Farmanywhere's Blog

Posted in organic by farmanywhere on April 24, 2012

When I was a kid all I thought there were only russets. Thank you to all the folks who, through it all, were protecting our food diversity.


heir·loom    [air-loom]


a family possession handed down from generation to generation.
In Law,  property neither personal nor real that descends to the heir of an estate as part of the real property.
being an old variety that is being cultivated again: heirloomvegetables and fruits.
What wealth we have, if we only are wise to keep it well cherished.

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Posted in local food,organic,small farms,urban farms by farmanywhere on April 2, 2012

Successful small, family, organic food plots. What country comes to mind?

The Bovine

And since 1999, it seems things have only gotten better when it comes to small-scale agriculture in Russia. 

In 2003 the Russian President signed into law a further “Private Garden Plot Act” enabling Russian citizens to receive free of charge from the state, plots of land in private inheritable ownership. Sizes of the plots differ by region but are between one and three hectares each [1 hectare = 2.2 acres]. Produce grown on these plots is not subject to taxation. A further subsequent law to facilitate the acquisition of land for gardening was passed in June 2006. (according to a footnote in “Who We Are” by Vladimir Megre, pg. 42)

What other country raises so much of their food in such sustainable, organic, and non-GMO modes of production? While the European Union is setting the stage for agribusiness takeovers of major market share from traditional peasant farmers in places like

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Father Sky and Mother Earth

Posted in Baha'i,local food,organic,small farms,urban farms by farmanywhere on March 26, 2012

I don’t garden just because food is the most important thing in the world. I garden because I trust there is a direct correspondence between all things physical and spiritual, and therefore food must be also the most important thing in the world of the spirit. This is the food that can never be taken from us, no matter how impoverished; the only food that truly satisfies, no matter how wealthy we are. How better then to learn about the sustenance of the spirit than to spend a portion of the day among the roots, the earthworms and the blossoms? At this time of year, during the 19-Day Fast, the stirring life in the yard attracts me. It becomes especially irresistible in the afternoons as I grow quite hungry, and seek a way to fill the empty space. I begin with gloves, but each time I end up with my fingertips dark, my nails packed with soil, my soul at work on some garden metaphor.

As far back as can be recalled, those who have planted and sowed have found themselves preoccupied also with the cosmos. This March, such contemplation is especially compelling, as the sky is filled with rare and beautiful events, and the plants on the ground seem to be responding—sprouting, budding, and stretching their limbs with enthusiasm. In its first three days, the six brightest objects in the night sky all appeared at once. On the 5th Mars was as close to us as it ever is. On the 8th the full moon arrived, accompanied by a solar storm that brought displays of northern lights much further south, and seemed also to have brought to the northwest a few unseasonably warm and dry days. These nights, the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, have been drawing near and dance together. As the still somewhat full moon passed them by, it was a sight indeed. The vernal equinox  arrives officially March 20th at 5:14 a.m. GMT, but here in Oregon it will be March 19 10:14 p.m. PDT.  The potent divine symbolism of that moment, when the shines from due east on us all, is celebrated by Bahá’ís even as it has been since ancient times among the Egyptians, the Persians, the Mayans, the Hopi and others.

Abdu’l-Baha has said [Divine Philosophy p. 75] that “the equinox is the symbol of the Divine Messenger” causing “a movement in all living things… The rising of the sun at the equinox is the symbol of life and the human reality is revivified; our thoughts are transformed and our intelligence is quickened.”

But in our time, as any stone or centipede or chrysanthemum might tell us if it could, the equinox means so much more:

O ye friends of God! Because, in this most momentous of ages, the Sun of Truth hath risen at the highest point of the spring equinox, and cast its rays on every clime, it shall kindle such tremulous excitement, it shall release such vibrations in the world of being, it shall stimulate such growth and development, it shall stream out with such a glory of light, and clouds of grace shall pour down such plentiful waters, and fields and plains shall teem with such a galaxy of sweet-smelling plants and blooms, that this lowly earth will become the Abha Kingdom, and this nether world the world above. Then will this fleck of dust be as the vast circle of the skies, this human place the palace-court of God, this spot of clay the dayspring of the endless favours of the Lord of Lords.

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 128

Meanwhile, I am out in the dirt with my trowel and hoe, spotting plenty of weeds—considering during these Fast days what it means to root out my shortcomings, and to take my weeds into account each day ere they overcome my garden.

First biointensive bed finished!

Posted in biointensive,local food,organic,small farms,urban farms by farmanywhere on October 10, 2009

Did it like John Jeavons said, sort of. So far, I’m only managing to be biointensive intentional. The soaking days in advance was good advice, for sure. The clay was workable, with patience, and, as he suggested, a kind of aikido-like conservation of effort. I cheated on the dig: took a week to do it, one four-foot length a day. Each length took a couple of hours. What’s more, I planted along the way. Added plants every couple of days; once they nearly ended up in an “avalanche.” But they seem to have survived it. Finally, I decided after the fact to add 4×12 walls, contrary to the principle of not using resources unnecessarily. I may end up removing it after all, and using it just as a framing device for the other beds.

Frost is expected tomorrow night. I’ve planted mild-winter-hardy spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower; onions, leeks, scallions, garlic. Will cover with frost-protective covering tomorrow, and watch to see what the plants will be comfortable with.

Minifarm project begins in earnest today.

Posted in local food,organic,small farms,urban farms by farmanywhere on September 21, 2009

Can we change the world one small garden space at a time?

A hundred years ago, most people were farmers. The time may have come when it’s a good idea to do that again. No matter what our circumstances. Minimum requirement: soil, space or container, seed.

Here’s what I’ve got to work with. Better than some, worse than others.

1.  Space? A 16’X46′ backyard plus 2 side strips 8’X28′.

2.  Light? Fence and four houses side and back, with two-story to southwest.

3.  Climate? Hot dry summers, cold wet winters.

4.  Soil? Valley area historically fertile, but construction compaction and debris in soil around house. Soil is hard and light grey.

5.  Money? Garden budget for this project is $50 per month.

6. Time? Working full time, caring for 2 aging, ill parents.