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A Portrait of Spring

April 16, 2014

First Volunteer Day of the Spring

April 8, 2014

Hurray!  Spring may be coming after all!

Saturday is supposed to be warmish and sunny so CELEBRATE by joining us on the farm for our first volunteer day of the season.

On Saturday, April 12, from 9:00 until 12:00 we’ll be outside raking beds, preparing raised boxes for planting, picking up garbage, spreading compost, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and anything else that needs to be done.

Come join us!

 

Waiting for Spring

March 17, 2014

Whew!  It’s been quite a challenging winter;  however, I have been longing for years to have a good, old-fashioned, hard winter.  I refuse to complain.  The snow adds water to the ground in a nice slow trickle, watering deep and filling up our ground water resources.  The cold kills unsuspecting bugs and lets us start with a clean plate (to a certain extent, anyway).  It is also nice to be forced to rest.  When it is this cold, there is no going outside to do stuff (whatever the task may be).  The ONLY option is to stay inside, curled up on the couch with a blanket and a good book, or make taffy with a bunch of friends. :)

making taffy on the front porch

making taffy on the front porch

Since it’s been so incredibly long since I posted anything, I thought I would show some pictures of us waiting for spring in our dormant state that has been so familiar for the last 4 months.    I haven’t even shaved the dog for months – something I told myself I wouldn’t do again because the long hair is so difficult to maintain.  But he doesn’t get a winter coat like most dogs, so he’d be cold if I kept his hair short.

OK,  so we have done some things, but not much in the way of outside activities.  This winter we’ve been working with Journey’s End on a refugee program.  A group of them will be working on our farm this summer to gain experience with urban farming. http://buffalorising.com/2013/12/journeys-end-helps-refugees-through-upcoming-urban-farm-project/   They will also be working on their own farm on Brewster St.  In February, I began planting some seeds in the hoop house:  spinach, mustards, lettuces, carrots.  I have also started some plants inside: onions, leeks, shallots, spinach, cabbage, and some others.  Other than that . . .  we watch and wait for spring.

An exciting development for the Farmer  Pirates’ farms is the delivery of our first load of compost from the Gittere St.  facility.  All summer and winter the Buffalo Equestrian Center has been dumping their stable waste onto the site and we have been mixing in household waste from the Farmer Pirates’ Composting Program.  This year, we are able to reap some of the benefits.  The wood shavings in the stable bedding are not quite completely broken down, but it won’t take long after we mix it into our soil and the bacteria and other critters in the soil start their work.  We are so EXCITED!!

Just a head’s up:  our volunteer days begin the second Saturday of April, the 12th, at 9:00 am.  Hopefully the ground will be thawed by then!

Enjoy the last of the winter!

Janice

The End of Summer

October 4, 2013

Such an ambiguous title, I know, but too many unrelated events have happened of late – and I’m a lousy blogger, so one after another, the topics accumulate before I ever mention them- necessitating a broad, overarching title to encompass them all.

One very exciting event was the harvest and tasting of our very first fig!  (remember those figs I got back in March?)  This fig came from a tree given to me by a fine Italian gentleman from Rochester; the tree was from his father who brought it from Italy.  It’s specific varietal name has been lost, but its legacy lives on in my hoop house.  It gave us one fig which we carefully divided into 8 pieces so each of us could have our first taste of a home-grown fig (not including the figs I stole off my great-grandmother’s tree in the dim recesses of my memory).  Here is a picture of the prize:

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We have since eaten another fig off of a different little tree.  I’m looking forward to next year when the harvest should be at least double this year’s ;)

Another big event on the farm was the Tour de Farms.  There were about 350 riders this year, so to make it all work out smoother, the organizers divided the participants into 3 smaller groups.  After we closed the stand that day, Mark and I rode a tandem bike out to Alden to join the group for dinner at the Ole’s farm.  The weather was beautiful and the ride lovely – a pleasant activity to fill out our Saturday. This year’s event was sold out, so get your tickets early next year.

Many of you may recall that earlier this year we held a competition for artists to design and create a new sign for the farm, replacing the original one that was falling apart.  Lori Wagner from Darien, NY won that contest and has been diligently working on the sign all summer.  Yesterday, we proudly mounted the new sign on its posts just in time for UB’s “My Future Ex” art exhibit tour on Saturday.  Thanks Lori!  It looks great!   And a big thank you to the Tapestry Charter School who raised the money to pay for the new sign and who selected our winner.

Our new sign!

Our new sign!

Speaking of “My Future Ex”, here is a sneak preview of our first art installation in the process of being assembled: a nifty kaleidoscope created by Oreen Cohen.

the first art installation, not quite finished, but pretty cool anyway

the first art installation, not quite finished, but pretty cool anyway

The two artists, Oreen Cohen and Tamara Suber,  will be here on Saturday, October 5, between 11:00 and 3:00 to talk about their sculptures  There will also be a performance by Johannes Zits taking place on the farm during the day.  For more information about the entire exhibition visit: http://www.ubartgalleries.org/?gallery=art&select=event&eventID=260

The sculptures on our farm will remain in place for awhile, so feel free to come by and take a look through the kaleidoscope and check out the sculpture by Tamara Suber.

Besides harvesting onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, dried beans, garden huckleberries, elderberries, manning the Saturday stand, canning and preserving, enjoying our annual Allegany trip, hosting a work group from UB, packing CSA’s each week, figs, art and signs, it’s been a quiet late summer.  We sure have enjoyed the nice balance of sunshine and rain this season.

Our Saturday on-site stand is officially closed.  Not much left out there to offer for sale, although we do still need to harvest a few things for our personal use this winter.  There will be one more volunteer work day coming up on the 12th, the second Saturday of October, from 9 – 12.  There is a bit of seasonal clean-up to be done and potatoes to dig.  Anybody know of a functional potato plow we could buy for a reasonable price?  It would sure be nice to find one.

Peace!

Janice

Second Saturday Brings Tour de Farms (and Volunteer Day)!!

September 11, 2013

Well, here it is again . . . another second Saturday.  Normal second Saturdays are volunteer days as well as our usual stand being open.  This week will bring another, exciting element:  Tour de Farms.  Check out this link:  https://www.facebook.com/TourDeFarmsBuffalo , also: https://www.facebook.com/TourDeFarmsBuffalo   This tour has been visiting our farm for the last 4 or 5 years and we have seen it grow from just a handful of riders to apparently 350 riders this year – a sold-out crowd.

So, you can see the tour come through and help us out at the same time by joining us for our second Saturday volunteer day from 9:00 until 12:00.  We’ll need help cleaning out and preparing beds for fall planting and cleaning out old spent plants from the hoop house so I can put in my winter greens.

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See you Saturday,

Janice

Artwork at the Farm (and around the city)

September 4, 2013


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The Wilson Street Urban Farm is pleased to announce its collaboration with the UB Art Gallery to be one of the sites for installations during the art exhibition entitled “My Future Ex”.  Tamara Suber, from Philadelphia, Oreen Cohen, from Pittsburg, , and Johannes Zits, from Toronto, will each be displaying their unique artwork on our site.  Please follow the link to read about the entire exhibit which takes place in many different places around the city: on the Metro, on the river, in vacant areas and buildings, in addition to on our farm.  http://www.ubartgalleries.org/?gallery=art&select=events&type=exhibition&range=upcoming

Hey! It’s Second Saturday on the Farm!

August 9, 2013

Hurray!  Hurray!

It’s almost Saturday!

This Saturday is our Volunteer Work Day and we’d love to have you come and join us for some weeding, clean-out-beds fun.  With this wonderful rain, the soil will soft and just waiting to have the weeds pulled out of it.  Our stand will be open and there will be fresh produce to sell/share with workers.

We have garlic for sale.  Our harvest was good and the weather nice for drying, so we have German stiffneck garlic for sale at $7.00/lb.

the garlic pile, 2013

the garlic pile, 2013

It will also be offered for sale at the Foundry’s Second Saturday Sale (check them out at:  http://thefoundrybuffalo.org/category/events/ )

Lovers of Swiss Chard will be amazed at our beautiful chard plants.  We have tomatoes just beginning to ripen and green ones for frying.

So, come on out and join the fun.  You might even get a peek at our resident bunny.  You will definitely get to see his favorite foods!

Hope to see you tomorrow,

Janice

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