Over the holiday of 2009, the Bohemian crew hibernated and took some time to work on our own gardens and catch up with family and friends. Work in the bohemian garden started out great – lots of great production from new seed varieties but the poor amount of sun has not been helpful. Plants have been growing slowly – healthily but slowly. The month of January has also been very trying – dry, cold winds and heavy freezes. Sadly the temperatures got so low on the January 7th and 8th that cool tolerant plants like mint, lettuces, and chards were damaged some. The recent rains have perked them up, though. Cabbages, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts look great.
As we head into 2010, we are noticing an increasing trend toward local and organic food support as well as home gardening. New products are showing up in stores and great events are planned around central Texas. Manufacturers are responding to market demands – your purchases are making a difference. We found raised bed kits (great for the do-it-yourself-er) for only $39.99. Another new item are nifty peck baskets filled with starter potatoes, onions, strawberries, and more ($9.98). Very nice kits for home gardeners. We continue to expect more of these items around this year. Seed sales have been very good and I’m sure the Bohemians have bought their fair share.
Other exciting changes in the local food trends are workshops and agritourism. Slow Food and the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) are hosting a year of farm tours. Look for workshops and volunteer opportunities on TOFGA’s websitee. Workshops vary from new farmer training to backyard gardening and animal husbandry to cooking from the garden.
We should also mention Jennifer has been elected the Volunteer Region 2 Director of TOFGA. Take a look at her Region 2 Webpage and give some feedback.
Posted 3 years, 10 months ago at 11:18 AM. Add a comment
Bees play a vital role in pollinating flowering plants. As a gardener, it is natural to have bees to ensure that our crops (cucumbers, beans, eggplants, etc) are pollinated and produce. Bees gather nectar or pollen depending on what they are producing in the hive.
It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee.
Every year the San Marcos Bee Wranglers offers a free, 4 session, beekeeping class.
Class Days Are: January 6, 13, 20 & 27
Class Location: San Marcos Library, 625 E Hopkins
Class Time: 7-9pm.
Call the Library at 512-393-8200 to register. The class fills up quick so Bee Quick and sign up!
Textbooks to be sold the first night at class $12.00.
Posted 4 years ago at 3:38 PM. Add a comment
Jen and I enjoyed a variety of speakers today at the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association 2009 conference. A comprehensive report would be too long and probably bore you out of your skull so I’m just post the best quotes I was able to snatch and a few observations.
Bob Bard when speaking on Aberdeen Angus:
“What can we do to make our beef taste better for our customers? No one is asking this question.”
Patti Seeley when speaking on Aberdeen Angus:
“When I don’t have cattle I have to go to the auction barn to get my fix.”
Chef David Gilbert of The Exchange Restaurant in Dallas speaking on chef’s buying direct from farmers and ranchers:
“Good chefs are looking to have a long term relationship with the farmer or rancher.”
Joel Salatin on our modern relationship with food:
“It’s prostitution food – food you have no relationship with.”
We watched the beginning of Mel Bartholemew’s Square Foor Gardening promotional video circa 1980’s and it’s earily like Ron Popeil selling the Pocket Fisherman. Apparently, I can build this garden with only a pencil, ruler and trowel. Wow! I’ve never screwed two boards together with only a pencil. I can’t wait to see this majic. However, I’m beginning to think square foot gardening is a cult :-)
I’m sad to report Mel revealed I also need wood, screws, a drill, screwdriver, newspaper and even more boards to make my square feet. Oh, and soil I buy at the store. I feel so let down. Well, just like hair styles and clothes from the 80’s this video has not aged well, but the technique has.
Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 9:58 PM. Add a comment
TOFGA - Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association
Jen and I are spending the weekend at the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association annual conference. We started with two farm tours in Austin. The first was the well known Boggy Creek Farm in east Austin. My dad grew up in east Austin and the farm is no more than a mile away from the blue stucco house he lived in until the 1960′s. We took him along on the tour and he was an encyclopedia of information on the old neighborhood.
The tour was open to the public and I’d guess they had about 80+ people there. It’s a great operation and I recommend you visit on a Saturday if you haven’t already.
The second farm was in what used to be called northeast Austin near Decker Lake. Austin has moved north and this is solid east Austin now. I grew up not more than 10 miles away from Green Gate Farm (Go LBJ Jaguars!). It’s only been in operation a few years and every part of it seems to be an experiment in progress – as is most farming. The owner is a TOFGA board member and we hope to see more of him this weekend.
We’re off to the round table discussions. More soon…
Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 6:37 PM. Add a comment