Urban Farming

Getting Started with Backyard Farming

Have you ever thought about starting a farm? It’s a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun. And you don’t need a lot of space to get started. In fact, you can start a farm right in your own backyard! If you’re thinking about starting your own backyard farm, here are a few things to consider. What do you want to grow? The first step is to decide what you want to grow. Do you want to grow fruits and vegetables? Herbs such as stinging nettle? Flowers? Once you know what you want to grow, you can figure out how much space you’ll need and what kind of soil you’ll need. How much space do you have? Do you have a large backyard? A small patio? No backyard at all? You can still start a farm! If you have a large backyard, you can probably grow…

Farm My Yard

Hiring a Cultural Band For Your Next Event

Hiring a Cultural Band For Your Next Event Cultural bands, or bands that play music that is deeply rooted in a particular culture and history, are a great source of performance art and entertainment for all kinds of events. Rather than hiring the usual DJ or a contemporary band, these bands stir people’s curiosity and encourage multiculturalism by bringing cultures into the foreground in front of mixed audiences. If you’re looking for a cultural band to hire for your next event, these are a few things that you should keep in mind.  Authenticity Matters We live in a world where cultural appropriation is a big no-no, and for good reason. Hiring a band that is clearly formed to mock a culture or portray it in a distilled, harmful, stereotypical way would be a nightmare not only for you, but for every attendee who had to suffer from witnessing such a…

Farm My Yard

December Newsletter

Farm My Yard

December Newsletter with info about How to use Nextdoor.com to spread the word!  Learn about the Pollinator Parkway Movement December 2016 Greetings! I hope your Fall/Winter is going well. here’s our current newsletter. I wanted to write you a quick note about one way I think we can get Farm My Yard going with more people. That’s Nextdoor.com. If you’re already a member of Nextdoor, you probably know what a potent tool for neighborhood organizing it is. If not, here’s a short article I wrote about it awhile back.  If you’re looking for someone to Farm your Yard – try posting on Nextdoor. If you’re looking to farm someone else’s yard – try posting on Nextdoor. Also, if you just want to encourage others in your neck of the woods to get busy ripping out their lawns and making the world more habitable for us and other species – post something…

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…

Publicity

Farm My Yard T-shirt Designs

New T-Shirt Design for Farm My Yard We started with a neat design (see original below) and are now down to picking from these 6.  If you have a favorite, please leave your comments in the comment section below. I hope to have t-shirt available for ordering by the end of 2014 or start of 2015. Thanks to Kevin of KMF Illustration for his incredible work on this design!  

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

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…