Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
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!
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.
Join me in celebrating some of Tilian's early development victories:
- Johnny's Selected Seeds donated over $500 in tools & equipment including the Earthway Seeder featured here:
- 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?"
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
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
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
(@ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)