Well, hello. It’s been a while, huh? The summer now seems like a blur of humid evenings with the fan running on high, but now it’s time to pull quilts out of the closet and take a deep breath. It’s fall.
I promised a real update come September, so here I am, with fingers poised over the keyboard, trying to find the words to describe how wonderful this season has been. The main emotion that bubbles up is gratitude to all the folks who helped make Concrete Beet Farmers happen this year- our friends at Macalester, especially the Institute for Global Citizenship Student Council and the Live It Fund. Our wonderful CSA members. Our urban farming friends who gave us such sage advice and encouraged us every step of the way. Our neighborhood and community, for welcoming us with open arms. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Now, let’s backtrack a bit and give a quick update on what’s happening at Concrete Beet these days. We’re putting the farm to bed, slowly. It’s that time of year when the work is less frantic, when it’s ok to take the time to fold row cover carefully and put it in it’s proper place in the shed. We’re gradually removing crops that have gone by, or that get too cold on chilly evenings, and planting cover crop. The mix of oats and peas that we plant in all our empty beds will help protect the soil throughout the winter, as well as provide a wealth of nutrients for next year’s crop. This technique of incorporating green manure into the soil is one of the most important parts of creating a sustainable, on-farm fertility system, and we’re excited to see little green shoots blanketing the beds that grew us vegetables all summer. It’s our way of giving back to the soil what it gave to our bellies.
We’re counting down to the last weeks of selling produce this fall, as well. We just wrapped up our last week at the Uptown Market (if you’d like to get your hands on some delectable Concrete Beet pickles, stop by between 11 and 4 this Sunday!). And only two weeks more of our CSA. It seems incredible that we’re wrapping up such a long, abundant season, and we’re already ecstatically planning for next year.
Which brings us to perhaps the most important news of this update: NEXT YEAR! There are big changes afoot, and we want you to be the first to know. Concrete Beet Farmers won’t be around next year, but not to fear! We’ll still be farming, and will continue to grow vegetables on all the lots where we farmed this year. We’re just growing and changing, as all things in the natural world do.
We’re excited to announce that we’ll be teaming up with some of our dear urban farming friends at Uptown Farmers and Pig’s Eye Urban Farm to create a new venture called Stone’s Throw Urban Farm. This is a great opportunity for us to push the boundaries of how much food it’s possible to grow in the city, and we can’t wait to share the bounty with you. As three separate farms, we’ve been highly successful at growing lots of high quality produce in the city. But by working together, combining our land base, expanding the number of CSAs we can provide, and sharing practical knowledge, we think that we’ll be able to bring good food to more people while working toward a model of financial security and sustainability for ourselves and our communities. In short, we’d all like to earn our livelihoods as urban farmers, and think that we can make it happen together.
As we get a new website and Facebook page up and running for Stone’s Throw Urban Farm, we’ll make sure to post all the information here, so you can stay up to date on where to find the freshest, most local produce in the cities!
We hope you enjoy these photos from the farm and from Local Foods Happy Hour, hosted by the Land Stewardship Project at our farm on September 20th!