Amelie, our garden fairie, the hosts' daughter.
Getting horse manure at Arrowhead Ranch. "Feeding" the raised beds has so far required 3 pickup truck loads of manure.
Four more 18'X4' raised beds were created using the double-digging technique. Thank you Therese, Dan, Giselle, John, Michael, Juaquin and Roy for all your joyous effort! (double click on image and check Roy's (in black) special digging shoes and jumping style!).
Old wood frames were turned into hoop houses. A Remay-type cloth (white breathable material that cuts the light/heat down) will be installed over the PVC pipes and the hoop houses will be used to grow starters.
Coleman, the hosts' son, swinging the hammer.
Giselle (hostess), watch them fingers!
Our compost pile is starting to grow. Here is a fresh delivery of vegetable scraps from the Montanita Coop.
We delivered our compost buckets to Body where we'll be getting kitchen scraps and vegetable juicer pulp.
The compost pile is already humming at a healthy 130 degrees
Dan and Coleman building a platform for one of the 100 gallon water catchment tanks.
Juaquin and Poki transplanting celery.
Michael and Therese stretching on their spades, loosening up these hamstrings.
A busy weekend at the ranch....
and a lovely rainy Monday for finishing the raised beds and paths...
Several people have asked me if we had a "formula" of "ownership" for the community garden. Right now, honestly, my answer is that we don't. As much as there must be existing models of community gardens that have a formula for the distribution of the harvest, I am personally interested in listening to what this particular place, in these particular times, with that particular community of people, wants to be. My interest is in developing vibrant models of urban farms (1/4 to 1 acre) that inspire people to grow food in their backyard. Dandelion Ranch can be both a showcase and a learning environment. Sure, people come here and sweat for a few hours digging, weeding, planting, etc., but what they will take home is far more than a few heads of lettuce or hand fulls of heirloom tomatoes. It is a way of working in community, sharing knowledge, supporting one another in our quest to wean ourselves from corporate agro-business, restoring our local biosphere one garden at a time, and rekindling with the indigenous ways of feeding the Earth and the heart of the village.
We started this community garden 3 weeks ago. 22 people are already following this blog. A dozen people have been attending work parties at the ranch. The Vision, Hosts, Teachers, Events (menu tabs) sections of this blog are still blank. As much as I, or Juaquin, or the hosts have many ideas and definitely plenty of energy, we invite you all to reflect on what this new community garden could become. What elements could be incorporated that would make it even more beautiful, joyous and fun? What type of children's activities could we create (4 kids live on the property)? How can we imbue this place with such spirit that it becomes not only a place that nourishes our bodies but also heal our soul, and the heart of our community.
NOTE: We are not sure if activities will take place next weekend as some of us may be out of town, but a work party is scheduled this Wednesday July 13, 2:00-6:00pm.