Roxanne and I will be offering these classes over the coming months. Once we have exact dates we'll post those here as well as on the Edible Flint calendar.
-tapping and id'ing trees for maple syrup (late february, early march depending on weather) -starting your backyard garden (early spring) -mushroom production (spring) -processing maple syrup (march, april) -planting by the signs and other garden folklore (may) -foraging for wild edibles (late june) -natural medicine with medicinal and utilitarian plants (july) -everything about seeds: from saving to starting (fall) -everything about growing garlic (october)
These are days we thought would be a good hands on leaning experience for volunteers at the farm. We will be doing these activities no matter what, and would love to have people come out to help.
-establishing a perennial food plot (spring) -setting up a drip system for irrigation (late spring) -diy rainwater harvesting (july) -hoop house build (early spring)
We are also offering 16 week shares for our Community Supported Agriculture program starting in June. We will be posting more information on what you can expect to receive as a member weekly, types of payment, pickup locations and volunteer opportunities.
I spent the holiday season back in New York with my parents, which gave me time to get distance and perspective on this past year, and to get excited about moving forward with Flint River Farm in 2011. This month we'll be presenting to the Land Bank board for the opportunity to secure a lease with an option to purchase for the lots on Beach Street. This will enable us to increase local, residential land ownership, to have security in the resources like time and money and infrastructure that we put into the land, to create a permanent and intentional space for urban agriculture, to contribute to the city by paying business taxes, to make our neighborhood more permanent, safer, cleaner, to increase visibility, to work with and sell directly to neighbors, as well as lots more.
We are also in the process of researching and reaching out to professionals about raising hoop houses in the city. Currently, the Michigan Building Code exempts agriculture buildings from needing a building permit under the Construction Code Limited Exemption For Agricultural Buidings ("building permit is not required for a building incidental to the use for agricultural purposes of the land on which the building is located if it is not used in the business of retail trade), but not necessarily exempting them from zoning. In researching city of Flint zoning ordinances, A-1 Principle Permitted Use claims that "...Customary agricultural uses including noncommercial nurseries and greenhouses, but expressly excluding the keeping of farm animals."
The problem is that while nursery is defined as "a structure or use where live trees, shrubs, or plants are grown, tended, or stored and offered for retail sale, including products used for gardening or landscaping, but not including a structure or use principally for the sale of fruits, vegetables or Christmas trees," Greenhouse is not defined.
In the coming weeks make sure to check back for posts on custom printed t-shirts to advocate for hoop houses in Flint, fermentation journals (yes, saurkraut, kimchi, beer and yogurt), as well as information on participating in a buying club for bulk foods (flour, sugar, dairy, meat, olive oil, onions/garlic, salt).