Monday, March 26, 2012

What's Happening at Adventure Farm?

A Whole Lot!  For those of you who have been asking, and for those who might be wondering what we are up to, here's our plans for the next month or so. We sure would like to see some of you.

Adventure Farm Spring Happenings

“Tackling the Front Yard” events 
Getting rid of that front lawn and working to hold water on the property.

Phase One:

April 1 (9 am - noon) Developing a path and building an A-frame
Guy and Deanna will be creating a path across the front yard. We will be repurposing some old salvaged metal grates for some steps and hopefully mulching the path and planting some-sort of “walkable” herbs in the grates. Guy and I will also build an A-frame for making my swales the following Saturday. Free veggie plants for those who volunteer to help.

April 7- (9am-until I’m finished or the sun goes down)   Swales, mulching, and planting
Deanna will be digging swales on the front hill, sheet mulching with newspaper and leaf mulch, and planting native grasses and lavender. Free veggie plants for those who volunteer. 

Other Adventure Farm Happenings!

April 7- (11am-2pm and 2pm-5pm)  Tree Climbing
Guy will be hosting an introduction to tree-climbing event. This is a free event, but you must register to attend. We have a limited number of spots. There is a morning and afternoon session. Here is a link to find out more details about this event, but you don’t have to join the meetup group to come, just let us know.

April 13-15- Tree Climbing Course
Adventure Farm will be hosting Tim Kovar. Tim is a world renowned tree-climber and will be here working with Guy as they teach an introductory tree climbing course. If you are interested in learning basic tree climbing, then check out the Adventure Tree website at:

April 17- (6:30-8:30) Permie Book Club meeting
We will be discussing Earth User's Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow and whatever else comes to mind.  Come sit on the back porch, snack on some good food, and enjoy some good permie company.

April 21- (9-whenever we finish) Installing rainbarrels
Guy and I will be installing guttering and a row of five rain barrels on the back shed. The shed is situated at the highest point in the yard, so it should be the best spot for a row of rain barrels. Get your engineering head on and come help us figure this one out. 

A few other fun events around town where you will find us.

3/31-"No Child Left Inside" Conference at UMSL 
Guy and Deanna will be attending.  Find out more here

4/18- (7:30-9:30) Transition Town Book Discussion at Foundation Grounds in Maplewood
Deanna will be attending a Transition Town Book Discussion-Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic farming works.The author, Atina Diffley, will be there to read from the book and sign copies. I believe there will be copies there to buy, too. Come join me.  
5/19-(8:30am -noon) Awakening the Dreamer
Deanna will be attending Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium at St. Stephen’s Church in Ferguson, MO. You can find out more at  If you are interested in attending this event, contact Carleton Stock at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Plants Need Good Homes!!

It's time to find homes for our basement babies. They're all looking healthy and happy. Besides tomatoes and basil we have broccoli, eggplant, kale, peppers and ground cherry.  Get them while they last. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Love Affair

 Honestly, I think this love affair has been bubbling near the surface for a while. However, just recently it has reemerged with a vengeance.  I’m referring to an amazing passion for honeybees and pollinators in general. In part this resurrection began strangely enough a while back with the viewing of Avatar and the subsequent reading of a person’s post on some Avatar site about how they wished they could live in a world as amazing as Pandora (the world of Avatar).  I remember this left me a little stunned at the time, since when I watched the film I found that I was constantly comparing the visuals to similar things found in the natural world. After all, James Cameron must have gotten his inspiration from somewhere and what better place than the place in which we all live, Earth. In fact, where else do we base our creative energies? I’ve always loved the natural world, and one part that I find most interesting, and a part many of us miss, is the world of pollinators. This relationship between plant and animal in my opinion is simply miraculous. 

Last year I was fortunate enough to purchase my first honeybee hive and soon after a small colony of bees called a nuc (nucleus). This began what seems to be turning into a much more personal relationship than I could have ever imagined, considering I’m reffering to a lively group of thousands of stinging insects.  I now have three hives, two that are shared with a friend.  These past unseasonably warm days we have been doing spring inspections of the hives and celebrating the strength of one colony and nursing along our weaker “adopted” colonies that we purchased during the winter. To say I like my bees is a gross understatement.  There is no doubt that this is love.  My emotional attachment to these insects keeps me up at night worrying that they don’t have enough stores, that I made the wrong choice to move some frames in the hive, that I didn’t see much brood (eggs, larvae or pupae)…  My impulse to pick up a bee book and become totally engrossed denying myself sleep and food so that I get a little more time to learn about these amazing creatures is a familiar sign that I am hooked. 

Just learning about this complex community that lives in my backyard is astounding. Firstly, most of the bees that make up the colony are females, and if you happen to be a male (drone) you don’t do much of anything for the hive. The only drone's job, as far as I know, is to meet a queen bee on her maiden flight and fertilizer her. That's it. Pretty important job, I realize, but really. The females (queen and workers) make sure that things run smoothly and that all is cared for. I guess that is part of the intrigue, that girl power. Without going into much detail about this complex community, I will add that they are great pollinators for my yard and my surrounding neighbors' yards. The relationship that has evolved between animals and plants that help with pollination is quite complex and amazing. Without pollinators it's hard to imagine what we would eat. We sure would miss out on a lot of wonderful food. If you think about the food you eat and the plants they come from, most of what blooms requires pollination from animals. Some plants are dependent on wind and rain for pollination, but largely it’s some type of pollinator. 

Recently I was fortunate enough to see the attached TED talk.  It's an amazing eight minutes of time that reminds us of what we can discover in our own backyard if we would just allow ourselves to open up our senses and reconnect.  I hope you all will take the opportunity to reconnect with your world and get out this spring and find the magic.

He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing