Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Harvest

It has been a year of firsts for Green Things Farm, but one of the most fun have been our first harvests. It is so satisfying to finally pick the crops we have planted, weeded, and watered for weeks or months.

So far this summer Nate and I have been giving our shares LOTS of green things (and red and purple too)... green onions, kale, chard, peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips, radishes, herbs, bok choy, mustard greens.... It's been great, but I can hardly wait for our first real heat loving crops-I have been having reoccurring dreams of our hoop house tomatoes finally turning red. It has to happen one of these days!

It has been a joy to watch Seeley and Bending Sickle also have beautiful first harvests. The plants and animals are really growing at Tilian!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Who Wouldn't Weed a Hoop House for a Rhubarb Muffin?

Hello friends!

I am Emily Jaffe, an undergraduate student studying in the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan. This summer I will be working as an intern for the Tilian Farm Development Center! My role for Tilian is to help organize volunteer events, seek opportunities in the community for partnership and connection, and to offer administrative support and working hours to the farmers.

The first volunteer event that I helped to arrange was Volunteer Orientation Night at Tilian Farm Development Center for the Four Season Farmer Incubator Project and its farmers! Project Manager Andrea Ridgard and I arrived a little before 5 to prepare the barn and awaited the arrival of volunteers coming to help Nate, Jill, Alex, Mark and Ben, Tilian’s dedicated young farmers.

By six ‘o clock, we were joined by six friendly folks, eager to get their hands dirty!

The evening began with delicious food—which is always the best way to start a night! We all gathered in the barn to enjoy fresh rhubarb muffins, homemade applesauce, veggies and a big salad—with Andrea’s newly harvested carrots & Seeley Farm greens!

The warm environment inside of Tilian’s barn accompanied with a scrumptious meal made for a great start to our Volunteer Orientation Night. Everyone introduced themselves—and we all got to know each other a little bit! Nate shared how Tilian operates and the importance of having and supporting Tilian and other similar small-scale, sustainable farms in our community.

After we were done talking, the farmers took us on a tour! We petted the goats, learned about the various types of onions, lettuces, artichokes and the numerous other vegetables growing at Green Things and Seeley Farm.

We also enjoyed watching as the baby pigs bounced toward us in a hurry with their flapping ears!

And, of course we snuck a snuggle with Porkchop…

Then, it was time to get to work. We headed to the wonderful 4,500 sq. ft. hoop house built by 70 volunteers in mid-April to terminate the weeds.

And what a success it was—together, we weeded almost all of the artichokes, tomatoes, eggplants and lettuces!

Please click on the link to learn more about Selma Café and their great help in creating the hoop house @ Tilian (http://www.repastspresentandfuture.org/tilian-farm-development-hoop-build)

Unfortunately, the pesky mosquitoes found us after awhile…

So we found cover in the barn! We put volunteers to work making some awesome new Tilian t-shirts—which you can buy for 10$ at Tilian—and designing the north-east facing side of our sign on the Pontiac Trail.

From the beginning to end, it was an enjoyable and productive night.

I am so excited to have such an educational experience that allows me to meet and work with many kind and passionate people.

Most importantly, I would like to give a huge thank you to the volunteers:

Alex told me that it would have taken the Seeley & Green Things farmers several hours to complete all of the weeding that we accomplished in about 90 minutes in the hoop house. So—really, a huge shout out to everyone who helped us at Tilian!

I hope to see you at the next Tilian Volunteer Night on Monday from 5-9PM :)

In-Kindness, You've donated

Thank you Thank you to all who are so generously lending hand, heart, pocket change, and larger sums, body, energy, delicious prepared meals & raw ingredients, ideas, dreams and actions to ensure Tilian Farm Development Center's long stay in Ann Arbor.

Join me in celebrating some of Tilian's early development victories:
  • Trickl-eez contributed $750 worth of irrigation equipment toward out purchase for the farm
  • 70 of you volunteered to build the 4,500 square foot hoop house and another nearly 40 are signed up to build the next one ~ a mobile hoop~ on July 2: Sign up HERE if you haven't already!
  • Kickstarter supporters, like you, raised over $13K for a tool shed, deer fencing and a BCS walk behind tractor!

  • Tilian's livestock farmer, Benjamin Fidler's "A Bard Sings Out" night of poetry & song brought in $350!
  • In t-shirt sales and individual donations, we have raised an additional $1000. (Buy your t-shirt this summer for $10, before prices go up in the fall!)
  • 6 of you showed up to our first volunteer night last Monday & weeded...a lot! (Check out Emily's blog: "Who Wouldn't Weed the hoop house for a Rhubarb Muffin?"
Hope to see more of you this Monday morning (10:30AM-12:30PM) and evening (5-9PM) for more good fun & farm work!

Our next big time at the farm is the weekend of July 15 - 17. Join us for yoga, wholesome food, farm tours & a food swap. More details to come.

Be sure to check out our calendar for more upcoming events!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bards Sang Out

On Saturday night, we gathered in the barn, thankful for the cool air & a reason to celebrate and listen to insightful lyrics while resting on straw and hay and munching on fresh greens from the Tilian fields, yonder. (we raised $350!)

Since compiling these words on page early that morning, their truth calls me back more and more often to the barn, the fields, the rows of rooting brassicas and tamed patches of once tall grass where the goats graze and pigs root:

the stillness of this place 'fore barn swallows wake
the power hovering o'er misted fields
bearing up shoots of sun-kissed love to caress our lips and fuel our hungry depths

the freedom in the vastness of blue or clouds
the way the sun seems to fully absorb this ground
my feet are but small prints quickly covered.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We're on Facebook!

Check out the following link to "like us". We'll periodically post info and upcoming events. It's a great way to stay connected.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Happenings!

Check out what's hot at Tilian & join us when you can!
(@ 4400 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105)

  • June 11: First Farm Tour (4-6PM, $5 suggested donation) & The Bard Sings Out: A Night of Poetry & Sung (begins at 6PM, $5-10 suggested donation)
  • June 20: Volunteer Training/Orientation & Potluck (5-9PM), Please RSVP to tilianfdc@gmail.com if you would like to attend
  • Every Monday: Beginning June 27, join us at Tilian to volunteer & share food with Green Things Farm, Seeley Farm, & Bending Sickle Community Farm from 10:30AM-12:30PM & 5-9PM. Please bring a dish to pass.
  • July 16: Second Farm Tour, Patch & T-shirt Pick Up (for Kickstarter Backers) & Sales (Patches for $7, T-shirts for $10)
  • August 20: Third Farm Tour, Patch & T-shirt Pick Up (for Kickstarter Backers) & Sales, And Mid-Summer All Farm BBQ ($20/ticket)