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The dog days are near.

As we approach the end of the month known for its relentless heat and brightness, we also mark the middle of our harvest season. Tomatoes and cucumbers are climbing skyward, basil pops like green and purple fireworks, potatoes and garlic are peering plump out of the ground, and the bitter greens go on thumbing their noses at everyone. What marvelous work to spend your day in the garden. Continue Reading

Onions

Is it already the middle of July?

How did this happen? The bees, ever industrious and determined, have already completed a great deal of their harvesting. Plums, cherries, apricots, peaches and all their sweet and tart families have been gathering over and under us for weeks now. Tomato vines and corn stalks have already broken into the sunlight.  The days of tat soi leaves and impressively spicy arugula have passed, and we are reclined on a hot couch, in a hot room, in the heart of summer. All our many-legged, winged, rooted and tentacled friends know that tracking the sun is all that matters. I’ll be frank with you: This being only my third year on the farm, I’ve begun to feel like I was reborn in 2012. I’m learning the important things now, from scratch.

Of course, our farmers have been tracking everything and everyone on our varied plots, alongside our beloved work-traders, infusing and drawing life from the ground. This year’s abundant harvest is a testament to the work everyone has done so far—and being a community farm, we need you to help keep it going.

July Volunteer Opportunities

While we’re not hosting a work party this month, we have an ever-growing list of exciting ways to involve yourself in the Erda Life:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, volunteer opportunities abound, from fruit harvesting to drying and processing herbs. Learn how to sort usable garlic from seed garlic from eat it today garlic. Email Elli for details.

Wednesday mornings and Friday evenings, as you may be aware, are harvest times. Join us as a work-trader a couple times a month and take home a full share for each night you work!

Friday mornings at 10:00 Jimmy is leading a Biodynamics class. Learn more about the spiritual thread that runs through all living beings on the farm, in the skies, and beyond, and how we can harvest that energy for great-tasting, bountiful produce.

Friday evenings, join farm staff, volunteers, work-traders and friends for an always-special Farm Family Dinner. We provide some basic protein—rice, beans, lentils—and whatever’s fresh from the field, and encourage you to bring something to eat or drink (beer and wine okay). No one’s turned away for lack of food.

Saturday mornings Elli leads a Meditation & Wellness class, and Community Field Day after. If you normally pick up your share on Saturday mornings, consider staying a while and playing in the dirt. Kids and families welcome.

Each of these events can be found on the Erda Events Calendar.

Special Newsletter Bonus!

Our friend and neighbor Peter Gallo, of Kimchi Farms, has found a quick and easy recipe reference for perilla leaves, which were included with this week’s share. Curious, or hungry for more? Send Peter an email, and he’ll be happy to address your every perilla need.

Chives

Good afternoon, Erda Nation,

June finds on the tail of yet more mysterious weather, and as May has shivered and sweated, I’ve found comfort in great food, and great community. Huge, deep green lettuce heads are bursting many-wrinkled out of the soil. Cucumbers are beginning to wrap their fingertips around the fence-line that bisects our main plot at Blake. Daikon radishes, deep-water-digging, are now emerging into daylight, long, white and spicy, and ready to be chopped lovingly into salsa. New volunteers and Work-Traders are finding the field every week, and each brings new humor, questions, joy and recipes. As our world changes, we, too, can change it.

This month we have lots of opportunities on the farm, and a few from organizations you may or may not already know. Continue Reading

Bees

Spring has been kind to us this year.

These last few cold spells and wild winds notwithstanding, the magical processes of reuse and rebirth are alive on the farm. Onions are greenly sprouting into the sun, wild arugula flowers brush our hands as we work (and we chomp them, rich and bitter), and the bees are building their new factories as I write. New today in the ground are cucumbers, sunflowers and corn. Potatoes are spurting taller, and over a thousand young plants are preparing for new homes in the field.

A huge thank you to the farm crew and congratulations to all who made our first distro of 2014 happen. Without farmers and work-traders in the field, volunteers and coordinators running between, and everyone supporting our CSA… well, there wouldn’t be a CSA. So a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has has helped, and continues to help, make our community farm a community reality. Continue Reading

Blake-North-in-April

April is the season of rapid growth.

Seedlings burst forth in the greenhouse, blossoms alight with bees busily collecting pollen, and baby goats bounce around us like long-legged rabbits. Springtime is always a bustling time at the farm and we welcome the new growth. Along with an influx of new faces come old friends, returning for another season. Continue Reading

Laura-&-Cecilia

April has arrived, and nearly succeeded in pushing back the March winds.

A few more weeks of trumpeting noses and it’ll be time to dust off those lawn chairs. Which, admittedly, will probably make many of us sneeze again.

March was very productive March in Erdalandia. Last month a stalwart crew planted innumerable new starts and built a new hoop house at Blake, cleared out piles of junk, prepped beds at every site, mowed and created berms around a dozen trees at Barcelona, and much, much more. If you joined us for either of the Sunday Work Parties, or during the week, thank you! Continue Reading

soupersupper-feat

First, some thank yous:

Thanks to all who joined us for our Soup-er Supper last Sunday!

Thanks, CNM Chronicle, for the great write up on Tuesday!

Thanks, McCune Foundation, for continuing to fund our work at Erda Gardens!

There’s so much to do!

March is packed with opportunities to get down to the farm, enjoy the spring sunshine and learn how to start your own backyard garden, here are a few of the upcoming events, check out our Events Calendar for more! Continue Reading

Soup-er-Supper

Soup-er Supper FlyerSoup-er Supper

This Sunday! March 2, 6:00–8:00pm
ABQ Mennonite Church, 1300 Girard NE
$15-20 suggested donation
$5 for kids under 10
No one turned away due to lack of funds

This annual event is a great way to support local farmers and learn how you can support and share in the harvest. This is a great time to renew your CSA Membership or become a first-time member, as anyone who pays in full for the 2014 growing season gets a $50 dollar discount on the total cost of a share. That’s six months of fresh, pesticide-free, biodynamic fruits and vegetables for $550! The menu is still growing, but here are the homemade soups and sides you can count on:

  • Carrot Curry Soup
  • Cuban Black Bean Soup
  • Pinto Bean Soup
  • Green Chile Stew
  • Beef Stew
  • Artisan Breads Continue Reading
orchardapples

Spring is in the ground. Woo! Change!

A few months back, at a biodynamic spray, friend of the farm Michael Reed reminded us that everything around us has already begun its spring preparations. Plants know instantly by the length of light that it is safe, and important, to anticipate a new growth season. Several of us took this insight with us, into our bones, a capsule yesterday and tomorrow, to hold us over today.

We approach February gingerly. This winter we’ve been teased with perfect hammock-drooping afternoons. As we hear talk of our driest winter on record, we begin to plan for a new kind of summer, a new kind of rainfall. We remind ourselves that we humans are a profoundly adaptable bunch. With our eyes open, we can do so much.

Some of you may have heard whispers of a potential water crisis, spurred by a new development on the West Side. This is real, it is serious, and it affects all of Albuquerque. We’re partnering with La Orilla Farm to launch a public awareness and action campaign. We’ll be sending more information soon, including how you can make your voice heard.

Now for some great news!

Erda was selected to receive the “bag credit” at La Montanita Co-op for the month of February. So when you go shopping at La Montañita Co-op this month, bring your own bags and don’t forget to donate the credit to Erda Gardens and Learning Center!

It’s almost time for our 2014 Soup-er Supper Fundraiser and Membership Drive.
Albuquerque Mennonite Church
Sunday, March 2nd
5:00 – 7:00 pm
1300 Girard Blvd. NE

Live music, delicious dinner and plenty of family fun to be had this year. This annual event is a great way to support local farmers and learn how you can support and share in the harvest. A great time to renew your CSA membership or become a first-time member, as anyone who pays if full for the 2014 growing season gets a $50 dollar discount on the total cost of a share. Full menu and musical guests to be announced. $15-20 suggested donation, $5 for kids under 10. No one turned away due to lack of funds.

The Backyard Farming Workshop Series, in partnership with Bernalillo County Open Space and the Hubbell House Alliance starts back up again this Saturday, Feb. 8. These workshops are FREE and open to the public. However, this year we are limiting the number of participants, so please pre-register.

February 8th: Fruit Tree Care and Pruning
Learn proper techniques for pruning, which fruit trees thrive best in your landscape, when to plant and proper planting guidelines. New Mexico State University’s tree expert, Joran Viers, will lead the presentation and hands-on demonstration.

February 22nd: Edible Bushes and Shrubs
Shrubs are an important part of one’s landscaping, offering a number of benefits including beauty, wildlife forage, and space delineation. Come and learn about which native shrubs are good to incorporate into your backyard as well as winter care and pruning techniques led by Wes Brittenham from Plants of the Southwest.

See all events coming up in the next few months on our events calendar.

ErdaCore

Every time we eat, a farmer is present at our table.

If we are lucky, we know the individual who milked the cow, harvested the potatoes, picked the green beans and raised the turkey. In most cases, there are many hands that harvest, carry, process, pack and deliver the goods we eat. We may know the person stocking shelves or say a genuine hello to the one who rings up the purchase… but that’s as close as we’ll get.

As the holiday season starts its frenzied pro-consumer decent, please take pause and remember that each meal is dependent on many faces we may never see. We can keep giving thanks to all those who helped put food on our table.

Giving thanks to our Core Group

Now that our growing season has come to a close and the garden sites are unusually quiet, we begin planning for the season to come. A huge THANK YOU to the Core Group for all their time and energy. The Core Group helps shape and guide Erda’s direction.

Several new positions are opening in next year’s group. If you are interested in joining, please contact us now!

Next Erda Events

Children’s Advent Garden Celebration

December 1, 2013, 11:00 am
The Garden Room, at The Source (1111 Carlisle SE)

Come with your child for a warm and gentle advent experience. Following a story, children light their apple candles an walkthrough and evergreen spiral. Brought to you by the local anthroposophical group. $5 per family. Please pre-register with Sally.

Erda Speakeasy Fundraiser

December 7, 2013, times depending
Erda HQ (Blake and La Vega)

Tickets are still available for our adults-only evening of crooning Jazz, 20s style and bootleg goodness, in a building used once for a real Speakeasy. Tickets start at $50 to party; $150 to have dinner with local Swing luminaries Le Chat Lunatique. Get tickets and more information here.