Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Update

Everybody always asks "what do you do in the winter" well... life does not slow down at all and there are so many exciting things that the New Roots farmers and staff are doing.

One of our winter activities we do is a series of Agriculture workshops every Wednesday morning until we can plant things in the ground. These range from planning and mapping of the field, how to improve soils, record keeping, responsibilities of renting land, best practices for conserving water, systems for marketing and many others that I cant think of right now. These will continue through March.

In January we also will be doing two mornings a week of English class. In these we learn words and phrases that will help at market and with interacting with the English speaking population. Learning English is challenging and we spend lots of time wrapping our brains around making change, the names of coins, and how to manage a bank account. Its real fun, and if any of you want to come and be involved, or learn along with us that would be great!

Another exciting thing is we have a new office in the housing apartments right next to the farm. The address is 1979 north 2nd st. Kansas City, KS 66101. We have all our workshops and English class here and Rachel and I have had fun painting, putting up pictures, finding chairs, tables, and office supplies to furnish it. We feel so legit now and its a real step up to be in a proper building instead of the mobile mini units that we were in previously. Its also nice to know that on cold days we can actually keep warm, and wont have to use the cooler section of the unit as our classroom (those who have been to the farm know what this is).

We are busy ordering seeds, and choosing all the fun things we will grow next season. It is more exciting than I can say to be looking at the catalogs and imagining all the fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce mixes, and flowers...aahhhh summer. Even some strange and wonderful veggies may come out of our garden again so be ready New Roots fans!

Oh man, why did I wait so long to tell you this? We have three new farmers who joined the program last month and this brings us up to 14 growers! The new Participants are all Burmese Karen (said: Ka-wren) and their names are Bay Htoo, Ray Nay Paw, and Le Htoo. They are now first year farmers, and its awesome to think that so much of what we used to teach the farmers is now passed down from the second and third year growers. The happy looks on everyones faces when we show them their 1/4 acre of garden space, and dream of the planting and harvests yet to come.

Coming up is a CSA 2010 update, and a report of some of the interesting conferences we have attended to aid our development.

WINNER WINNER! Michelle you are the winner of our awesome raffle! let us know if you prefer a sweet tote bag, or $10 gift certificate for the market. And thank you to everyone who entered the raffle you are the BEST!

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