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Mustard Seed Community Farm May 2012 Newsletter

Potluck Schedule
Pesticide Monitoring Field Day
Farm Update

Photography

Though we take pictures here on the farm from time to time, it's been fun these last few weeks to have someone that's pretty skilled come and do pictures, and Radford (the person taking the pictures) is great fun and also pretty nice. This is a big project for him, and i'm not if he wants us to repost his pictures, but you should definitely go have a look, here's a link to his portfolio of our farm, from which you can see his other nice portfolios as well.

First mint cookies of the season

I'd made cookies with mint before, but for these I decided to strain out the mint leaves this time(cookies on left), though I then used the refuse leaves to make some more cookies (cookies on right)

Mustard Seed Community Farm Newsletter: April 2012

in this newsletter you will find:
1. Farm Update
2. Request for Farm Labor
3. Potluck Information

1. Farm Update
So last Alice and Nate have been hard at work, tilling, removing trees from cages, putting up the electric fence, and cleaning up our shed for the new year. Other people have been doing things as well, last wednesday we had a somewhat successful grass burn, which should help some of our prairie seeds germinate and grow a little better. Also, Saturday, we had a big work crew out, and we prepared a lot of beds, planted all of our onions, some of our broccoli family crops, and a bit of lettuce. The weather is a bit warm for this time of year, so in some senses we are behind, in that its earlier in the year than we often plant things like broccoli and potatoes, but it's been warm enough to plant those crops for several weeks now, and they might as well be in the ground.

2. Request for Farm Labor
Because of this, we're trying to get those things in the ground, which would go faster if we had more people. This

Saturday, April 7, 1-4PM
we will be having our next workday, and we'll be weeding raspberries, planting potatoes, and various other things. Feel free to come out and help!

We'll have another workday the saturday after that:

Sat, April 14, from 9-12 and from 1-4,
we'll be doing various other things related to food production.

More generally, Alice will be working most of this coming week planting, and would like help planting most of those days. If you'd like to help her out, give her a call at 515-460-1467

3. Potluck Information
Our next potluck:
April 13, at 826 Duff Ave, Ames, IA
Annie Thompson Heuscher and John Dean will will educate attendees about the coal mining practices in Appalacia and elsewhere and lead a discussion about motivations and effectiveness of activism going on to prevent the damage caused by this mining.

more potluck topics coming soon!

Ag-arts event, rough farm shedule, etc

hi Everyone,

Today it is officially spring, though it has felt like summer for a week. what a strange year!

email summary (1. ag-arts event. 2. prairie burn. 3. carpooling to the farm. 4. rough farm schedule)

(sorry, i've lost the camera - hopefully there'll be some pictures soon!)

potluck on farm chemicals

hi all,

This friday is our March potluck.6pm march 9 at Jennifer Garst and Steve Libby's house (708 brookridge in Ames - this is just north of 6th street by brookside park)

February Cover Crops


Above is a picture of our farm from last weekend. In the left row are dead pepper plants, with no cover crop planted. On the right, you might be able to see dead eggplants, but the main thing you can see is dead radishes, which we planted in the fall. The eggplants were quite pest infested and so the radishes were able to grow well for a good amount of time before the freezes killed them. In the left pic below, you can see dead peppers further down. Here, just to try it out, we scattered some rye and then surface-hoed a bit. It came up kindof sporadically, compared to the rye in the picture at right. We'll see how each looks when we cut it.

Practical Farmers of Iowa Cooperator's Meeting

Alice and I were at the second day of the PFI cooperator's meeting today, talking with other farmers and Practical Farmer's staff about last year's research and planning the research and demonstration projects people will be doing next year. PFI are pretty cool for a lot of reasons, and one of them is they organize and sponsor a bunch of research:

Here's a page with all the horticulture research projects from last year,

Here's a page you can get to all of their research projects and other resources,

and I was going to put a link through to our results from the research we and Scattergood friend's school farm did, but it isn't up yet. In short, the variation in sweet potato yields, from plant to plant and from row to row is really high, so the main question of our research, "Does removing ancillary roots from sweet potato vines increase yields of the harvested roots?" couldn't adequately be answered, since our interval of possible effects was quite large: we were 95% confident that removing the roots not coming from the crowns of sweet potato plants caused something between a 39% decrease and 56% increase in yield. Which doesn't say much, other than that sweet potato research is difficult at our scale.

Ames Community Garden Coalition Seed Swap

Last year, we had Ames's first seed swap, and it got people informed about a lot of gardens (such as the one at right), and was a fun day of eating and sharing lots of fun seeds.

From Sue DeBliek, who's taking charge of the seed swap organizing this year:
The Ames Community Garden Coalition planning team has been collecting loads of seeds for the Seed Swap on Monday. Join us at 5:00PM in the basement of the Youth and Shelter Services Building (420 Kellogg) in downtown Ames. Bring your friends and some seeds you would like to share. You will meet other community gardeners, learn about the gardens of Ames, and take home some great seeds.

here's the information

Ames Community Garden Coalition
Seed Swap
Monday, Feb. 6th
5:00-6:30PM
Lowest level of Youth & Shelter Services Building, 420 Kellogg Ave.

Next Friday's Potluck: Human Trafficking

The next potluck will be on human trafficking
Feb 10, at 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA
Teresa Downing will present on the state of the movement against human trafficking and lead a discussion on the contributors to and means of dealing with human trafficking. Note that this is not this Friday, but the next.
A potluck dinner will be at 6, followed by a discussion from 7 to 8.

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