Dirt Doll

I quit my job to explore a career in Urban Agriculture.
Let's see what happens...
How did the hipster burn his mouth?
He ate his pizza before it was cool.
BURN! 
Speaking of burn…notice how nearly all of Chicago’s evergreens look a little sad?  It’s most likely winter burn.  Check out this link for more about it.

How did the hipster burn his mouth?

He ate his pizza before it was cool.

BURN! 

Speaking of burn…notice how nearly all of Chicago’s evergreens look a little sad?  It’s most likely winter burn.  Check out this link for more about it.

And here it is!  This is the Dirt Doll farm plot.  Given the weather and late start, we’re still shaping beds.  I look forward to the day when this empty, uneven land is so full of life that these images are a distant memory.

What is that stinky cheese smell?  It’s the ginko fruit that didn’t fully decompose over the winter (I suspect due to the cold) that is now rotting in the bright sunshine and seventy-degree weather.  But even the fruit can’t get me down.  I still love that ginko tree and am happy at the warmer temperatures.  Woo hoo spring!!!

What is that stinky cheese smell?  It’s the ginko fruit that didn’t fully decompose over the winter (I suspect due to the cold) that is now rotting in the bright sunshine and seventy-degree weather.  But even the fruit can’t get me down.  I still love that ginko tree and am happy at the warmer temperatures.  Woo hoo spring!!!

I love spending time seeding.  Especially when I’m planting something that I’ve never planted before.  Like Hollyhock!  I’ve received contradictory instructions between Fedco and the seed packet, but I went ahead and started them indoors to be transplanted.  Call me crazy. Hollyhocks seeds also require stratifying and light to germinate.

Because they require light, you can’t cover the seed with soil.  Which means you get to actually watch them germinate!  Look at that root radical poking through and finding the soil!  Amazing.

Let’s get pumped!  It’s a beautiful day and time to bust some moves making garden beds and planting seeds.  As Kathleen says, “The hallway is in the rearview.”  It’s great to be working outside!

When do you think this tree will actually bloom?  Usually happens in late March.

When do you think this tree will actually bloom?  Usually happens in late March.

At What Cost? Food Hubs, Walmart, and Local Food – ASAP Connections

" For food hub proponents, food hubs “are the solution both to scaling up local food and ensuring its integrity.” The food hub approach aims to achieve volume through the aggregation of product from many small and mid-sized farms. Big retailers need large quantities of product, and they want to do business with a few, large suppliers. Local food, produced by smaller farms, can’t meet this need individually. The solution – pool production.

The problem with this line of reasoning is in the misunderstanding of how volume producers (and retailers) make money. It confuses scale with volume. Large producers specialize and spread out their fixed costs over large quantities of production – making profits of pennies on the pound but producing many, many pounds. Aggregating production from small producers cannot achieve the same result. Small volume producers can’t produce profitably on pennies per pound – they just don’t produce enough pounds. So food hubs might, by aggregating, achieve volume, but they rarely achieve scale. Food hubs need to pay their smaller scale producers more, particularly food hubs with environmental or social justice goals, but they still must compete in markets where price is determined by large scale production.”

Dun nun nun nun nun nun nun BATFLOWER!

Dun nun nun nun nun nun nun BATFLOWER!

Hangin’ with the ferns.  It feels good to get a nice dose of sun and greenery.

Hangin’ with the ferns.  It feels good to get a nice dose of sun and greenery.

Refractometers/Brix Meters

Does anyone out there use refractometers?  We just learned about them and are excited to try it out!

It’s been so cold but there are signs of spring anyway!

It’s been so cold but there are signs of spring anyway!

Bionutrient Food Workshop

We went to a two-day bionutrient workshop this weekend and came home inspired and excited for the season to get started.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from Dan Kittredge’s presentation.

"Blueberries are better at suffering." - Dan was trying to explain that blueberries can thrive at most pH levels, contrary to popular belief.

"Rotation is based on fear." - Dan’s response to questions on best practices for crop rotation.

"As a farmer, my objective is not to grow pounds and bushels but to grow food."