Saturday, April 24, 2010

Awesome Upcoming Events!

Saturday, April 24th

~Earth Day celebration at COM!

~Slide Ranch’s Spring Fling, celebrating earth day on the farm, volunteers and fun!

Sunday, April 25th

The Greenhorns and the Green String Farm Band present the Young Farmers Mixer!

More Info to come...

Wednesday, April 28th

Field Trip to County Line! - h

Saturday & Sunday, May 1st- 2nd

Occidental Arts & Ecology Annual Plant Sale!

Saturday, May 8th

Annual Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale 9-2pm

Saturday, May 9th

Mother’s Day Plant Sale at the Edible School Yard

Saturday, May 15th

Freestone Fermentation Festival

Saturday May 22nd

Volunteer Day at Indian Valley Farm!

Spread the word!

Wednesday, May 26th

All Day Celebration on the Farm!!

Sunday, June 13th

Come to Green Gulch for mediation, a tour, lunch and a class on flower production with Wendy!

Saturday, June 19th

Sonoma County Solar Fair, Finley Park from 11-5:00

Happy Earth Day! Hope your Saturday plans will be spent outdoors. Stop by College of Marin, Kentfield Campus , for the Food Forum and Earth Day celebration today. It starts at 2:00 in Olney Hall. Sorry for the delayed blog post, it’s been a very busy week, getting back in the swing of things after spring break!

There was a delicious discourse in class Wednesday. Once again we were faced with an abundance of ideas and topics woven together in harmony, through the genius of Wendy, Steve and Anita Saibel of Marin County Department of Agriculture and Marin Organic Certified Agriculture.

I’m really happy we had an introductory integrated pest management lesson from WendyJ When it comes to IPM, we must assume a wide spectrum of engagement, and discernment; observation is our first defense against pests in the garden. What we can physically see, such as the tattering and tearing of the lettuce from the birds, or the removal of the heart of the radicchio plant from the deer, to the hole strewn beet greens from tireless consumption of the cucumber beetle, if we want to save our plants we act compassionately, yet are watchful warriors.

One must know what kind of pest they're battling before acting, because one wrong move such as the implication of an herbicide, could wipe out both beneficial and pestiferous insects. IPM is about mindfulness, presence and persistence. Wendy's anecdote of wrapping pieces of pvc with copper at the Edible School Yard to keep the snails from the plant starts, or her experiences drowning mollusca with beer, really shows how integrative organic pest control can be.

Providing the lowest level of chemical intervention, as a last resort a farmer adhering to organic principals of farming should use botanical sprays,Pyrethrum spray is toxic to all insects including beneficials. The most powerful way to keep ones garden healthy is by diversifying, by planting beneficial plants that will attract beneficial insects or that will deter the pests from going after your crops. As Anita pointed , post World War II farming, especially large-scale industrial farming has become input specific, or manipulated, treating every problem as if everything within the scale of production were to die tomorrow. Farmers Pre-WWII, used "organic" IPM methods. It’s imperative, farmers of today seek out t knowledge of their predecessors; treating the garden or farm as a temple, in the same manner in which we should be treating our bodies; acting in an proactive instead of reactive way.

All things aside, no matter what the skeptics say, organic is better for many reasons. Reducing pollution through the elimination of pesticides on the farm and in our watersheds, maximizing the naturally occurring and organically enhanced nutrient quality of the soil, which is transferred to the plant and then to us. Beneficial plants create diversity on the farm and help mitigate pests. By going organic, we are supporting a sustainable future. Yes, Anita, I agree with you, that word can sometimes be overused and misinterpreted, however, the word is meant to describe a system of balance and optimization for all living beings .

Under a local, organic food system, everyone and everything, benefits. There are farmers that have been organic since the beginning, but refuse to get the certification for one reason or another. The farmers that have maintained their integrity to organic, and those who have chosen to switch to organic, are building a future filled with tremendous capabilities and social justice for all living beings. By growing your own food and supporting local, organic farmers we’re creating a cycle, for which all life, guaranteed a healthy, safe and bright future.

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