We are your neighborhood farmer

We are your neighborhood farmer -- Get in touch at 707 789-9294 or wmorgenthaler@gmail.com

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Is In Full Bloom

... and so Oasis Community Farm is flush with vegetables but this begs the question; what is our production capacity year round? My estimate is 40 families getting weekly boxes of vegetables 40 weeks of the year.  Just having ended our farmers market and learning a great many lessons, we currently could serve 25 but are starting our “Garden Share” with 12 households by putting some beds into cover crops and slowing production. Our primary focus is on building healthy soil. We can do this with cabbage, carrots and compost or with plow-down cover crops of beans peas buckwheat and oats. Our quarter acre of permanent no-till vegetable beds will remain healthy and vibrant no matter what vegetables are harvested for members. New vegetable crops can be planted and harvested in as little as 25 days, but some 60-90, so strong commitment by families over seasons will help us plan and eliminate waste.
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Philosophy and Practice

Modern food production is extractive and unsustainable even as a CSA or organic production model.  What then is our philosophy and practice?  We practice constant rotation instead of applications to control pests and we harvest selectively to fill boxes but waste nothing as we feed animals, compost piles and the stockpot with surplus. We have a long-range plan for the farm based in permaculture principles. We wish to establish tall hedgerows around the property to provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds and protect against the wind.

We will plant evergreen trees and shrubs on the grounds and construct permeable watercourses, ponds and wetlands; a sort of oasis on the edge of the city.   This permaculture plan is counterintuitive to the market CSA model which succeeds when it produces more, yet we plan over time to produce less vegetables, more shade; less peppers, tomatoes and  fruit, more serenity . Over time our family carrying capacity will actually decrease and yet the qualitative experience of the farm will increase as elements such as tree canopies, under story ground covers and watercourses naturalize. 

In as far as a CSA is a business model we are not proposing to be one.  Perhaps what we are really doing is just simpler and closer to home -- community members that agree to support a garden at Oasis, enjoy in exchange a "Garden Share" maintained and cultivated by a single farmer or a group with some help from our friends. Included in you share is the beauty and serenity of the place itself. You can watch Oasis grow as we plant more trees, build the meeting hall, have our first house concert and yoga retreat.  After all life is not all about food, even as it is often at the center