Farm My Yard

Dacha Gardens

Dacha Gardens, by Sara Pool Russia has an amazing model for urban agriculture, obtaining over 50% agricultural products from family garden plots. The backyard gardening model uses around 3% arable land, and accounts for roughly 92% of all Russian potatoes, 87% of all fruit 77% vegetables, and 59% all Russian meat according to the Russian Federal State Statistic Service. The term Dacha comes from the term “landed estate,” and generally refers to an urban garden. Dacha gardens have been around since the Bolshevik Revolution, and have been feeding Russians for over 1,000 years. Since these urban plots are too small for farm machinery, all these gardens are hand tilled, often using crop rotation and solely organic methods, and are ‘intensive’ out of necessity. This model is not just meant for feeding one family, but is an important part of the local market economy both rurally and in urban areas. 31%…

Backyard Sharing

A wide variety of experiences with farm my yard

I’ve realized all along that each Farm My Yard connection is going to be different. Some will be fantastic, some will not be. Here is one from SE Portlandia that was so-so.  But I think it’s important to note some of the outcomes so we all become more aware of the types of situations that can arise.  Albert, Farm My Yard “I didn’t take pictures of the garden. I just hired last year’s “share cropper”, today, to plant for me, so I can take pictures of the new garden, but it isn’t part of the original deal of her share cropping with me. I don’t feel comfortable about a radio interview for a number of reasons. But, mostly, because it didn’t quite work out perfectly. The woman who decided to share crop with me had one major goal, to plant a corn crop. But, it turned out there wasn’t enough…

Farm My Yard

Seed Balls

DYI Mini Clay Balls: Perfect for wildflowers, guerilla gardening, or just throwing some seeds, seed balls were invented in Japan by famed organic guru Masanobu Fukuoka. The larges seed balls contain more seeds and are great for empty lots, but mini-seed balls are precise, easy to throw, and eliminates the competition inherent in mass plantings. Mini-seed balls are perfect for carrot, lettuce, radish, and other vegetable or carrot seeds, and can either be thrown or placed in a garden for easy “pelletized” seeding. Ingredients: Flower/Vegetable seeds Potter’s clay (Can be purchased in powder form) from any craft shop, or heavy clay soil Peat-free compost Water A bowl A baking tray Instructions: Mix 3 parts clay and compost with one part seeds together until the substance reaches the consistency of play dough, adding water as necessary. Once the ingredients are mixed to a consistency where you can form balls, roll a…

Backyard Sharing

1st Farm My Yard Newsletter – Winter 2014

Winter 2014 – Farm My Yard! CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS Help us make a difference in our community. Hi there, Welcome to the first Farm My Yard newsletter. You signed up a while back and if you no longer want to receive these – please unsubscribe below. That said – welcome aboard! I started Farm My Yard a couple years ago – by building a website, starting a FB fan page and also a Twitter account. That has led to some press, and a few people who wanted to see Farm My Yard take off. We had a sign design contest! I held a sign-making party for my birthday in a community garden I helped start which was a blast. And, are you hearing a pattern here? The pattern is the word “I”. And, I realize that I can’t do this alone and so I am reaching out to You! If…

Farm My Yard

The Urban Farm

An article for The Urban Farm: “Farm My Yard (FMY) is an idea I had a few years ago as a way to push the urban farming revolution along. My thought was that yard signs are great ways that we share information with one another – and that a sign that encouraged connection around farming each other’s yards would be the best way to connect those with land with those who seek yards to farm. Originally, I thought the sign would create just a few type of relationships – those kinds that are in the agreements found on the FMY website. But, of course, once the process began, many different types of relationships happened and there are probably more to come. A relationship between an urban farmer and landowner could take the form of a partnership or any number of situations where the water, labor, produce, and variables can be…

Backyard Sharing

Fall in Portland – Urban Farming Update

Well, it’s almost Fall – just a few more days till Summer’s over. And I thought I’d share some of my recent thinking about Farm My Yard. I started this effort a few years ago – with the hopes that thousands of signs would pop up in yards all over Portland and then the world. I figured it would be an amazing way to increase the amount of food being grown in urban settings and have a profound effect on the world. So far, the effect has been somewhat minimal – and I’m kicking myself that I haven’t put more energy into the project.  I know somewhere down deep that if 100 signs were to be displayed, that would lead to some profound change. I imagine a world where we’re all spending more time growing our own food and helping each other learn how to get back to the garden…