Saturday, November 20, 2010

Before the rains, we harvested Amaranth seed....

Before the rains, we harvested Amaranth seed.....

Nilah separates the chaff from the seed of the Amaranth plant.

Amaranth is a high protein grain from South and Central America. It grows very well in our poor soils and is relatively drought tolerant.

Ah ha! We've created conditions conducive to critters!

A Lesser Goldfinch visits regularly to the farm for a lunch of fresh sunflower seeds!

You can also eat the leaves- a simple recipe is to saute some onion and garlic in a pan and then add the washed leaves. The water sticking to the leaves is enough to cook them- and they're delicious!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ladybug spotted!

"Along the path a child walked,
he looked up and down the sunflower stalks,
looking for a bug that was red and had black spots,
the ladybug is what he sought."

...and to the starts for a better future (of eating...)
They allows us to avoid the hassle of defending their births from the pill bugs, which exist in all parts of the garden and soil.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jumping for joy on the serpentine path at the Seeds Farm!

"The most creative and necessary work that humans can do is to work with the soil as co-producers with nature.
-Vandana Shiva

October Farmstand at City

Jill and Joseph show off a sweet Autumn table of organic flower bouquets, pumpkins and sweet potatoes!

AGRI 102 class prepping a bed in the flower garden

Students in the Intro to Sustainable Urban Agriculture class learn how to prepare a bed for planting up in the flower garden.

butterflies are tres chic!

Kaylinn shows off the latest garden fashions at the farm: Monarch Butterfly Barrettes!

Tomato hornworms are good teachers....

Joseph and Suza share their enthusiasm in having found a Tomato Hornworm in their zone of the farm. These very large caterpillars (in the 'Manduca' species) are voracious eaters of leaves, stems and sometimes even the fruits of your tomatoes. We tenderly remove all of these larval foes and plant beneficial attracting plants to bring in Trichogramma wasps that attack the eggs of these
ginormous creatures. Plants that attract the wasps are flowering plants in the Apiaceae family like Fennel, Dill and Cilantro.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Godspeed! Finally some rain! October 20th 2010

The market on Tuesday (9:30-11:30) was granted wet molecules from the sky, as well as the rest of the day.

Braising Greens Demo, led by Paul, consisted of Amaranth greens, sweet potato greens, dandelion greens, kale, soy sauce, sesame seeds and some kinetic energy (heat). The samples attracted nearby campus wild life. The mix was spectacular, not a single person displayed disappointment.

This is what Braising Greens look like when they are finished.

Here are some of the various emotions the campus wild life displayed, during the braising green extravaganza.

Some campus wild life frown upon those who hustle the farmers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Morning Kaylinn and Julia!"

Another beautiful morning with docile Monarch butterflies...
Seeds at City farmers bring it for the SWEET POTATO Challenge!
The Rules: Make your favorite sweet potato dish ONLY with the sweet tators harvested from the Seeds garden.
The Challengers: Paul, Jill, Oscar
The Menu: Paul's undeniably Yummy Patties, Jill's spiced Sweet Potato ice cream, and Oscar's kickn' Sweet Potato Lasagna.
And the winner is... Oscar! Congratulations farmer and to all the Challengers!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The first class in Sustainable Urban Agriculture at City College!

The AGRI 102 class in Sustainable Urban Agricultural Practice shared a potluck at the Seeds Farm the other day to celebrate a day of hard work growing food.

This class of 27 students are learning skills in propagation, composting, water wise irrigating methods for our arid region, building soil fertility, integrated pest management, fruit tree care and a whole grip of important skills involved in managing small-scale organic urban farms and food gardens.

These students work hard to help care for a half acre campus farm at City College as well as attend field trips around the county, visiting working farms and community gardens. Help me welcome this amazing class of farming students at City!

Friday, September 17, 2010

our compost is cookin'!

Here are some of our apprentices turning a pile of compost that had reached 160 degrees. What you see is the metabolic oxidation of hard-working microbes in the pile as they 'burn up' or digest, carbon-based organic matter, respiring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. By layering our piles in healthy proportions of 'greens' and 'browns' (or nitrogen materials and carbon materials), adding air and moisture- we encourage legions of heat-loving bacteria, or 'thermophiles', to decompose prunings and food scraps and other organic matter into a rich, brown compost that we amend back into our vegetable beds.
Hooray for compost and building healthy soil!

"From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity."
-Edvard Munch

Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome to our new Fall Apprentices!

Welcome to our newest batch of Seeds apprentices at the farm!
Kaylinn, Jill, Oscar, Joseph, Michelle and Nillah will be helping to transition our Summer garden into the cooler season. Come meet them any Tuesday or Saturday from 9-Noon on Volunteer Days. They'll be busy at work and would love your help!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Julia found a bee swarm!

Julia found a swarm of bees and called Paul

there is the swarm, the bees need a new home!

Paul suits up Yael, Julia, Sarita and Anthony

Thumbs up with bee gloves on

We're almost ready

Everyone is ready

Paul's going in with the bucket

Slowly but surely, he cuts the plant the bees have swarmed onto

Paul is a smooth operator, he got the swarm

everyone gets a good look

finder's keepers!

Paul puts the bees in the bucket and then puts a canvas on top

then he taped the canvas down

happy bee suit girl Yael

Now the bees are on their way to their new home!

Anthony and the dino kale

Cindy and the hidden watering can

Marco and the pumpkin