Faatma Mehrmanesh, Operations Coordinator at DUG’s DeLaney Community Farm
Everything is so green on the farm already. In my six years on the farm I have never seen it so green. At the end of last season there was a lot of sadness after the floods and after having to end the season early. After a long winter of conversations (mostly with ourselves) about why we farm and the wherewithal it takes to roll with Mother Nature’s punches, we were reminded that it can be good to break out of habits and problem solving is good and creativity comes out of (perceived) devastation. Spring has arrived. The most hopeful part of the year, where all our dreams seem attainable and the soil smells wonderful and the sun has returned to warm the back of our necks and all is right in the world. The seeds packets have arrived and the team is fired up and ready to grow some thangs. Everything is so green (did I mention that?) and I suppose we should offer a little bow to the 500 year floods for making our cover crop come in a little thicker and the fall planted garlic grow in a little taller. Hakuna Matata?
Inspired to transform our perspective of what is important in community we’ve decided to put more emphasis on perennial foods and plants. We have always had perennial foods and plants at DeLaney , but this year we are honoring them in a more visible way. Moving all of our perennial plants to one location closer to the front of the farm where these beauties can be seen by passers by on a walk and are a reminder of the beauty and resilience of growing food, flowers and medicinal plants. Flowers! Edible flowers, medicinal flowers, flowers for your coffee table or kitchen window. We will grow flowers… as well as herbs, sunchokes and maybe some walking “wild” onions. Hopefully you’ll come visit us and spend some time in this “becoming” field.
Every year at DeLaney Community Farm we hire a brand new staff of aspiring farmers as interns. This year we have Ben Pfeffer, Chris Vincent, Brittany Stanfield and Jake Gest. These folks are already showing themselves to be hard working, witty and invested in this little farm. If you run into them on the farm this year ask them what’s new at DeLaney and maybe bring them a popsicle. Popsicles are a farmer’s best friend.
As farmers we work to be more productive and efficient every year and grow some experimental things to see how they do in our climate and how our community received them. One of our experiments last year was sweet potatoes. This plant is not only beautiful in the fields (or pots or hanging baskets) but is such an abundant producer that we’ve decided to include it in our production this year as an offered food for our Community farm members. They store all winter and are a great addition to a locavore winter diet.
Needless to say, we’re excited.