Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Solar Power Water Pump

We just did a demo of how the pump can work directly off the panel without a battery. We pumped water from one tub to a plum tree. This is so exciting. Everything is beginning to come together beautifully.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fermenting Food

African Daisy 
The harvest: Pickling Cucumbers and Purple Pole Beans

Wild fermentation

Pickling cucumbers in hot water bath

Grape leaves keep the pickles crisp

Cucumbers chilling in ice bath before processing for ten minutes.

Finished product

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Revolutionary Agriculture

 Revolutionary Agriculture means we are trying to change the food system, from agricultural practices to the way people think about where their food is coming from. The current agricultural food growing system is severely flawed to say the least. We see people using centuries old acequias that divert river water to crops which affects both wildlife and everyone downstream, or farmers irrigating blindly from aquifers that are being drained possibly forever. We are in the midst of a devastating drought but we do not have to make things worse for ourselves, we can make a change for the better. By using water we catch from our roof we can grow a revolution.We grow food in a forest in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Range, specifically the Sangre de Cristos. We are located in a valley that gets significantly more precipitation than areas a mile or two away. We take advantage of this and capture as much as we can. With a 30x30 foot roof and a 16x16 foot portal we can catch most of the water we need for irrigating. Utilizing micro sprinklers under shade cloth or row cover we can have more control over soil moisture and using frost blankets we can extend the growing season. Utilizing knowledge of plants environmental needs we can grow at least ten if not twelve months of the year. We refuse to use coal burning electric power to pump water for irrigating or any purpose.  By not using tractors or tillers we are starting a revolution in the way food is grown. No longer does my food come from a corporate goon in a million dollar combine, we are taking back our consumer rights.This week we have some connectors and cables coming in the mail as well as a small pressure tank for irrigating. Our 12 volt system is totally off the grid and self reliant from oil, petroleum or coal burning power. Petroleum free farming. People don't actually believe you can farm with a shovel and a hoe, but if it worked a hundred fifty years ago why can't it work right now?
Garlic braids, tomatillos, taxi tomatoes, carrots, tarragon 
Scallions and beets sell always 
Lettuce mix including some new red lettuces we are trying out: Lolla Rossa, Marveille de Quatre Saisons, Redina, Red Oaklaef, Red Salad Bowl, Rouge d'Hiver, Garnet Rose Romaine and Ruben's Red  
Chard, purple basil and rosemary

Friday, August 24, 2012

Plant, Harvest, Rain, Repeat

We have been busy planting everything from Red Russian Kale to carrots and beets, Broccoli, Lettuces, collards and all sorts of fall crops the last four days. Every day we plant a bunch of seeds it rains in the afternoon. Most everything is under shade cloth now (as far as the tender greens) with micro sprinkler irrigation with drip also set up. Infrastructure makes the farm what it is. Water cisterns are filling up and we are soon completing the irrigation system with 100% Off the Grid technology; solar panel, small pump, water from the sky and an old battery. Just waiting on some cables to connect everything and a transformer for backup.
Harvesting the first cutting of this Valentine Lettuce this morning for the Farmers Market this afternoon. That's fresh! 
Four days ago we planted all these seeds then got rain everyday since. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

We're on Facebook

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Farmers Market Today!


Healthy soil in the herb garden with mushrooms growing up in the mint.

Newer lettuce planting doing very well. Just need to be thinned this weekend.

New pasture for the hens. We are getting a hundred or so day old chicks next month.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Everything's Coming In Now..

We are getting ready to head up to Colorado for a week. Lots of projects have been getting done around the farm in preparation. We have built new pastures for the chickens, planted brussels sprouts, lettuce, chard and carrots in a newly built low tunnel, and made many small adjustments to the irrigation system. With a couple of good storms we got some cooler weather which made all of our work easier. 
The purple pole beans are covered in flowers

Tiny pole bean

Cucumbers growing up the opposite side of the pole bean trellis

Tiny pickling cucumber.

Cucumber flower

Lettuce just after harvesting for market. This salad greens mix is growing under
the pole bean/cucumber trellis.  The tunnel that the vines from the bean and cucumber
plants form make it easy to create a microclimate suitable for the lettuce this time of year.
Yellow Taxi tomatoes