The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
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A few snap shots of farm activity this week..
Community building. I was approached by one of our CSA members asking if she could run a Red Tent gathering here on the farm. Following the reading of the book of the same name, she was keen to provide a safe place for woman to come together and share experiences, information, knowledge and skills. The first session saw us speak about our experiences of becoming young women. Surprisingly similar encounters! We will be holding the Red Tent once a month, for those of you women who may be interested.
We have had rain, glorious rain. Just over 60mls, which made the four year old's birthday party a bit wet. But not to worry, they all had a great time. I told a story about sunflowers and bees and the children got to plant a sunflower seed, watch honey being extracted from the frames, and take some seeds and honey home. One of the mums has already booked her little boys party for the end of March.
A little bit of seed saving, first through the sieves to get rid of the course material and then the winnowing, to be left just with the seed. We will keep a lot of the seed for our own use but the rest is sold during farm tours or at the Harvest Farmer's Market, where we set up our first stall last Saturday...
We sold seedlings, seeds and cotton dishcloths with an underlying focus on advertising our workshops, tours and parties. The markets are on every Saturday and we will make it there as often as we can. Our weekends are often busy with farm based activities and we won't be able to commit to a stall. Periodically we may have produce for sale also, but as our CSA boxes can handle as much as we can grow at the moment, sales of excess produce at the market will have to wait.
The pigs are loving their work so much that they have managed to cultivate one of their pens ready for us to plant some yummy pig food for them when next we rotate them to this area.
They are also loving their play. Here's cinnamon rolling in the mud..
Our electro netting has arrived and we can now safely put them to work in the market garden.We did wonder how we were going to move them from their enclosure to the garden and have managed to make a run through the food forest to the garden. Along the way they have also cleaned up the forest.
This part of the garden was originally a no dig garden and so it is proving to be a pretty simple job for the pigs to cultivate. we are thinking we might prep this area up for asparagus once the pigs are finished. And we have already decided on the next spot for the pigs to move onto. What a great resource they are!
Mark is working on a new chook dome to house those other marvelous cultivators, the hens. We have four chook domes in the Market garden, which means that four beds are being cleared and dug over. They do need to be repaired at times and sometimes replaced.Like the pigs, the hens do a fantastic job of preparing the garden for planting.