Monday, July 13, 2009

Holly Just Humming Along

The Holly Farm is certainly holding its own. This summer's wild afternoon storms have bypassed our wee farm at 33rd and Holly leaving only small signs of hail visits. The tomato plants are a bit shell shocked from all of the rain, though, but they are happily producing their fruit. Here are some of the latest photos. Our second harvest produced another 6 pounds of lettuce, cabbage, kale, chard, and herbs plus the first tomato!

Feed Denver Office at The Urban Farm at Stapleton

Since we will be doing a lot of work at The Urban Farm at Stapleton we decided it would be a good idea to just office out there! We are moving in to a back room to be near the action as we begin the Soil Farm. That will lead to a greenhouse growing produce and hopefully fish through a vertical growing aquaculture program.

Here are a few pictures of the Urban Farm:

Compost Doesn't Just Happen!

Feed Denver, The Urban Farm at Stapleton, and Waste Farmers are beginning the first stage of the Metropolitan Denver Community Food Project by beginning to farm soil doesn't just happen! Okay, it does... but maybe not in a way that can be organized to create the new soil needed to build the farms that will grow the food that we hope to be eating in Denver.

This project will take place at The Urban Farm on their fabulous 23 acre spread on the Stapleton greenbelt. After eleven years in this location they have accumulated a mountain of manure...and it keeps coming everyday as they have a vibrant program teaching and caring for livestock right here in the city. They work with families and children to teach them about animals and farming.

Feed Denver will join The Urban Farm to create a program based on the Growing Power vermiculture program to create healthy fertile soil using vermicompost techniques. Vermicompost...that means worms! We will be breeding worms to clean and fertilize the soil. Did you know worms can be used for bioremediation of soil, reducing contaminants by up to 98%? And they do not retain any contaminants in their bodies! Pathogens, such as E. coli, are killed in the worm's gut while worm castings (that's worm poop, to you!) help fight a variety of plant diseases and can protect against certain insects. Worms are amazing!

This is all very exciting, but we will need more compost materials than just manure. We are working with Waste Farmers to gather organic matter from all over Denver. We will be using coffee grounds, beer mash, pre-cooked vegetable waste from restaurants and grocery stores, wood chips and sawdust, leaves and hay. It is absolutely amazing how all of this just naturally becomes rich, fertile soil!