Our summer potlucks have started, where together we explore issues related to agriculture, the environment, social justice, and spirituality. This Friday's (June 13th) will be led members of transition Ames, Carolyn Raffensperger and Nathan Thrailkill.
The rest of the potlucks, also on Friday, are below:
August 15: Transition from fossil fuel and resilience to climate change
August 22: Examining race and privilege, led by Mark Becker and Jason
August 29: Reestablishing tradition: praire restoration basics, led by Nate Kemperman
September 5: Exploring the co-existence of GMO's and organic agriculture, led by Bekka Brown
Resilient Seed Saving: Re-storing Our Skills and Our Caches
Saturday August 16, 1 to 4 PM
Mustard Seed Community Farm
366 W Ave
Ames, IA 50014
Important note on the location;
Do not trust navigator and internet map sources - it keeps sending folks to the wrong place. mMake sure you are
headed northwest of Ames (about 10 miles north of ames), west of Story City, just south of E-18. Also
note that W Ave does not go through north of Hwy 30 - take Hwy 17 or
R38 north from 30.
([of most of our summer interns' stay-ed.])
HELLO! This is Mary Zheng, intern living in the RV for the summer.
If you’ve ever sat in a classroom, you know the drill: in the beginning, everyone sits on a first come, first serve basis, but by the third weed, the kid who wears his puke green high school graduation shirt 75% of the week sits to your right and the girl who starts every question with ‘I’ve got a question—actually, I’ve got three…’ sits to your left. This is carved in stone. But there’s always that one fateful day when you enter the classroom to see someone else in your seat. You begrudgingly sit in the closest empty seat, but you end up taking someone else’s seat, and now the whole feng shui of the room is ruined.
Not so at Mustard Seed. I’ve been here for ten weeks, and nobody has once taken my seat at the dinner table. It’s because nobody has a specific spot at the table—how could you when there’s a different number of people eating at each meal? There’s a constant flow of people coming and going, whether they be workshop attendees, workday volunteers, mysterious WOOFERs, or Franciscan nuns (but to be fair, that was only once).
Although our lack of permanent seating arrangements is in my opinion the mark of our strong community, somehow I feel like I’ve been a part of a (slightly dysfunctional but ever so loving) family. People talk about how Mustard Seed is a community farm—and it is—but the truth is, when you hang around here long enough, you become part of the family.
This summer, the family has consisted of Claire Boeke, who hates mushrooms and isn’t too good at this whole love thing; Clare Roberts, who requires seven sleep cycles to be well-rested and seven sneezes before she’s done; Abby Jeske, savior of all animals and master of the poop bucket; Elena Ingram, who can’t yell but also can’t whisper and, as a resident of Ames, is our reliable connection to civilization, and myself. These ladies have grown from strangers into my sisters, with Nate and Alice protecting us from pesticide air-raids, teaching us their scrupulous ways of weeding, and providing us with lots of work, Swiss chard, and love.
Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up as an only child, but this summer has been absolutely splendid, and it’s all because I’ve felt like I’ve been a part of a large family. I don’t know if it’s waking each other up on harvest mornings (because one of us inevitably presses snooze a one too many times), rejoicing together at the amount of sugar brought to us in dessert form at every potluck (bless your souls), or later regretting eating four servings of those brownies, but whatever it is about this farm has turned us into something much closer than mere co-workers.
Now that I’m at the end of my stay here, I’d love to say that nobody could take my place (at the table), but the nature of Mustard Seed has made it so that I never even had my own place. I was and always will be a part of something much larger than myself—something that I will both carry and share with others through my thoughts and actions, whether they be weeding the side of W Ave so the milkweeds grow taller, donating portions of my future garden to friends or strangers in need, or just sharing consolations and desolations with those around my table. I’ll see you again, Mustard Seed, and when I do, I’ll kick every one’s @$$ at futbol. GOL!!!!!!
Invitation for a permaculture design class at the Mustard Seed Community Farm, taught by Adam Campbell from the Peace and Permaculture University in northeast Missouri.
Permaculture is the practice of designing farming and living space to be in harmony with and benefit from the natural environment, of examining and using multiple functions of our plants, lands, and ecosystems, and caring for the earth and people in a rejuvenating human system.
The schedule for the class:
Saturday, July 26th, 9 to 5 PM
Sunday, July 27th: 11 to 4 PM
The class will be held at Mustard Seed Community Farm: 366 W Ave, Ames, Iowa, 50014. Mustard Seed is 10 miles north and 6 miles west of the town of Ames.
Also, there will be optional activities are available Saturday night and Sunday morning if you're camping or want to stay later or come earlier.
The class is offered following the gift economy: they are our gift
to the community and we hope that you will think they are so worthwhile
that you might give a gift to us as you are able - to help cover the costs
of the class, or to offer your time to the farm, or perhaps you will be
inspired by this class to go out and give a gift to the greater world.
Register for the class by contacting Alice McGary at (515) 460-1467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camping is available on the farm.
Unfortunately, because of the coming thunderstorms, our seed saving workshop Sunday (today) will be cancelled. We will still be having the seed-saving workshop, on either August 16th or 17th, from 1 to 4 PM. We'll let you know further details soon.
June 28, 8 to 4 PM
Weed harvesting, green bean planting, and weeding
July 5, 1 to 5 PM
Garlic harvesting, processing, and eating, and probably some weeding.
July 19: 1 to 5 PM
Weeding, green potato digging, and raspberry eating.
August 9: 8 AM to noon
Weeding, cover crop planting, melon eating
Sep 20, 9 AM to noon
Sweet Potato Harvesting. We'll be harvesting most of our sweet potatoes. Workers can expect to take some freshly dug sweet potatoes home and learn a lot about digging!
October 4: 9 to 5
we'll be having a workday tomorrow, from 9 to 5. We've got lots of things to do, like tomato trellising and weeding and maybe some prairie things.
The Mustard Seed Community Farm is offering 3 classes this summer (in addition to our every Friday potlucks).
3 Practical Classes for building a sustainable lifestyle. 3 Zany and incredibly knowledgeable visiting teachers.
June 14-15 Natural building weekend workshop
Sunday June 29, 15pm Seed-saving 1 day workshop
July 26-27 Permaculture design weekend workshop
in this newsletter: Potluck, Workdays, and Farm Update
The last potluck of our winter season, as its almost summer, will be happening next Friday, May 16, with dinner at 6 PM and a discussion from 7 to 8 PM. This potluck will be in town (ames), at 704 Duff ave. The topic of the discussion shall be: Hindu philosophy and social justice. This will be led by the Hindu student organization at Iowa state. Come join us for good food and conversation. We'll also be coming out with our full summer schedule shortly, when we'll be having a potluck every week at the farm.
We will be offering 3 practical and fun classes on the farm this summer. We will be sending (and posting on our website) a more detailed description of the classes and the amazing teachers, but here are the basics so you can get them on your calendar.