Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vida Nueva Community Garden

Thanks for the photo, Google!

Do you live in or near the Phillips neighborhood and have a desire to garden? 

Welcome to Vida Nueva Garden. This community garden was founded last year and is hosted by The Minnesota Birth Center. Andrew and I are blessed to be the new coordinators. Eventually the lot will be utilized differently, but for a couple seasons there is a great opportunity to get your green thumb on.

Quick facts:

  • Lot is 1/3 acre
  • Located on the corner of E 27th St & Columbus Ave S
  • Water is available on site
  • There will be a nominal annual fee
  • The soil has been tested and has no dangerous lead levels
  • It's up to each gardener to fence his/her own plot as desired
  • There is a path cutting diagonally through the lot used as a shortcut by neighbors
  • Mostly tree-free and sunny

Andrew and I will keep a plot for our own garden. I can't wait for heirloom tomatoes. Over the winter, I checked this book out from the library three times. Have you all been dying over spring seed catalogs too? I'm almost more excited to grow flowers for the birth center (my employer). All winter I've been reading flower farmer Erin Benzakein's blog, Floret. This gal has technique, my friend. At the very least, there will be cosmos, sunflowers, sweet peas, a few varieties of bulbs, and the Baker Creek heirloom dahlias that stunned me last year. 

It looked like 2014 would be a nearly garden-less year for us. We are so thankful for the chance to grow in the city and garden alongside our neighbors. 

Would you like a garden plot at Vida Nueva? Get in touch here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Change is Afoot, Again.

"Constant change" seems to be the best descriptor of our lives. I'd often prefer to resist and bemoan change, but embracing it seems more exciting.

So, we're not doing CSA this year.

Our former jobs enabled us to develop the farm. Our jobs have changed now and our schedules are no longer as flexible. Without enough land access and savings to jump in full-time, we had to reassess. It's not all doom and gloom though. Even though we didn't ask for all these changes, it brought other dreams to fruition. Stasha is now a full-time doula. That has been 2 years in the making, and it's a fantastic fit for her interests. Andrew is working for Dogwood, at their location within the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He can gaze at his favorite piece of art every day now, if he wanted to!

We don't know how this bodes for the future of Zane Street Farms. The farm is still a dream in our hearts and we now have a year's experience to prove we can do it. That is both heartening and maddening. We have peace about this change though, and we're really excited about the other opportunities that have come our way.

The 2014 garden will mostly be for home use. We're focusing on heirloom varieties to feed us year-round. We're stoked to can, pickle, cure, dry, and freeze our way to a full larder. 

We'll keep up the blog and Instagram because gardening is a blast and the pictures are too pretty to keep to ourselves.

Also, we might have by-the-bushel and by-the-item stuff to sell for fresh eating, canning, and winter storage. We just can't help ourselves. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CSA Dinner - A Glimpse

Thanks for the photo, Craig!

More photos to come from our first annual CSA Thank You Dinner. We had a great time with wonderful friends and family. Thank you for being there!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Home Stretch

It's unbelievable that in July of 2012 we had no idea how in the world we'd ever touch our dream of farming. August 2012, the opportunity to farm on the lawn presented itself and it's been all action ever since. A little over a year later, we're only three weeks away from finishing our first season of CSA. 

We have fantastic members, new friends in our community, and thankfulness in our hearts.  I'm grateful for the friends who've invested in our farm, for the opportunity to grow here, and for friends and family who have sweated, celebrated, shoveled, experimented, and weeded alongside us. Thank you all so very much. 

As we look into 2014, it's exciting to know the gardens will be exponentially more productive thanks to the manure we've had trucked in and the cover crops to be sown. We've been busy covering 1/3-acre at least 4 inches deep with manure. If anyone cares to do the math, that equals a lot.

Next weekend, we'll be celebrating the season with our shareholders and many of the people who've been part of this thing. Thank you all so very much.

Last weekend's full-on double rainbow across the sky!

Over the winter, we'll be planning for next year. We'd like to grow to 12-15 members. Some people have already inquired about how to sign up for our 2nd season! If you'd like to reserve a CSA share, let us know in person or email us and we'll chat! Our heads are full of dreams of what to grow next: melons, artichokes, shallots, broccoli raab, sweet corn, peppers... have a suggestion? Comment with your ideas! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Can You Can Too Much?

When you spend all weekend canning, things can start to get weird...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

After watching this amazing episode of Mind of a Chef we are in the mood for some grits and seed saving!

Monday, September 2, 2013

RIP, Tigger

Last night we said goodbye to Tigger, the cat who has been part of the family for 14 years. He lived to age 16 1/2. Tigger faithfully guarded our garden against bunnies and kept the mice at bay. He will be missed.

Faithfully keeping tabs on varmints since 1999

Not quite snuggling, but close 
Tigger, out for lunch

No prey was too big for Tigger
Goodbye, Pal.