Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 24th Meeting

A bright hot sunny day in Novato. We were without our venerable leaders today and Liza pitched in to give us direction. Steve, unfortunately, was called away on an emergency family matter. We hope all is well with you, Steve—and with your son. We all put you in our thoughts as we worked and worshiped in the field.
Today was the first class for the Children’s Program of the Conservation Corps. After a tour, Henry put them to building a new compost pile, and then sifting one of the existing piles.
The calendula flowers were dead headed, the tomatoes needed and got more supports. Hillary, Barbara and Victoria weeded the melon patch which is suffering from an infestation of cucumber beetles and also creeping Bermuda grasses. Also, the row of sun flowers in the melons was thinned. It was a very sparse gathering today.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's been a while...

Wow- I guess I went a little AWOL, huh? 
Well, our class ended, I went to DC for a week, my kids' school ended (how can a 6 year old and an 8 year old have such busy social calendars?!), but still, it's hard to believe 3 weeks has gone by since my last post.  There's a lot to catch up on but frankly, I'm not even going to try.  Suffice it to say that 1) Wendy's event with Deborah Madison at Commonweal was fantabulous!!! (yes, count them, three exclamation points) and 2) The farm club has now met three (coincidence?) times.  
So let's talk farm club...
We have a name
Dharma Farm Club
We have officers
Hilary - president (is that lower case or capital "p"??)
Veronica- vice-president
Creta- secretary/treasurer
We don't yet have an official mission statement, but...
We do have RULES!!!
e.g.  For now, no selling food, no donating food (so do the math, as a member of the farm club you get loads of free booty!)
We have fun!!
e.g. This past week, we harvested lettuce and cabbage and planted a whole lot of carrots and winter squash- yummy.
and we have plans...
e.g. a harvest festival celebration in August where we can sell our produce and value added products (think, calendula oil)
To join us, all you have to do is be an active student in the Farm or Environmental Landscaping program, just 1 unit qualifies you!  And the good news is that your 1 unit can be a Directed Study with Wendy or Steve. At UVa we called the really easy classes "gut" classes.  Please do not confuse a 1 unit Directed Study with a "gut."  You actually need to put in many recorded hours on an object of study related to the program, but not currently offered by the program, for your unit to qualify.  So, some ideas that were tossed around were "planting mix building," "food donation," "value added products development" or "organic certification."  The list is by no means limited to this so please, if you have an idea, check in with Steve or Wendy.
Bottom line, the goals for the club are to support the Organic Farm Program and to keep learning, so, if that sounds good to you, your participation sounds good to us!!
Look for a change to the blog as we transition to the Dharma Farm Club and join us on Wednesday's from 9:30-1:30- you know where to go!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17th Meeting of Dharma Farm Club

June 17, 2009
Nanda Schorske sailed into our Sacred spot today giving us direction on how to accomplish Directed Study for those who cannot take a Class next semester or for those who wish to gain additional credits to their study in the fall. One can assume Directed Study with Steve or Wendy as advisor and select a subject within the farming context with which to concentrate such as Pruning and Propagation. This will be the last chance to use Directed Study before it is transferred over to Independent Study in the Spring which will serve the same purpose and help the student further their learning experience within a context that may not yet be offered at IVC or to explore more in depth study of interest. She also explained to us that the college is attempting to enroll at least 12 full time students each semester in the new Environmental Landscaping Dept. Full time being 12 units per semester or 4 classes. A student who is earning less than 12K/year is eligible for Work/Study—getting paid to take classes. Anyone wishing to assist with developing the curriculum for this new dept. is encouraged to contact Nanda at (415) 883-2211xt8506 She also discussed with us the possibilities of moving forward with ideas to help raise money for club purposes. We decided to have some sort of Harvest Celebration on Aug. 1st where we would be able to sell the produce that will be ready.
The rest of the meeting was spent in the field harvesting, planting, and weeding. Both cabbages and lettuces were picked for club members to take home. And, winter squashes were planted on the upper edge of the field (Butternut squash and Steve’s Chiogga Squash). Henry, Wendy, and Elizabeth began archival duties in earnest, recreating our progress from day 1 of the first class meeting. This will also help with our status of being Organically Certified.
The club has elected Creta Pullen(me) as the new Secretary to replace Jenny who had to resign because of conflicts with Conservation Core duties. So, the officers for the Dharma Farm Club are now, Hillary Jenkins—Pres., Valerie Valero—V.P , Creta Pullen—Sect./Treas.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness the title of a new book just released by Mill Valley resident Lisa Hamilton.  I haven't read it, but it sure sounds like it's right up our alley, right class?  Check out her website to read the intro to the book.  Too bad we missed her Bay Area book tour (last week!).  Or maybe you caught it? If so, write a post to this blog- I for one would love to hear about it...