A chickweed sculpture by Chicory Dell (Candice)
It’s early Spring and we’ve got about half of the farm planted and transplanted. It’s still to early for the nightshades to go out, or to plant beans in the ground. It’s this time of year that I always recognize that the first true crop of springtime (without a 4-season greenhouse) is the weeds that volunteer.
It, of course, is the constant chore to keep weeds out of the way of growing plants, and our strategy (weed *early* after each new planting) keeps us busier now that later in the beds.
It’s mostly around the periphery of the garden that we see the bigger weeds. This year, we have a new unwelcome guest in Quackgrass, which has a deep running root (a rhizome) that is it’s propogative organ.
But my favorite weeds, are the edibles. And Springtime Yellow Dock/Curly Dock Rumex crispus and Dandelion Taraxacum Officianale which, cooked, with a little ginger, turmeric and pepper, blended up make a Spring tonic which is the “antidote to sleep” and lethargy, making you feel light and creative.
The blog-o-sphere seems like such a distant semi-reality when you are in the full swing of a growing season. We never really took the opportunity to share much about the season, or a post-season wrap-up. Glad to say, things went great last year. Peas didn’t come up. Squash went berserk. Wonderful year for peppers, many delicious varieties of tomatoes. Lost some winter squash to a blight.
We kept 10 CSA baskets full all season, and some happy neighbours in fresh veggies, despite virgin soil. It can only get better from here as Farmer Pirates Compost Programs kicks into gear and we amend the soil with last year’s hard fertility work. Mike and Heather made significant improvements to their house, and Heather spent 9 months growing our family’s newest Farmer Pirate, Griffyn Leigh. Terra moved in and we are a local farming community!
Though we love our CSA members, we are attempting a new strategy this year, mostly based on wholesale and markets. This growing strategy lets us focus on crops that work best, most; and growing what we need to grow for a good soil development rotation, rather than putting all our focus on maintaining diverse food baskets on a weekly basis.
We’d still love to sell you veggies: so, keep posted, here, for our farmer’s market appearances.
Today we had a great time with the volunteers from Buff State. We collected some rocks, tilled the ground, put down some peat moss, spread some compost, and are ready to start planting next weekend.
Also, check out our recent article in the Buffalo News Article
And, if you haven’t already, check out the Kickstarter, and see our fun video and donate if you can. Farmer Pirates Compost Program
Come visit us!~
We just started a farm’s share of onions and they are beginning to germinate in the basement. Next, the tomatoes!
Also, our first year’s shipment of compost is on it’s way. By next year we hope to be composting foodscraps for 100% of our soil fertility needs. Just figuring out how to get the most of our current amendment now (figuring in the amount of calcium, magnesium and available CEC that will get us the best results).
Our first work holiday should be on Wednesday, April 21st at 9:00AM. There are shares available for a few CSA members. More info to come
Almost.. Our Farmstead is looking better each day, and we are counting down the days until our woodstove will be warming our gloves and boots as we plaster and paint our walls, fixing the windows one by one. We’re tearing off a roof and having last-minute strategy discussions: go off-grid solar and pay ourselves back, or shell out for the expensive foreclosure-house electric hookup?
We’re headed out tomorrow for gallon bags of composite soil samples for the Cornell lab. We’ll need lots of compost and manure, for sure, but the tests will help us tailor our amendments to the soil on site (a tenacious silt-loam that formerly supported as many as 17 houses).
Our land conservancy group page is also up at eastsidefarmcollective.org! Please drop in and check it out, and maybe consider telling your family and friends about the importance of urban soil reclamation this holiday season! If so inclined, please direct them to the Donate button on that website!
Hi, thanks for visiting!
We are Mike and Heather, and Common Roots is a new 2012 upstart farm in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood of Buffalo’s East Side. We are just starting out, and looking for some members of a full-season CSA. Come and donate your time, once a week, to the farm and harvest with us a local, seasonal vegetable share! More info to come!
Please check out the East Side Farmers page at: eastsidefarmcollective.org.