Field Day – Wednesday, July 30th!

Conserving Soil and Water – Examples and Stories of Putting Good Tools to Use

Have you been wondering about ways that you can add innovative soil and water conservation practices into your operation? Learn about tools that are being practiced by Foothill Farm in St. Ignatius and Deluge Farm in Camas Prairie. Hear from NRCS agents about cost-sharing opportunities you can use to make these tools a reality on your farm!

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Wednesday, July 30th from 5-8 PM at Foothill Farm
Cost: $5, includes a light supper
Location: 61240 Foothill Rd, St. Ignatius

Registration closes on Monday, July 28th! Click here to register now.

Questions? Contact Annie Heuscher at annie@missoulacfac.org or 406.830.8218

 

Crop Mob on Tuesday, July 22nd!

This upcoming Tuesday, July 22nd, help out farmer friends, have fun in the sun and enjoy a FREE farm fresh lunch! We are excited to host our first ever Crop Mob, yet need volunteers to help make it successful! Join us from 9 am – 2 pm for this fun volunteer workday. Carpooling will be available for the Hamilton locations and folks will be biking or driving to the Missoula location. Read about each farm and the projects below. Good luck deciding which farm you’d like to help out on!

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The Hart’s Garden

Located in the Target Range area of Missoula, George and Marcia Hart grow around 200 varieties of Asiatic, Oriental and hybrid lilies. In 2014, they expect to grow more than 10,000 stems for sale at the Clark Fork River, Polson and Seeley Lake Farmer’s Markets. They also grow tulips, iris, peonies, delphineum, dahlias, sunflowers, chrysanthemums and other species. The Hart’s strive to offer attractive, locally grown bouquets to Western Montanan’s. They also sell several varieties of peppers, tomatoes and other produce plants.

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Project need – They have a large area to be tilled and prepped for planting. This project will include turning soil with shovels and mixing in compost and soil pep. Imagine a mob of people shoveling for a cause!

SweetRoot Farm

Noah Jackson and Mary Bricker have an incredible vision for their diversified start up farm located in Hamilton. Volunteers will be able to sip unlimited coffee (roasted by them) as they enjoy incredible views of Blodgett Canyon! In their first season, they are focused on growing vegetables, fruits, poultry and community connections. They seek to grow delicious and healthy food in ways that enhance the quality of the soil, water, air and support the human and ecological communities to which they belong. They believe that sustainably grown food should be available and accessible to everyone in the community, so they actively seek creative ways to market farm products and build stronger connections between growers and eaters.

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Project need – Enjoy munching on delicious strawberries while weeding an mulching the strawberry plants in need of much TLC. Imagine all the coffee and berries your little heart desires!

 Homestead Organics

It’s hard to avoid wanting to be a farmer after talking with Laura Garber and Henry Wuensche, owners of Homestead Organics. Located on the Skalkaho Highway outside of Hamilton, their 14 acres have been farmed organically for the past 10 years. Only about two acres are used for active vegetable production while the rest is rotated as pasture for livestock and cover crops. Dedicated to the conservation of farmland, they have started teaching upcoming generations about the joys of farming. Children can attend their Farm Camp’s to get inspired and realize their potential for becoming farmers if that is what they desire.

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Project need – Volunteers will help with planting along the stream bank, transplanting, weeding and goat petting. Imagine helping to cultivate this outdoor classroom for children!

Please Join Us!

We need the dedication of community members to ensure a successful Crop Mob! Interested in volunteering yet can’t commit to the entire time? No problem! We are flexible and can make sure you get set up at the Missoula location. Don’t feel like driving to Hamilton? We have a carpool set up!

Details

Please RSVP to Kate at 406.273.8740 or volunteers@missoulacfac.org. Plan to dress for the weather, wear closed toed shoes and bring gloves. People carpooling to Hamilton will meet at the Cabela’s parking lot, while the folks biking to the Hart’s Garden will meet at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition’s office at 117 W. Broadway. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, July 22nd at 9:00 am! 

 

Guest Lecturer on Friday, July 11th

Cows, Food Deserts, and Urban Ag in Chicago

Daniel Block, Professor of Geography at Chicago State University will be giving a dynamic lecture at the PEAS Farm on Friday, July 11th at 8:00 AM. His talk, “Cows, Food Deserts, and Urban Agriculture in Chicago” will highlight different issues surrounding agricultural production in a growing city. Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program, this is a great opportunity to learn about what’s happening in U.S. cities to bring food back in.

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As described by historian William Cronon and others, Chicago’s early development was often based on the processing and pricing of the output of its natural environs. In its first century, Chicago grew from a village to a city of over three million. Provisioning such a growing city with staple foods was a difficult task – tied to the city’s relationship with its immediate outlying areas, public health questions and local land use. In general, agricultural production was split from the city. Today, such issues have re-emerged as Chicagoans look for ways to re-integrate agricultural production into urban places, in particular in “food desert” locations.

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This paper is a historical overview of agricultural production within the city of Chicago, looking at the separations of production from the city, the pattern of low food access or “food deserts” – existing in many areas of the city, and current attempts to bring production back. Particular focus will be placed on the disappearance of the “city cow” from Chicago, the subsequent production of milk by the health department, the current absence of food sources in many Chicago communities, and urban agriculture responses along with the challenges to these responses.

Take Advantage of This Great Educational Opportunity on Friday, July 11th!

Part Time Work at Start Up Farm in Hamilton!

Check out this Great Opportunity!

Some of our farmer friends, Noah Jackson and Mary Bricker are in need of farm help. This diversified operation is in it’s first season, with much to develop and daily tasks to keep up on. Unfortunately Noah was injured on the job, leaving Mary to tend to the farm including the animals, vegetables, berries, etc. They are offering up a part time position of 30 hours a week with very flexible hours – three day work options are possible. Housing and food available for the right candidate and a stipend of $800. While much of the work is traditional fieldwork and animal care, some of it is nontraditional — helping with market and coordinating with other farmers. This will be a great learning experience and there may be additional income opportunities from farmers nearby.

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Volunteer For The Day on Monday, July 7th!

If you would rather just help for a day or two, head on down and help them grow their dream! We will be setting up a carpool for folks interested in volunteering on Monday, July 7th. In exchange for volunteering, you will receive lunch and some vegetables as well as unlimited coffee (roasted by them!) If there are other days that work better for you, please contact them directly to let them know. Our farmer friends appreciate any help available! Call Kate at 406.273.8740 or Mary at 406.375.7532

Freedom Gardens – Join the Cause!

Freedom Gardens at the Missoula County Fairgrounds is dedicated to teaching sustainable and innovative farming techniques while producing fresh food for the community all throughout Montana’s seasons. Since 2013, this small organization has been working tirelessly to transform three acres of gravel and weeds into a productive and sustainable garden area.

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Freedom Gardens seeks to strengthen Missoula’s resilience by teaching farmers sustainable agricultural practices. Despite the many challenges, they are dedicated to enhancing our local food system as well as our community and ensuring productive growing operations in the future. So far they have installed 450 square feet of cold frames suitable for growing food 8 months out of the year, a gravity fed drip irrigation system, and a terraced garden area. They are working closely with many partners and seeking permanency with the Fairgrounds. Freedom Gardens seeks to instill a legacy of connecting Montanan’s to the soil – ensuring their ability to raise food in this cold, arid climate.

Oct 4 - HarvestGet Involved Every Wednesday!

This summer they will be busy tackling projects to expand their growing space, develop teaching curriculum and networking with community members. They can use your help! We will be looking for volunteers to help make this dream a reality. Please consider joining us every Wednesday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm for a weekly volunteer project at the gardens.

Join Us on Wednesday, June 25th!

Come and join the fun during the first of many volunteer workdays at Freedom Gardens! We will meet at 6:00 pm at the Southwest corner of the Fairgrounds. To access the gardens, head East off of Russell St. towards the YMCA daycare. The first project will consist of pulling nails out of boards and doing some transplanting. Remember to dress for the weather, wear close toed shoes and bring gloves and any hammers or crowbars available to you. If you are interested in learning about how else to be involved, please contact Kate at volunteers@misoulacfac.org. Read more about this project on the Freedom Gardens Blog. We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

 

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