local food & food justice, organic farm, permaculture, species

Last chance for bees

“Due to the use of pesticides — along with climate change, loss of flower meadows, and parasites — bee populations are in decline. Three quarters of all crops around the world rely on animal pollination. But due to pollinator loss, between $235 billion and $577 billion in crop value is at risk,” ThinkProgress summarizes part of the UN extinction report released this week. But it’s not about the money so much as it is about food security. Which the report does mention:  ecological collapse threatens horror upon horror.

This is the last chance to save 500,000 of the one million species that don’t have a fracking home on the earth, or to go back to the technical language, have insufficient habitat to survive as a species.

Coincidentally, or not, it’s also the last chance to sign up for our bee habitat workshop next Saturday, May 18. You can learn right now how to make life easier for pollinators. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Get those rush tix! Coexist!

 

 

organic farm

Farmland Available: Listening Tree Cooperative

cropped-raised-beds-of-hocus-pocus.jpg

[May 1, 2019 update]

Want to live on your farm? Want to afford to own your farm? Want to start small with room to grow? We still have some land available for farming in the 2019 season–in the no- or low-till section, where the raised beds were worked for three years by Hocus Pocus Farm, and are now in cover crop.

Ultimately, we hope people farming here would live in our group household and be part of the community. But other options are available. Farmers could:

  • lease some of the land still available (2 acres or less),
  • lease to own (as described below),
  • live here or commute,
  • grow annual vegetables or herbs, raise animals, or develop a food forest/perennial crops.

Continue reading “Farmland Available: Listening Tree Cooperative”

organic farm

Raised bed growing workshop

Join us as we learn how to develop raised field beds. At Hocus Pocus Farm, raised field beds were developed for preventing water runoff and disease transmission. Learn how to develop a raised bed by adding amendments, nutrients and compost and learn how to turn over the beds once a crop is ready to be harvested for the season. Soil health and fertility will also be discussed.

Hocus Pocus is a small, chemical free farm located in Chepachet that is run by Courtney Sartini and Sophie Soloway. Hocus Pocus runs a local farm CSA and also sells their crops, seedlings and flowers directly to nearby restaurants and retail establishments. Both Courtney and Sophie bring a dedication of food access and sovereignty to the farm and are committed to providing the local community with a wide variety of high quality vegetables, flowers, culinary herbs, and seedlings.

This is a free event. Registration is encouraged but not required. Last minute attendees are welcome! Check nofari.org for any updates. Photographs may be taken at this event for NOFA RI promotional material. This event is sponsored by RI DEM via a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and co-sponsored by Listening Tree Co-op as the host of Hocus Pocus while they’ve been starting up their farm.

 

Events @ Listening Tree, organic farm, transition

Composting with worms for soil healing

A new event @ Listening Tree, Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11 AM – 1 PM

Bow shed in the snow One of our founding associate members, Ben Goldberg built a bow shed on site for a farm-scale vermiculture project. Our soil was laced with Round-Up for decades before we bought the property, and in places it was as dead as a rock, only hosting lichens and mosses and early successional plants. The soil needs the amazing microbiological boost only worm castings can bring. So with Conor Lally, Ben launched our first social enterprise beyond the farms. The bow shed is a passive solar, wind-compatible design with plenty of room for commercial-scale worm bins. Now’s your chance to learn from Ben about his squirmy permie wormies.

Composting with worms is practical, easy, educational, and fun. Red wiggler worms efficiently convert food scraps into a dynamic soil amendment, a nutrient- and organism-rich compost. On top of that, worm ecosystems provide a remarkable glimpse into the natural world.

This workshop will cover various worm bin designs, worm ecology, care and feeding, and separating the castings for use. This will be an interactive workshop, to be held on site at Listening Tree’s vermiculture operation.

inside vermiculture shed

The presenter:

Ben Goldberg has been keeping worms and making worm bins since 1995. He has presented workshops on worm bin ecology and composting for schools, agricultural conferences, and community groups. Ben holds degrees in both Environmental Education and Ecology from College of the Atlantic and The Audubon Expedition Institute.

Ben will teach us and entertain us all at the same time! You will certainly leave with hands-on knowledge of worm farming, as well as a new appreciation for the little things in life.

Donation: $10. Please RSVP to 401-710-9784.

 


Community life, organic farm

Midsummer harvests

Hocus Pocus Week #1

Hocus Pocus members are getting shares of the farm’s bounty each week.

The three farms at Listening Tree Coop–The Lee family’s farm, Hocus Pocus CSA, and our homestead farm, are fecund-o-rama as we approach August. Roosters crow, bunnies burrow into the coolth of soil, and veggies pour into the kitchen for feast after feast.

The weeds call to us a little louder than the blog, but we just wanted to post a few pictures of the farms and feasts to keep you posted.

 

organic farm

Farmers to start CSA at Listening Tree!

We are thrilled to announce that Hocus Pocus Farm is starting up at Listening Tree Co-op! Three young people who worked this summer at Casey Farm are launching their own veggie farm as a CSA–Community Supported Agriculture–so you can subscribe to get a box of fresh, in-season veggies each week. Listening Tree and Hocus Pocus signed a three-year lease and the farmers have already planted a row of garlic and started building a hoop house.

Christmas tree buyers helped clear the land of the remaining trees and now they are good to go! Find out more at https://hocuspocusfarm.wordpress.com/

Sign up online at https://hocuspocusfarm.wordpress.com/about-2/csa/ and help them launch a new local, organic-methods farm for Rhode Island!

working on a carrot and the lease

local food & food justice, organic farm

Land (and community) seeks farmer or farm family

An intentional community in formation is looking for a compatible organic vegetable/livestock farmer to work approximately 4 acres of field located at 87 Reservoir Rd. in Chepachet, RI. The community is seeking members and in process of forming a housing co-operative. Co-op shares, for living and/or farming, will begin to be sold upon launch of the co-op, estimated to be in November. Early birds are welcome to help in the co-operative design.

Both living and farming space are currently for rent with the potential to purchase a residential and/or farming share in the cooperative after a trial period. The market farm trial period would be one year, with land tenure upon cooperative acceptance and share purchase. Right to farm the land would be for a designated portion of the currently arable land.

At least 6 acres of the 32-acre property had been cleared, plowed and planted with Christmas trees and pumpkins by the previous owner of 30 years. Some Christmas trees remain and we hope to sell those this winter, and cut or move most of the remainder, leaving some for permaculture guilds or shade groves and wind breaks, as appropriate. About 3-4 acres of the 6 acres had been farmed before 1980 as a berry and vegetable farm. The arable land has been previously plowed and mowed, and most large rocks have been removed. Soil test data from UMass from three sites is available and shows good soil. The garden that we put in this summer is flourishing.

A large irrigation pond has a working pump in a pumphouse and underground plumbing to three sites including the barn. It still has plenty of clear water as of August 13 this year.

Composted horse manure is on the land; adjacent farm is a source of more horse manure. Deer fencing is needed.

This is our first year of conversion to organic farming. Beyond the market farm, the coop members hope to develop permaculture perennial and forest gardens, large scale vermiculture, small animals.

Our estimate of housing share prices are currently $40,000 per adult. Farm share would be additional and is negotiable. In addition to the share purchase, coop members would pay a monthly fee (like a condo fee) for insurance, taxes, utilities, and short-term and long-term maintenance.

Rent-to-own scenarios, e.g. financing of share purchase, are also possible and currently in process of development.

Farm share would include right to farm the allotted land, right to use the tractor, barn, and some shared tools, build or retrofit needed outbuildings.

Email Karina Lutz at karinalutz@hotmail.com or call 401-497-5968 to arrange a meeting.