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Winter gardening and soil prep @ Steve's

  • Jan 25, 2014 · 1:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Come join the Urban Farmers once again in our first MeetUp in the new year.   We will be meeting in Steve's home and property in Cupertino to help him with a few wintertime projects in preparation for our warmer Spring weather and growing season. We will do some good healthy work, learn and socialize together.  Barbara DuMond will be  doing a talk about good soil composition, how to improve your soil, a bit about the soil food web, and how to help protect your plants and soil from the drought.  After our work we will once again share our company and our delicious food.

Here is an outline of what we hope to accomplish:

1) underlay two raised beds with wire mesh, rock or ceramic tile

2) add manure and organic matter to the soil in the beds

3) work into the soil two garbage-can-sized compost loads and their earthworm residents.  There is wire mesh under the beds now, but there are likely holes as underground critters were burrowing in the beds.  So I want to dig up the beds, re-position the wire, add stone or tiles (or brick) to complete the varmint barrier, and replace the soil in the beds for planting a winter garden.  There is mature kale in the second bed, which could be transplanted into the first bed.  And there is mature rosemary in the second bed that could be replanted in either bed.  None of the beds has other plants.

If anybody wants red earthworms please bring a container and you are welcome to take some.

About Steve:

I'm more of a gardener than farmer.  I prune plants and pull weeds to give me breaks from working on the computer.  At our last house, we had a mongo deodar cedar on the south property line, so had no garden space.  All we grew were herbs in pots.  Before that, we had a place with some garden area, but never got to plant because the roof leaked and we knew we were not going to be there for the summer.  Myself, I lived in an apartment complex for two years before that, so I had a 30-40 square foot patio for my potted plants and tiny worm bin.  So I am a minimal gardener and not at all a farmer.  But I have done hydroponics decades ago, and I'm a practical handyman for building pretty much anything.  I've built two greenhouses (one from scratch), one 8,000 gallon water tank (concrete, on the top of a mountain), one three-compartment compost bin, and two water features (see my Google+ page for details).  So I have related skills.  And I'm sure that I would have lots of good questions to ask.

The Urban Farmers Coop events are working/learning sessions where we all pitch into a project at the hosts location.

Here is what we do:

  • We meet to help out a fellow host farmer
  • We do some work, exchange ideas and learn something at the same time.
  • We bring food from our gardens so we can share with each other the wonderful foods we are raising.
  • After the meeting we all take home something that we did not bring.


If possible please bring any of these items:

  • Bag for collecting harvested food
  • Gardening tools- Shovel, trowel, gloves etc..
  • wheelbarrow if you have one
  • Some food items from your yard to exchange with other member (if you have any)
  • Potluck item that either contains something that you have picked from your yard/urban farm-- OR -- something that you would like in the future to come from your yard/urban farm."
  • If you do not have any of the above then it is OK-- just bring yourself and some good positive energy.

 

AGENDA

1) A bit of work

As people arrive we will all participate in a group working activity in the hosts location.

2) Demo and instruction

During the work portion we will have a short break out period to present some new material and gain some farming/gardening knowledge.  Barbara DuMond will be  doing a talk about good soil composition, how to improve your soil, a bit about the soil food web, and how to help protect your plants and soil from the drought.

3) Pot Luck and Socializing

Finally we will all spend some time to socialize and eat the wonderful food from our gardens. F or this time we are requesting that you please label food items  1) the ingredients (for people with food intolerance's to dairy or other items), 2) whether the dish is vegan or vegetarian, and 3) whether it is organic or GMO-free.  Unlabeled food items will be caveat emptor.

During the pot luck we will have time to discuss the following:

  • Q & A about gardening/ farming. Anyone can ask anything about a gardening or farming topic for others in the group to give their insights.
  • News and updates from our members: each member share progress on urban farming projects.
  • Ongoing discussion on our Urban Farmers coop group.
  • Crop Sharing-- Everyone that has harvested something from your yard please bring it and exchange it. Take what you DID NOT bring.

Join or login to comment.

  • Garazi Gabiña L.

    Thanks to Steve and everyone for making it possible. We really had fun and learn. We have got more pictures of the meetup if wanted. Hope to see you the next one!!

    1 · January 27, 2014

  • Tina

    Thanks everyone for another amazing meetup. I used Barabara' s soil tips to plant blackberries and raspberries this morning. Thanks for the worms too Steve- I used your method of composting and set it up today as well. See you again soon!

    3 · January 26, 2014

  • Jon B.

    Another wonderful meetup. Good healthy work, inspiring people, wonderful food, informative and fun. It was a great afternoon. Thanks Steve for opening your home, Thanks to all who came and participated. Hope to see you all again soon.

    2 · January 26, 2014

  • Paul A.

    Wow, three hours is way way too short to get work done AND do the good socializing!! I need a repeat! Thanks Steve!

    2 · January 26, 2014

  • Annie

    Thank you, Steve, for being such a good host and for sharing your worms (they are enjoying their new home), and Barbara, for teaching us more about soil. Thanks, also, to our new friends from Espana; it was a pleasure meeting you.

    1 · January 25, 2014

  • Julianne I.

    Thanks so much for hosting us, Steve. I loved seeing your worm/compost bin and how you mix the soil for your raised beds. It was a pleasure to meet everyone.

    1 · January 25, 2014

    • Steven F.

      Not sure how many events I can make, but I look forward to being less distracted by logistics and more available to make connections. Will bring worms to share.

      1 · January 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I fell and banged up my knee. Feeling like I need to take it easy, so will miss this. Sorry for late notice.

    January 25, 2014

    • Steven F.

      Take care of your knee. The attendance was below max, so nobody missed out because of a waiting list. All is good.

      January 25, 2014

  • Steven F.

    A bit rushed, but otherwise good information and sharing. Great people.

    1 · January 25, 2014

  • Ritu

    It was very nice meeting everybody. Had a good time!

    2 · January 25, 2014

  • Steven F.

    Thank you everybody for staying in touch so that those on the waiting list could get into the event. Much appreciated. See you all tomorrow. I'll have the side-yard gate open (on Mann Drive) for easy access to the back yard.

    2 · January 24, 2014

    • Julianne I.

      Looking forward to my first meetup with the group. :-)

      January 24, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      H to

      January 25, 2014

  • Antonio

    Running late on a bday run

    January 25, 2014

  • Lala

    Was very enthusiastic to learn about soil at this event. Went into the yard this morning and sprained my back. I wont be able to attend.

    January 25, 2014

  • Ashwani T.

    Sorry for change of plans. My son & daughter in law visiting this weekend. I may drop in for short time. Best wishes.

    January 24, 2014

  • Ashwani T.

    My son & daughter in law visiting this weekend. I will see if I may drop in for short time. Sorry. Best wishes

    January 24, 2014

  • sue

    I really want to attend but am a bit under the weather. I don't like to change my RSVP at the last minute. Since there is one opening shall I change my RSVP so someone else maybe able to come or should I wait and see how I feel tomorrow?

    January 24, 2014

    • Jon B.

      sorry you can't make it Sue- hope to see you next time and hope you feel better.

      1 · January 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a morning appt that could go long. Since there are people waiting, I'll just let me spot go. I really hope that everyone has fun!! Enjoy.

    January 22, 2014

  • Mark Y.

    Something came up again and we won't be able to make it.

    January 18, 2014

  • martin

    I can bring a small folding shovel.

    January 18, 2014

  • Steven F.

    Joni and I have a limit of 25 for this event. This is the maximum capacity of our den. [We've actually never had 25 people in it.] So if you are on the waiting list, we are depending on two fortuitous events, 1) people will be polite and cancel their RSVP when they learn that they cannot make the event, and 2) that the weather will bless us with warmth and sun. We have lots more outdoor space than inside space. So keep checking in with the group as the 25th approaches.

    3 · January 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello everyone,
    Can someone tell if this particular event is fit a person who is absolutely new to agriculture? I'm just very interested in learning, especially about the urban aspect.

    January 10, 2014

    • Steven F.

      Yes. It's my first meeting. I have grown veggies before, but mostly I grow potted plants. last year was my first vegetable garden in 20 years.

      1 · January 13, 2014

    • Jon B.

      Hi Alex, Welcome to our group. Yes, this is great for someone that is new to agriculture/gardening as well as to people with experience. We are all learning from one another and come in at different levels. So please come and enjoy- it is a great group of people. See you next Saturday.

      1 · January 16, 2014

  • Steven F.

    If you are coming and have a soil-test kit, would you bring it? As one topic, I'd like to hear everybody's opinions and experiences of the different soil-testing options. See you on the 25th.

    1 · January 6, 2014

    • Annie

      Hi Steve, I will bring the results of soil testing done in my back yard about a year ago to share with you and others. We collected soil samples and then mailed to the University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory as follows: http://soiltest.umass...­. It was inexpensive and took only a couple of weeks. Thanks for opening up your garden to our group. I look forward to seeing your yard.

      1 · January 12, 2014

    • Steven F.

      Excellent!

      January 13, 2014

  • Ashwani T.

    Today I have added a page BRING BACK THE NATIVES GARDENS TOUR

    in reference to the discussion we had before about the GARDEN TOURS I have be going to with various agencies & in various counties.

    We may further discuss to make it as an event and collectively go & visit few of these gardens.

    January 12, 2014

  • Barbara Haerther Du M.

    Alex, I think you will find this a very good meet-up to get you started in veggie growing. We will be doing soil prep in one or two veggie beds. Steve also has a wonderful composting system that will fit into almost any yard, big or small. Come and bring your questions and emthusiasm!

    January 12, 2014

  • Julianne I.

    Hoping to make it to this Meetup to begin connecting with the group!

    January 5, 2014

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