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2015 On an Urban Farm: The Year in Review

2015 was an interesting year. It began as I left the hospital after a work-related injury in December 2014. I went back to work as a music teacher on January 10, still in a wheelchair with my right arm in a sling.

Progress on the physical health front was slow going and still continues but we did get other things accomplished.

Following advice to start slow and small we took the first steps to building the infrastructure for our urban farm: 1. Purchased a green house for propagation; 2. Planted 45 Lavender Grosso and Lavender Augustifolia plants; 3. Acquired a steam distiller; and 4. Began making hydrosol and other value added products from our lavender plants.

We also ran a booth at a local farmers market combining the lavender products with our seed library that provided 45 families and individuals with vegetable and flower seeds while receiving several packets in return. We worked at building our mobile food preservation business – actual “on site” canning, demonstrations and classes, registered for and got a business license.

A high point of the summer was our visit to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Albany, Oregon. It was a great experience to see all the vendors, and enjoy the demonstrations, workshops and lectures especially with Joel Salatin. An added fun moment was getting an autograph and photo with Joel. It was a great day and I recommend you go to the Fair when it is your area. I am looking forward to going again this year.

Joel and Deanna

As a very dry summer rolled into winter Southwest Washington and the rest of the Pacific Northwest became extremely wet. The lowest temperature in our area was 24 degrees Fahrenheit with more than 20 inches of rain in December.

Our rooted herb cuttings in the greenhouse are surviving well and it seems we can add to that program in 2016, allowing additional plantings this spring.

Hopes for 2016

1.Plant out the rooted cutting of Lavender Grosso, Lavender Augustifolia, Tuscan Blue Rosemary and Winter Savory
2.Build 2 more raised beds
3.Complete first phase of solar installation
4.Complete Etsy shop
5.Complete website
6.Attend Washington States Farmers Market Convention and other events to report on changes and plans for 2016
7.Create more value added products from our Lavender and other herbs
8.Complete courses in Permaculture Design, and distance learning in cooking (very chef-ie) and issues in food security
9. Celebrate with a garden open house in June or July

I am sure other projects will arise as we go along.

Deanna Tworivers is a wife, mother, and grandma and also an urban farmer with permaculture leanings. She grows and preserves most of her family’s yearly food supply, supplemented by trips to farmers markets. Read all of Deanna’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here


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