Wheeew, a rainy day, while slowing us up outdoors, is allowing a minute of respite for us to turn back and catch up with the office work... and we have wanted to share the story of how Growing Lots, along with a great bunch of fellow urban farmers managed to move a farm in one day. It truly was a magical thing to behold. :-)
Why in the world would you move a farm? Well, that is in part the transitory nature of urban agriculture as it currently stands. We have certainly not been the first urban agriculture site to lose its tenuous grip on the land, and we most certainly won't be the last. The parking lot Growing Lots used as its inaugural site last year was slated for demolition starting in September of 2011 as the city re-engineers 22nd St to connect with Cedar Ave below. However, as all work plans go, the timeline was suddenly bumped up to mid-summer, which obviously became a no-go for operating a farm and serving our CSA members. So in mid-April, we got the word and a forced relocation plan was immediately put into place.
Growing Lots has been working closely with Seward Redesign over the course of the last two years, and they quickly suggested another parking lot just down the street where we could set up a new farm. Here is a before shot of the farm site:
How does one go about moving a farm?? Well, here are the basic ingredients:
1 - Get some help... Urban Farmers are amazing folks and they showed up in force!
2 - Find someone with a BIG truck and a Bobcat... in this case it was Russ 'Rooster' Henry of Giving Tree Gardens who saved the day with his truck and the amazing landscapers next door (Field Outdoor Spaces, Inc) who supplied the Bobcat....
3 - Then get a lot of helping hands with shovels to schlep that soil from one lot to the next while others form beds:
4 - And a farm is more than soil alone, so we can't deny the deconstruction and hauling in the mighty red beast!
So there was a lot more work that pictures don't capture, and their was indeed a lot of fun to be had (these urban farmers are a rowdy bunch!).. but that is the basic recipe for moving a farm down the road!
Where are things standing now? Well, unfortunately we did lose our spinach and pea crop because they were planted before the news of the move had arrived. However, Nature in all her crafty wisdom and wry sense of humor, has shown us that you can't keep a good pea down! We have peas popping up all over the new farm, and some of them have sent their shoots up 6 + inches.. it's quite amazing!!
So what is in the ground and growing? Well, we have lettuces, arugula, cilantro, radishes, carrots, beets, rainbow chard, kale, collards, broccoli, romanesco cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbages and the last of our spinach seeds.
In close, here are some finishing images of the farm, and where it is at now....
stayed tuned for news on the chicken coop and imminent chicken arrival!!
d'Farmers at Growing Lots Urban Farm.....