Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crop Planing and Bee Swarming

 [Jacob, one of our summer interns from the Metta Center for Non-violence in Berkeley, is going to be writing about the farm every Thursday. Just before I published this I was sent this article in Mission Local about the Free Farm:  Tree]

At our regular weekly Wednesday workday our volunteers had plenty to do and to help with. Hannah, one of our two super cool interns from Standford, began to prepare for building a comprehensive crop plan. The crop plan will map out the existing beds and label their crops with important information and statistics. This should make our farming much more efficient and improve transparency between volunteers. The other intern, Susannah has been painting our soon to be bulletin board, and very quickly she has given the wooden structure color and life. When finished it will be the primary location for information and news on the farm for new visitors and returning volunteers right when they walk in. In addition we planted broccoli where our recently harvested bed of potatoes used to be [thanks to Green Gulch Farm for supplying us with starts]. We also built a new bed (right when you thought there was no more room for a new bed we found one!) in the walkway behind the vines and at the end of the protruding old pipes.

For those who were not at the farm last Wednesday, we had a very exciting event. Our beehive in the back corner of the farm swarmed at about 2pm. According to our beekeeper the hive was looking to split and form a second hive with a new queen. The swarm was a sight to see. The swarm ballooned to over 20 feet high and extended the length of our farm. Some estimated there were about 300,000 bees flying over our farm [more like 30,000 bees]. Luckily after a few hours, they calmed down and began making a new hive by the raspberries bushes. By this week, the temporary hive was relocated into a more permanent box and location next to the original one.

Lastly, just after we finished up our tasty vegan (as always) lunch, a resident from our next door building came into the farm and in gratitude for the produce we had given her in the past, she give us a box of crackers, a bag of vegetable chips, and many grocery bags to use at the farm stand.

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