March 19, 2016

Winter At The Farm, 2015-2016

February

Quietly the winds blew over as the sun began to show its joyous face again, which allowed us to get a lot more outdoor work done. Here, at the Supa Fresh Youth Farm, it’s been quiet but it’s been a nice time to get set up for summer.  On the sunny days we planted peas, and on the rainy days nature took care of the watering for us.  We ordered a variety of seeds including, French radishes, different types of gem lettuce (a new and delicious product we are trying out this year), plenty of extra beets, carrots, and a variety of lettuce and greens for spring planting.

Our boss lady, Katrin, attended the ODE School Garden Summit, which is an annual gathering of school garden professionals throughout Oregon that took place at the Oregon garden in Silverton, Oregon, to learn and share our resources and best practices with each other. Oregon leads the nation in school gardens, boasting more than 500 schools with gardens.  That's one more reason we love this state!

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Hobbit Home, Children’s Garden, Oregon Garden

After the Summit, Katrin spent the better part of the last two weeks applying for the Oregon Department of Education School Garden Grant.  The purpose of the grant proposal is to create more food, garden and agriculture-based education for students who work at the farm.  The goal is to use the funds to hire an experienced Garden Educator who will get students involved in doing more hands-on (and fun) learning activities, teach cooking classes, lead the farmers in creating a mentoring program for elementary students, and help the farmers become healthier and more informed about our food system. Stay tuned and keep your fingers (and your toes) crossed for us!

The daffodils, magnolias, and cherry trees are beginning to bloom, and more beautiful blossoms are on the way.  As we move into March, and spring approaches we are getting more and more excited for our summer season at the farm.

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Peas, glorious peas!  Making their first appearance at the Hub farm, are one of our favorite garden snacks.

Until warmer weather is here we leave you with this poem by Wendell Berry, one of the “founding fathers” of the food revolution.

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

“When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light.  For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

We also leave you with this parting image, which reminds us of Katrin, the Compost Queen, and her serious seed habit.  ????

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That's all for now.  Until next time, see ya later tomater! <3

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January  

January might seem like it should be a fairly quiet time at the Supa Fresh Youth Farm, but that is not the case.  A lot goes on behind the scenes during the wet winter months to keep this farm running smoothly during the busy season.  A lot of thought and work goes into plan the farming season, such as testing soil, mapping where to plant crops, managing crop rotations, amending soil, ordering seeds and supplies, planning farmer’s markets, and building our business through creative marketing and planning.  

Just recently a few of the farmers began the crop plans for 2016.  First they created maps of each farm, and then conducted research on planting zones, sun and shade patterns, soil quality, and a planting schedule. Farming can actually be quite complicated.  For example, tomatoes and other nightshade plants like potatoes should be moved to a new planting area each year to help prevent the spread of disease.  The farmers are working on a spreadsheet to accompany the maps that will help keep all of this information organized—with three farms it’s a lot of information to keep straight!

In other exciting news, Tigard Mayor, John Cook, donated an iPad mini to the Supa Fresh Youth Farm.  Mayor Cook received the iPad at a Mayor’s conference so he could pass it along to a non-profit of his choice. The farmers are honored that Mayor Cook chose our program for this generous gift.  The iPad will come in very handy for the farmers, especially at the farmer’s market where they can use it with the Square to take credit card payments.  From the bottom of our hearts we thank Mayor Cook very much for his generous donation. 

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"Little" aka Alejandro starting some seeds.
That's all for now.  Until next time see ya later tomater!  

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December 

December, as always, flew by. It was an exciting month especially during our annual Supa Fresh Holiday Bazaar! We had 30 local artists/vendors selling handmade arts and crafts and food. The students in the program dressed up as various vegetables and we even had a Star Wars character running around. There was live music from several local groups and fun was had by all.

The farmers, as usual, sold their handmade felt Christmas ornaments, many also in the shapes of veggies. Santa came to charm the spirit of the bazaar as well! Other non-profit programs benefited: The Bethlehem House of Bread did a food drive during the event, and two other youth programs were there as vendors; Project Pooch and Beading the Odds, both of which are youth programs at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility. Project Pooch focuses on rehabilitating youth inmates and homeless dogs by having the youth train the dogs and prepare them for adoption. Beading the Odds is a Social Purpose Enterprise business, much like the farm, in which youth at MacLaren create beautiful beaded items while learning work and business skills. We are thrilled that our program made money to help keep our farm going and that we were also able to help out these other wonderful programs.

Overall the bazaar was a big success and a great experience for the farmers. We hope to see you all there next year!!!

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The Supa Fresh Holiday Bazaar is just around the corner!

Here are samples of some handmade items that you could purchase from select vendors at the Holiday Bazaar 🙂 Come do some holiday shopping with us on 12/12! Check out these beautiful handmade items Bill Wolford. He makes hand-carved Antler-whistles, jewelry, leather goods and more. 12310624_1025666150787091_4352641734158709841_n 12308382_1025666137453759_6635820604276400688_n Here are samples of some Fashionable jewelry by Blue and Blue. These are just a few designs from the artist. This jewelry is good for hip people of all ages. 12347805_1026029510750755_2571909534516946771_n 12289527_1026029530750753_4223915458974517500_n Supa fresh ornaments! Here is a picture of one of the adorable ornaments that will be for sale at the 2015 Supa Fresh Holiday Bazaar, that will be for sale at the Supa Fresh Youth Farm's booth.  Come do some holiday shopping with us on 12/12/2015! IMG_3046  

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HolidayBazaarLogo1-1260x632 Supa Fresh Holiday Bazaar featuring local, handmade arts, crafts, food items and more.  Characters from Star Wars, Live music, food and fun! Help out the food pantry by bringing non-perishable food items to donate to "Jam the Van." When: Saturday, December 12th, 9am-4pm Where: Bethlehem - House of Bread 9055 SW Locust St. Tigard, OR 97223 Vendor/Artist Fee: $40 for 10' x 8' space, $20 for non-profits (Fees benefit the OHDC Youthsource Supa Fresh Youth Farm program, Bethlehem House of Bread Food Pantry and Community Garden.) Proceeds benefit the Supa Fresh Youth Farm and Bethlehem House of Bread Food Pantry and Community Garden. We hope you can join us for this fun, holiday event while also supporting a good cause! 🙂 Questions/To Apply: Contact Katrin Dougherty, Program Director Supa Fresh Youth Farm, Tigard katrin.Dougherty@ohdc.org 503-307-0633

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