Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Here is our farm truck in the middle of residential St. Louis, loaded with mulch and tools, with the haul from our great pumpkin heist below and tree cuttings on the right from my nascent tree business.
And this is a view from above (well, from the roof) of our back yard showing Deanna's creativity and hard work. You can see the mulch paths and organic garden on the right that we're currently working on. Throughout are other growing beds and her lawn-art touches like the pond and stream in the upper left that is run by a water pump, the wooden arch on the left made out of ladders, old bathtub fountain in the lower right, etc.
Just a couple of snapshots of the humble beginning of our Adventure Farm.
Monday, November 8, 2010
|Helping Jack-o-Lanterns find a better final resting place|
|Nursery pumpkins in the new bed|
|I decided I needed to break them up a bit|
|First layer of free compost covering |
the broken pumpkins.
Don’t forget to compost your pumpkin. Or, if you live in St Louis I have room for a few more.
Monday, November 1, 2010
|Potential chicken tractor site with the |
abruptly ending mulch path
|A view from the brick patio. You can see the newer garden|
addition with the concrete blocks on the right and the
older beds on the left and back center.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
|The October Permaculture Design Course Participants|
|Adventure Farm Spring 2010|
Well it’s been too long since I’ve posted, but that doesn’t mean a lot hasn’t been going on. In fact, it seems I've been so busy it's been hard to find a moment to write.
For instance earlier this month I found myself in Steele, IL at a Permaculture Design course. It was an intense 8 days of learning, and I left with my head full of ideas.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Dragonfly on Garden Peas
As evening comes I have another guardian who arrives. This past spring we had a pair of barred owls nest in a wooded area on the next block. They too would use our pond and hang out around our yard into the evening. I became accustomed to hearing the call of the barred owl around 5:30-6:00 in the evening as I watered my garden and would often see one silently arriving to sit in a neighbor's tree overlooking our yard. It became a lovely ritual that I looked forward to. I began to think of the hawk and owl as taking shifts, one going to bed as the other took over.
Last week I learned how possessive one hawk is of his work shift. I was out in the garden one morning picking tomatoes before heading off for my work shift when I startled, and was startled by, the owl getting a drink from the pond before he retired for the day. He hopped away and stood staring at me. I crept back into the house to share the experience with Guy. When we returned he allowed us to observe him for a few more minutes before fluttering a few feet to the top of our backyard fence where he quietly sat watching us. Of course, the bluebirds were not so quiet. They were shouting the alarm and getting louder. I can only imagine what Mr. Cooper thought when he heard the ruckus that was not directed at him. But when he discovered the "problem" he went absolutely crazy. He drowned out the bluebirds with his screech and swooped down at the barred owl hitting him on the head. I swear he was shouting about Mr Barred taking his shift. The owl ducked and then flew to a more protected area of the fence where there was some vegetation to hide in. Actually, he didn't seem all the concerned, just annoyed. In fact the harassment went on for 15-20 minutes with the hawk swooping or sitting nearby staring, but the owl seemed unconcerned and at one point was actually looking down at the ground as if he was looking for a mouse to snack on. Guy and I were having a great time watching all this and took pictures like crazy. After a while the hawk got tired of harassing the owl and getting no response and Guy and I decided it would be a good idea to get to our work, so we left Mr Barred on his perch and left for our day. I haven't met the owl in the morning since, but I sure hope to see him around again soon. I need him to keep those bunnies and squirrels out of my garden.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Saturday I spent the day with a close friend foraging for mushrooms at a wonderful farm just outside of St. Louis. The weather has been a little too dry for mushrooms, but the hot weather and the promise of a lake to swim in, drew us both to the country. We started the day by walking through the woods in the hope of finding chanterelles. Karen, my foraging buddy, had recently had great luck finding chanterelles, which she kindly cooked and shared with both Guy and me.
This day we weren't 50 feet into the woods before we spied our first chanterelle. Excitedly, we looked all around the area and only found one other dried up chanterelle. We continued to explore the area stopping now and again to admire flowers, ferns and the occasional scat. Yes, we actually do admire scat from time to time. In this case it was very fortunate that we enjoy this rather peculiar activity since as we were examining some particularly interesting scat we looked up to spy a real treat. Attached to a rotting log was a shelf mushroom called Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) also called Sulfur Shelf. This is a beautiful and, I was soon to find out, delicious mushroom that is found on rotting wood. It is an absolutely beautiful orange and white that looks like something you would find snorkeling and not in a humid Missouri woodland. Thank goodness we found this lovely and rather large mushroom since we would have looked pretty pathetic returning with our one tiny chanterelle. However, after a lovely swim in the lake we returned home the successful hunters.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The search has begun. This past Sunday we took our first trip to look for a place to call Adventure Farm. This piece of property is in St. James, MO. A couple is selling a large parcel of land broken into a wide variety of pieces that you can mix and match in all different ways. I had a great time and decided the whole experience was amazingly fun. Guy, on the other hand, found it “interesting.”
- a stand of trees that can be used for a challenge course
- open grown trees for recreational tree climbing
- a grove of trees for tree houses, a big swing and just to enjoy
- Southern exposure
- Big kitchen
- Without the cheap, tacky remodel, please
- It can be “As Is” if it has character, is structurally sound and has the above characteristics. For the right price, of course. Actually, for the right price we could build. Although building is not our first choice.
An "As Is" with potential, but DEFINITELY the wrong price.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Most of our seeds this year came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. in Mansfield MO. We used them last year too and had good success. We enjoy supporting a more local seed supplier and using heirloom seeds. For more information you can go to their website at www.rareseeds.com.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Much of the land at Adventure Farm has been converted to areas with native plants. Missouri has a history of flora diversity, which includes the wetlands along the largest river in the continental US, the Ozark mountains, and large expanses of prairie. In this small space we have included species found in all those areas. As a result of planting and nurturing these natives, we have also observed the change of animal species who visit our backyard. Among the many fauna that make regular visits to our yard are cooper hawks, barred owls, garter snakes, American toads, bats, flickers, goldfinch, raccoon, and opossum among many. While we still have many squirrels and rabbits, I am convinced that there are less because of the owls and hawks. The insect pest population is definitely reduced from the bats, snakes and toads.