Are you hungry??? Do you miss me??? Good.
Get your "crazy farmer fix" this Saturday or next. Farmer Dan, Baby Percy and I will be bursting at the seams with gorgeous organic transplants and a few early spring yummies (like free-range eggs!!!) at the KC Food Circle 2012 Annual Exhibition of Farmers!!!
EAT LOCAL AND ORGANIC!!
Saturday, March 31
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shawnee Civic Center
13817 Johnson Dr.
Saturday, April 7
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Penn Valley Community College Gym
3201 Southwest Trafficway
Kansas City, MO
You can meet a whole bunch of wacky organic farmers, procure brilliant transplants for your garden, and stuff your bellies with the finest locally grown foods including spring greens, free-range meats & eggs, gourmet mushrooms, and a whole lot more. Are you coming?? Of course you are!!!
Another up-coming event not to be missed:
Friday, April 20th, 4-9 PM
Our righteous gang of growers will have a luscious assortment of warm-weather seedlings like heirloom tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and more. Your garden will taste better than ever!! Save the date.
Alright, alright. Enough event promo. Let's talk DIRT:
URBAVORE URBAN FARM Spring Up-Date
You know you have a diversified farmstead when your breakfast "scramble" consists of chicken, duck and goose eggs. Seriously...that's all I've been eating lately! I don't have time to cook complicated meals anymore.
As lovely and necessary as "diversity" may be, it sure as heck makes for an exhausting, ever challenging lifestyle on a farm. Dan and I run around like psychopaths trying to manage our ever-growing ecosystem. One minute you're prepping next spring's asparagus field, the next minute you're pruning the apple orchard, then you're seeding roots vegetables, then planting peach trees, next you're moving the chickens to fresh pasture, and finally you are getting attacked by geese while attempting to seed the pond dam with beneficial grasses. All the while there's a BABY strapped to your back and you can't remember the last time you actually sat down and breathed! Oh yeah...did I mention that all this bio-diversity takes place in the CITY with a nice view of downtown?? Hah! Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself. What a trip. Thirteen freakin' urban acres dedicated to REAL FOOD.
IT'S AWESOME...really, it is!! But the daily grind will eat you alive. Dan and I hit rock bottom a few nights ago as we drudged home from the veggie fields at 8:30 pm, dirt-ridden & starving. We said to each other "what the hell are we doing??...this is madness!". Ya know, in some respects it's not really the farm that tips the iceberg. Perhaps it's the fact that we run the BADSEED Market, teach classes, host big events, run a city-wide Compost Program, and have a freakin' 9 month old!! What the heck is wrong with us. Why can't we just TAKE IT EASY. How did we open up this can of worms???
Speaking of worms - let's look on the bright side - I have a heck of a lot of those in my luscious "no-till" veggie fields. Thanks to the worms, this year's spring crops are looking pretty groovy thus far. Lettuce heads are in the ground, peas & fava beans are up & growing, beets & turnips have germinated nicely, gourmet salad mixes are seeded and looking sexy, and cabbage & kale have just been transplanted soon to be followed by bulb fennel & rainbow chard. Hot damn...those will be some good eats!! In addition, the 2013 strawberry plots have been prepped, the apple & peach orchards have been beautifully pruned, and new peach & plum trees arrived last week and went into the ground today. The farm is GROWING...yes it is...and someday it will be truly incredible.
Well, we aint just sowing seeds on the farm. The food is the fun stuff, but we have many more projects swallowing our time and energy. For one, we've recently completed the massive 10 ft deer fence around our property. Remember??...(we lost nearly 13,000 dollars worth of crops last year to those bastards!!). We have also nearly completed the construction of our Farmstand. It's really wicked. It is constructed entirely from giant hedge posts that Farmer Dan tirelessly cut down from the surrounding land. The finishing touch will be a "living roof" covered in sod. Who knows...maybe I'll graze chickens up there for the Farmstand Season Opening!! Beyond that, we are in the design phase for our net zero home. We have been working with a killer architect to create plans for an earth bermed, solar powered personal dwelling. Designs are not final yet, but I have included a couple renderings. The house will sit on the highest point on the farm and will be completely bermed on the north as well as the south (with the exception of a stream of windows for southern sun exposure). The east and west walls will be entirely glass...(so we can see the sun rise and set). It's quite breath-taking. Once we work out the details we will go through the elaborate permitting process and hopefully break ground this summer.
What else..what else...Oh yeah! Our 2012 Farm Apprentice Crew has started as of March 1st and they are kicking ass. THANKS GUYS!!! They make our craziness possible by giving their blood, sweat, and tears Tuesday thru Friday. They got a formal "fruit tree workshop" today and went on to plant peach trees like pros.
Last but not least - BABY PERCY UP-DATE!! You thought I'd leave that out, huh! No way!! That little man consumes my every moment, so I couldn't possibly forget that. Percy is an absolute doll and he's growing like a weed. He's fat, cherubic, smells like buttermilk, and drives his Mommy crazy with LOVE, STRESS, and more LOVE. He's with Dan and I in the field everyday and he absolutely loves being outdoors. He eats a heck of a lot of dirt, but I figure it's better than Gerber baby food! Don't get me wrong - it is HARD being a farmer/mommy. I am deeply in love with my land and even more deeply in love with my son. Having that much love in your life is a good thing, BUT they suck my soul out somedays and I just wanna drop dead.
That being said - I AM TRYING TO FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE THESE DAYS!! The positive is this: the 2012 Growing Season couldn't possibly be harder than last year. Let's just cover some of the highlights...ya know...for fun! In April, my three gorgeous dairy goats (and soul sisters) were brutally slaughtered by dogs. In June, my deer dog & beloved companion was stolen from the farm the same night Percy was born. By July, my entire heirloom tomato crop had been destroyed by deer along with countless other crops. Shortly after that, my die-hard apprentice Calvin was bitten by a venomous snake while harvesting squash and wound up with a $50,000 dollar hospitable bill. I KID YOU NOT!! This is my life, folks. What a f%#&ing ride!!!! So, in comparison, 2012 should be a breeze!! Right?? Don't hold your breath.
Until next time...
Happy Spring & ON WITH THE REVOLUTION!