Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth day

It was a beautiful day full of flowers and strawberries. It was also an excellent day on the moon calendar to plant. It is always good to consult the farmers almanac moon calendar before planting. I've found it makes a huge difference on the growth of my plants.

There was a lot of  work to be done to get our summer planting in place.
There is a lot more pressure to grow food now that my urban farm experiment has become a cafe.
I started by taking out the compost to our new beds to be planted and get them ready with nutrients. We had already removed the winter crop-favas which are rich in nitrogen and let the chickens do their job in the chicken tractor.

Look at this amazingly rich compost - It's been composting for about 6 months.

It all went to the tomato patch along with a few buckets of chicken manure -mmhhhhh!
Awesome work team!

This are the potato towers that we started. It is good to grow potatoes like this in chicken wire columns because the soil does not get very saturated and you add soil as the plat grows. When the potato plant reaches the top and the the potatoes have grown you simply pull the tower and the potatoes come out instead of having to dig for them.

We also planted all my little squash, pumpkin and beans sprouts, and corn seeds on the keyhole planter for the three sister as companion plants. They work well together because the corn provides climbing support for the beans, the beans provide nitrogen, and the zucchinis provide leaf mass and shade for the other plants to retain the moisture in the soil

We got a tomato patch!!! 9 different varieties
I will also plant some bush beans so they can provide nitrogen and shade at the base of the plants.

The best part is going back to the office smelling like manure and dirty hands- adventures in lunch time farming

Happy earth day today and everyday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Algarden Lunch + Bootiesattva Zome

This Friday we had another lunch at the Algarden and it was absolutely lovely and amazing. It was very special in many levels, one major thing was the presence of the Bootiesattva zome with its magical powers, but the people who came also contributed with their radiant energy, the weather was perfect and the food was outstanding. We also celebrated Tim's birthday. I was happy to see many friends there and also new faces who were recommended to come by friends. We had 25 people, and although I had a hard time keeping conversations, we managed to build the zome, cook, grill, set up and serve the lunch promptly and keep everybody happy during their time at the Algarden. 

The menu this week:

Warm cabbage, chard and onion salad with apples and walnuts

Purple kale and leek tart with goat cheese

Grilled young fava beans marinated with olive oil and sea salt
They were the hit! (And the easiest thing to do)

Flowerless sugarless chocolate cake-Special diabetic request

Fresh honey comb 

Lavender infused lemonade

The shade structure this week: The Bootiesattva Zome

Here are all the zome parts. Assembly start time 10:08 am

This was the fourth time that we built this zome and we were trying to break our time record. Previous time was 1 hour and 45 minutes

I love this picture -Welcome to my spaceship, beautiful forever!

And my beautiful love - SO beautiful!

Even the poppies got excited

Two zomes in one garden, how lucky am I?

Completion time 11:38. Record time 1.5 hrs. yeah!!! 
That's what happens when you work with the zome masters

And now, chilling time in the Zome

It was really wonderful to see everybody enjoying the zome and the food and the garden. 
I was about to explode with joy

Happy birthday Tim!

Com'on, pretend like your having fun

Special guest Rockstar Anchi, who came to our garden after meeting with Michelle Obama at her Refugee Farm that promotes urban farming. Go Anchi!
You can read about it here:

I have to say that this special event would not had been possible without the help of many people. Starting by the garden owners who continue to support my ideas and generously share their space with us.

A huge special thanks to my favorite mathematicians, Chris, Rob and Steve. You guys Rock. I loved watching you geek out on your math theories under the zome. You are so cool that you are making me start to like math...

Thanks to the chickens who provided us with the eggs for the tart and cleared out the fava been patch getting the soil ready for the next season. This was a chicken tractor improvisation for the day. The chicken crib did fit on my key hole planter.

Thanks to my bees who provided us with a delicious dessert

But they are also responsible for the pollination of  1/3 of all of the food that we eat

And thanks to Julia for her lovely smile, enthusiasm and delicious cooking.

It was truly a lovely event and I feel enormous gratitude for everybody who came and made it possible. 
I also feel a lot of excitement for next Friday. I hope you can come!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday Lunch at the Garden

My friend Julia, creator of Pandora's Bread Box and I  decided to team up to bring the ultimate in locally-produced, harvested-at-the-peak-of-perfection, organically and sustainably-grown food. 

Julia started Pandora's Bread Box as a Community Supported Bread Box (CSB) last year. She is very interested on the connection with food, ingredients and building community through it. You all know what I've been up to for the last few years and how much I love and enjoy being in the garden and sharing the space and its food with others. So after some thinking and planning we decided the best way for both of us to expand our interest was by joining forces and hosting lunch at the Algarden on Friday's (weather permitting). The lunch will feature ingredients lovingly tended and harvested from the garden, and hand-crafted artisan bread from Pandora's Bread Box. The bread will be baked the morning of the lunch and the food will be harvested and prepared by Julia and I. 
We want the lunch, aside from being a delicious nourishment and an excuse to get you out to the garden, to be an opportunity to learn more about different things going on in the garden, sustainable practices that you can implement in your lifestyle and a way to support your local entrepreneurs. Every lunch will have a small lecture on the different seasonal ingredients used on the menu and other related topics.

What: Community-supported lunch (menu will change every week depending on what is in season)
When: Fridays at 12:30
Where: The Algarden on Hearst between 7th and 8th streets
How Much: Lunch is $9. All proceeds go to supporting the ongoing care of the garden and Pandora's Bread Box

We only have limited spots, and we need to know be Thursday night if you are coming so we can cook enough food, so please reserve your spot in advance. 

We're looking forward to bringing out passions together, and hope you will come to have fun, relax, learn something new and have some delicious food
Here are some pictures from last week Algarden Lunch Cafe - the test run. 


The menu:
  • Young fava bean soup with cream and beats
  • Mixed green salad with garden flowers and a lemon/honey/cilantro vinaigrette
  • Walnut sourdough bread
  • Mint infused lemonade
  • Honey comb-fresh from the hive
The lecture was on Favas and all its wonderful properties as a nitrogen fixer for soil
It was quite a lovely lunch on a beautiful spring day - I hope you can come to the next one!