Category Archives: Urban Farm

May 24-25: Thursday Community Dinner, Friday CSA

COMMUNITY DINNER

For the first time we have decided to hold our weekly Community Dinners all summer long. In other words, not just during the school year. While much of life in a college town is governed by semesters, we needn’t be. After all, most of the people who flow into and through here at this point are not college age. Or at least not undergraduate age!

And this means that, except for rainy evenings, we can hold all our dinners on the patio outside. (That patio used to be a basketball court. This is Indiana, after all!) I can remember when I wanted to get rid of the entire patio, ratchet up all that thick concrete, rather than just part of it, like we did when we constructed the pond, rimming the entire thing with patio pieces that we dug out and called “urbanite.”  So glad now that we didn’t!

That’s what happens here. Certain dreams that we have just don’t work out. Why? Because they’re not big enough, not imaginative enough. Who would have thought, way back ten years ago, that this patio space would transform into a near-continuous community commons?

Thanks mostly to Mariella, here are a few pics from last Thursday evening, where, as ever, the offerings and variety were so abundant and precise, that you would have thought each offering was chosen in advance to go with all the others.

It begins . . .

This young person walked boldly into the scene, and announced herself forthrightly, “Hi, I’m Rebecca, and I’ve never been here before.” Loved her energy. Here she is with neighbor Jelene.

Housemate Alex has a smile to rival young Rebecca’s.

Over about 20 minutes, the table got more and more laden with nourishment.

At dinner, a few of us older ones noticed that the round table was occupied by only young people . . . Hmmm. Ageism?

Well, maybe. But we old ones love them anyway. And we love ourselves, too. Here’s two that I’ve decided to call “The Aunties,” sisters Wanda and Sophia.

Duncan, always so serious and thoughtful, attracted two  one-to-one conversations on his concrete bench, first with Dan and then with me.

SECOND WEEK, CSA

This week’s haul for the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, which has seasonal memberships for weekly produce) seemed about a third bigger than the first week (last week). Still mostly greens, with added peas.

Dan and Solan gathered the goodies and brought them to me for washing in our outdoor sink. The whole process took less than an hour.

Ummmm. . .  Dan and I sniff the lemon grass for a double selfie.

Solan filled the sacks, and the folks with the memberships picked up most of them that same evening.

Oops! No small paper bags. Okay, this one time, plastic will have to do.

Mid-May in the GAV: David’s Compost Lesson

This is the second time Rebecca’s ex-husband David has volunteered to come over and teach whoever wants to learn, the intricacies of perfect compost, which, for him requires manure. That’s the first criterion, and we had to get it before he would come over. So we did. On Friday, after the Thursday dinner; before the CSA.

Here’s Dan, “pretending to be a union man” while Solan and Rebecca do the heavy work. The pick-up, by the way, was borrowed from Dandelion Village, across town.

Protected overnight, in case of rain.

Then, in the morning, Dan decided to be the manure bucket man.

They spent some time on the structure to hold the compost —

— and David spent a lot of time explaining, as well as building up the compost pile, which of course is layered.

David said if you use sticks, put them at the bottom; otherwise, layer manure or soil above any rotting food. (Yes! Finally, all the rotting stuff we’ve got had around here in buckets just waiting for this day!) They also layered some old leaves and lots of fresh greens (burdock grows aplenty around here).

Attaching the front board to keep the whole thing in.

It’s one humungous pile, and should decompose quickly. Stay tuned.

Mid-May in the GAV: First week, new CSA

We did a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in 2016, thanks mostly to Briana, who then moved to Valpairiso. We skipped 2017. Now we’re back at it, with new people, Solan and Alex. We were going to have offer five full memberships, but Rebecca decided that, if we want to eat from the garden too, then we’d better cap it at three. These include two half memberships, one full membership (a local co-op), and one half-membership that is again split in two. So five altogether, but of various sizes. We might be able to do more next year, as the demand is certainly there. At least four people tried to get in after we closed the group.

So  . . first week, a week earlier than expected, we began, with mostly greens, as you can imagine. Friday evening we pick the produce. Members can either come get it after 7 p.m. or wait until morning.

Green Acres Permaculture Village 2018 CSA!

We offered a CSA for the growing season in 2016. Then, due to the departure of Brianna, the main CSA leader, we did not offer a CSA for 2017. This year, we’re back, with Solan (Nathan) and Alex, both relatively new residents, in the lead. In 2016 we had enough food for 3 full shares and one half share. This year, we’re growing enough to offer 5 full shares! This notice just went up on our fb page. So if you want in, better let us know ASAP.