Monday, February 14, 2011

Farm Start in Wyoming

Calling all farmers... Here is message from a Middlebury friend, Hilary Eisen:

"I'm part of a cooperative farm in northwest Wyoming, and, after two years of trying to juggle too many things at once, we've all decided that the farm needs a full-time farmer to be truly successful. I'm assuming that the three of you already have farms to occupy yourselves with, and aren't interested in moving to Wyoming, but I'm wondering if any of you guys happen to know anybody who'd be interested to moving out to Wyoming (50 miles from Yellowstone, awesome location) to take over a 1 acre organic vegetable farm?

The farm/garden (take your pick in what to call it) is on a friend of mine's organic beef ranch ( about 15 miles east of Cody, WY. The farmer would be able to live on the ranch, and they'd have full control over the garden. There's 5-10, possibly more, people who've been involved in the garden over the past couple of years who would continue to help out with planting, weeding, harvesting, etc. In the past we've sold our produce at the farmers market and to local restaurants, and there is potential to develop a low-key CSA as well.

I'm anticipating that the core group of people who've been involved over the past couple of years would chip in to cover initial costs (seeds, fuel for the tractor). The farmer's pay would be dependent on what they earned out of the garden (so, all proceeds from the farmers market and other sales would go to the farmer). Given the relatively small size of the plot (by WY standards), and the volunteer base, we're anticipating that the farmer would probably need to commit to 20-30 hours/week, so if they wanted they could work odd jobs, or a second job in town, or whatever too. Or they could just explore the amazing expanse of public lands in all directions.

I know this is a pretty random thing to be asking...but I figured it doesn't hurt to try. After all, at an earlier stage in my life if somebody had offered me an organic farm I'd have jumped all over it. If you know anybody who might be interested have them call or email me and I can give them more details. Lots more details.

hope you're all doing well. If you want to flee the cloudy misery of the east coast, there's a farm in Wyoming with your name on it :)

- Hilary
Rocky Mountain Organic Meats - Organic Grass Fed Beef -"

Please contact me for details about getting in touch with Hilary. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb [ideas] Brew Airy

The days are getting longer, the snowbanks taller, my students are becoming more nomadic, and the wheels are starting to turn-- Hello, 2011!

The first few shipments of seeds are in to beat the Rush, which is a fantastic dilemma in itself; how great is it that seed companies selling out of stock! So, some of my favorites: Misato Rose (giant, sweet-hot, tri-color, storage) radishes, Romanesca cauliflower, sugar snap and snow peas, among others, are all here and waiting for those 60-degree soil temps... After the two feet of snow and crust disappear. The spreadsheets are cranking, and we've got a few exciting projects lining the distant horizon now that we've officially kicked off Quarter 3 of classes:

Sunday Morning Bouquets: Not bad for spending the night on the porch post wedding! (photo courtesy Liz Hand)
+ Growing and arranging flowers for Kate and Matt's wedding, and hopefully having lots of extra backup for Becky and Pete,
+ Contract growing cukes, picklers, cilantro, parsely, and serrano peppers for Koala Kitchens' zhug stock/pickle crocks,
+ And some great CSA buzz!

Don't hesitate to contact me if there is some exciting new crop you'd love to have for the summer, or you're interested in some extra bedfeet, custom-grown produce, "pick your own" arrangements, or help with your gardens-- we can work out just about anything, especially early on.

Also, here's an updated form for GPF's 2011 CSA: early payments save some bucks (and make a farmer happy!)
Of course, taxes have to happen sometime in between now and then, too (spreadsheets, check.) Looking forward to some warm summer days... They'll be here before we know it.