Wednesday, May 4, 2011


We planted peas and spinach April 17, during a high wind and snow storm.  My seed packets exploded.
The next week we pulled weeds and dug up rows.
This week, May 1, we planted beats, greens, and translated mustards and lettuce.   The rest of the leafy plants will be transplanted next week.  Our best worker kids attended, Isaiah and Naija, planting and transplanting like pros.  This is the third year they've worked with us at the farm.

The soil is amazing, filled with worms and and various bugs.  We won't need to amend the soil this year.

Here's a post one of our workers, Teresa made about working with us on May 1, with a poem she wrote:

We'll meet again Thursday at 5pm.  Hope to see you there.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Starting Seeds and Thinking about Vision

Got the seed order in this week.  We're assisting Grassrooots Gardens with their seed starting program.  On Mondays I go to the Darwin Martin house to water seed starts for all the community gardens in Buffalo.
I started the cold weather crops in containers in the greenhouse- 4 varieties of lettuce, collards, red mustard, green mustard, Mizuna mustard, Sorrel, Mache, broccoli, among others.  I'm debating whether I should start Cabbage or not.  The cabbage is ALWAYS stolen.
I'm rolling around the idea of helping some community members start their own gardens this year.  We could take 4-5 applicants, build them some raised beds, bring over manure and peat moss, give them some seeds and starts.  The cost would be minimal, and we have the manpower.  Many members of the community have asked for help starting their own gardens, and we've been encouraging them to join ours.  I guess as we all do, many people want to retain control of their own space.  Helping people start personal gardens would accomplish the same goal we've always had (fostering food security in the community), but in a different way, satisfying the demand.
Just some thoughts on this cold wet March day.  Happy PI day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Awaiting Spring

It's only the end of January, and it's already time to order seeds.  The seed catalogs come in December and January by the dozen, a harbinger of the sunshine we're missing so badly.
We have many seeds left over from previous years, but with each passing year, the seed becomes less viable.  New seed will have a germination rate of often 90% or higher.  After several years, this can go down to 50% or less.
We're planning on doing bulk buying again with some other farms.  With many seeds, you can buy a small packet for $3, or a giant bag for $8.  Obviously, we'll want to buy the giant bag and pool our money with other urban farms.
We have some horse poop left over from last year.  Our soil fertility is high, and we probably won't need much amending.
We'll be meeting with Janice and Mark Stevens from Wilson Street Urban Farm next week to discuss seed purchase.  We're fans of Johnny's Seed and Fedco Seeds.  Both companies have exceptional customer service and high germination rates.  Fedco also boasts rock bottom prices, and a commitment to non-GMO plants and seeds.  They refuse to carry any seeds from the big-box bad boys Semanis and Monsanto.   Read more about Monsanto.

To our volunteers workers: what do you want to grow more of next year?  Here's are requests we've recieved already:
- yellow squash
- peppers
- lettuces
- eggplant
I'm hoping to grow more herbs.  We only had a small area of herbs, and not enough variety.  I'm planning on an entire row of herbs.
Also, I'm planning on devoting a lot of energy to growing grains next year.  We planted a field of buckwheat last year, but only as a cover crop.  I'd like to try wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, and millet.

Only a few more months. Bundle up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Year End reflection

Things are slowly wrapping up at the farm.  The tomatoes are starting to die, and our fall crops are coming in.
I wanted to take a moment to reflect and think about what we did well this year, as well as what we could have improved on.  I also am creating a list of projects for next year.  This post will be edited as new ideas surface.

- crop rotation: we put the beans in behind the peas as they finished up.  This was a good use of space.  We were pretty good at getting new crops in after the old ones finished up.
- seed starts.  The seed start program this year was fantastic.
- volunteers.  We recruited between 25-30 volunteers and fed them well.
- neighborhood kids: the kids in the neighborhood were very interested in the farm, and enjoyed helping
- preservation: we preserved the excess at the farm via canning, pickling, and drying.  There was very little waste.

- better crop rotation.  I'd like to preplan everything, instead of just putting things in willy nilly
- neighborhood involvement.  Most of our volunteers were not from the East Side.  I'm not sure how to get more people close to the farm involved.
- theft: It's a detriment to the enthusiasm of the volunteer workers to have things at the farm stolen.
- bugs: our greens were munched on some by bugs.  They were still good, but had holes in them.  We could try putting remay down.
- fall crop: we could do the fall crop better.  I did spend quite a bit of time planting, but there were some germination problems.  I'd like to find out why - the seeds were not old.
- compost: we did not turn our pile, and it became weedy.  I'd also like to get neighborhood people to contribute scraps.

TO DO next year:
- build a fence
- build a shed
- consider a chicken coup
- expand into the lot next door, if the lot is demolished
-  acquire more manure, mix into rows
- have a volunteer worker meeting, decide on vol. days and distribution methods
- paint a sign stating volunteer hours

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Contact Us

Hello Everyone

This is our first post at Cold Spring Cooperative Farm's blog.
You can also join our facebook group.

Our workdays for new workers are Tuesdays 6-8pm and Saturdays 10-12pm.
After you are orientated, you can sign up for a shift to earn your weekly share.

Send us a message if you have any questions.