Backyard Sharing

THE AMERICAN LAWN NEEDS TO DIE

From the Dallas Observer, 9.30.15 Link to article and comments. My first inkling that America’s lawn obsession might not be terribly healthy came around 1995. We’d just moved into a new house in Far North Dallas, and 10- or 11-year-old me decided that the next-door neighbor’s lawn — green and smooth and as flawless as a golf-course fairway with manicured grass to cushion falls — was the perfect spot for football. The neighbor, a hard-nosed high school track coach, promptly ran us off and upbraided my father for letting me trespass. This struck me as backward. What good was such cushiony grass if not for play? At the time, I chalked this up to my neighbor being an uptight jerk, an assessment I stand by. But that explanation is incomplete in that it overlooks the bigger picture: Lawns are awful. This conclusion is admittedly self-serving. Two years ago, in one…

Farm My Yard

Plug and Play Gardens Brings Ancient Irrigation to Portland, Oregon – Ollas!

Ollas Hello to the Farm My Yard community. Albert has very graciously invited me to share information about an amazing irrigation technique—called an Olla—with all of you. First of all, I should introduce myself. My name is Luisa and I have a company called Plug and Play Gardens, which offers earth-friendly solutions to organic gardeners. Second, I should answer the most frequently asked question, “What’s an Olla?” An Olla is a porous clay pot. Using an Olla is really simple. You bury the pot in the ground, fill it with water and then plant flowers and vegetables around the pot. The Olla slowly releases water into the surrounding soil, irrigating your plants slowly over time. There are lots of reasons to use Ollas especially here in Portland where we have long, dry summer. Putting Ollas in your garden means that you’ll use less water and that you’ll have to water…

Farm My Yard

Rogue Farm Corps – Training the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

“Hi all — I’m sending along a little promo for Rogue Farm Corps’ experiential on-farm internships available for 2015 on family farm operations in Oregon (including our new Portland-area chapter). If you know any individuals or groups/lists that might be interested in this, please pass along as you see appropriate. Many thanks in helping to spread the word about these opportunities for aspiring farmers!” -Matt New Farmers Needed. Be one in a million— Join Rogue Farm Corps in 2015! Applications are now open for positions throughout Oregon. FarmsNext is an entire season of hands-on training and skill-based education in sustainable agriculture for aspiring farmers and ranchers. This immersive on-farm experience combines field training with a mentor farmer, classroom learning with agricultural professionals and expert farmers, tours of local farms, and opportunities for farm-based independent study. Positions available on a diverse network of commercial family farms in four communities across Oregon….

Backyard Sharing

Portland Ecofilm Festival & Supreme Growers – Happy Summer from Farm My Yard!

Summer 2014 Update Hi there, I hope you’re having a great Summer.  I’ve been having fun this Summer – hearing of successful urban farming activities around the country and enjoying growing my first broccoli! Here is a small smattering of what’s come through the pipeline, recently. I recently heard from Supreme Growers – and they’ve sent me some of their products to try and given us a sweet review on their website. They write: “Supreme Growers recently discovered the Farm My Yard movement and we love the initiative to help motivate and inspire communities in Portland and around the world to be urban gardeners. Supreme Growers is a new company created to help new and veteran gardeners grow the healthiest plants they can without using harsh chemicals that damage the environment. We are on a mission to help educate everyone on the benefits of growing your own plants and to prove that gardening is accessible to everyone. We…

Farm My Yard

iFarm: a great farm land resource for Oregonians wishing to farm

iFarm! This is a great way to find land in Oregon available to farm! It’s called the iFarm program! Enjoy! How iFarm Works To contact any of the landowners or farmers on iFarm, you must first complete a questionnaire describing your opportunity (for landholders) or your goals, experience, and plans (for landseekers). Once completed and approved, this information is entered into our online database (online and pdf questionnaires are below) and you may then contact any of our iFarm participants. To search our database, click on the link above, then select the type of iFarm participant you are looking for and click either “View Listings” or “Advanced Search Options.” “View Listings” displays every listing in the category that you’ve checked and “Advanced Search Options ” allows you to narrow your search by region. Listings are displayed in order from oldest first to newest at the end. To contact a participant,…

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…

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…