'S MILK CHEESE in Aged Varieties including Wooly Rind, Bossa, Dirt Lover, & Prairie Tomme as well as fresh spreadable varieties in Rosemary,Nettle, Lovage, Confetti, and Firecracker!!!!
*100 % Grass-Fed Lamb in a variety of cuts

Bread Of Life Bakery, The Crowther Family (Stewartsville, MO) www.breadoflifebakery.net
*sandwich breads
*savory breads
*sweet breads
*specialty treats (vegan as well)
***Gluten-Free Breads and treats from the "Sweet Sisters" new line of baked goods!!!
**ALL MADE FROM 100% Locally Grown, Organic Wheat!!!!

Puddin' Head Coffee, Harry Lee, (Raytown, MO) www.puddinheadcoffee.com
(HARRY IS BACK IN BLACK!!! He had been absent for the last couple weeks due to "technical difficulties". Your coffee withdrawals are officially over. DRINK UP!!!!!!!)
*Only the BEST fair-trade/organic/micro-roasted coffee in town!!
Get yourself some beans or grab yourself a mug.
Other goodies include:

Certified Organic Flour from Heartland Mill
THE MILL IS BACKED UP!! My order has been delayed for over a month now. AAAAAHHHHH! I need my flour. (Believe me, when you eat a 100% local diet you cannot go without local flour....you'll starve!!) It will get here someday......stay tuned.

RAW HONEY!!!....YES!! Les Miller (our wicked honey man) will be a buzzin' this Friday with that godly golden nectar and bees wax to boot!

and, of course, Kombucha Mushroom Tea (Brooke's home brew)
Sip while you shop!
**Cultures available with instructions. Learn to brew your own and NEVER buy it again!!

LIVE NUDE VEGETABLES!! and other organic delights...

Yours Truly,

- farmer and mistress of the BADSEED

An Urban-Organic Farm & Market
Celebrating Local Food, Culture, and Community
Fridays, 4-8pm*
1909 McGee*KCMO*64108

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