every so often i become possessed with a new project. luckily, i circle back to my obsessions often enough to do things like finish quilts, gloves, or baby blankets–but for the most part, every few months or so i find a new passion and it does not let me go until it has had its way with me.

this post  is to record my latest foray with a newfound passion. it’s an interest that’s been germinating for a while, but sprang up to possess me yesterday and today.

it all began quite innocently. i went with leslie to the CSA fair at the Seward Co-op in Minneapolis.

It was raining gently outside, and the air smelled fresh, like soil. Leslie knows a lot about food, so I let her do the talking and followed along as she spoke with the farmers, asking questions that I wouldn’t have even known to ask, much less thought to ask. These were mostly family farms; parents making a life and a living off of the land, in a way that is good for the land, and good for our bodies.

the farm i think B and I have decided to go with is in its first year, called Growing Lots Urban Farm. apparently it’s right in Minneapolis somewhere (at a location yet to be disclosed), so the food that we’ll be eating this summer will literally be about as local as we could possibly get. i really like the idea of bringing the food we grow right into our own environments. it sounds a little goofy to say, maybe, but i think we’d all be a little better off if we knew where our food came from. it seems to me that this separation from food we’ve created for ourselves engenders that fear people have of vegetables, and that gravitation people have toward processed food. if we started thinking about food coming from the ground, instead of food coming from stores, maybe we’d be less ridiculous about eating stuff like broccoli.

Another cool idea? Roof Farming. This has of course taken off in New York (where, frankly, they kind of need it more), and finally is starting to catch on in Minneapolis. Hurrah! I’m excited to see how that organization does in the next few years.

If we had a yard, this would potentially be the year that I’d dabble in vegetable gardening for the first time. But, since we don’t, I’m kind of fascinating by window farms.

They really, really look a little bit beyond my level of expertise… but we’ll see. They also remind me of the hanging gardens of babylon, which as a really big biblical scholar geek (king nebuchadnezzar, anyone?), only makes me want to do it more. PLUS we have the PERFECT WINDOW. (B is shaking his head right now and sighing. he knows first-hand the extent of my crazies when i get consumed by a project. And, he’s also seen me stop more than once mid-project…).

Maybe more along my skill level (but a potential stepping stone, perhaps?) is indoor composting via worms, a.k.a. vermiculture.

We even have a friend who will give us some of her worms.

So, there you have it, friends! My new obsession has been outlined to you in full, taking immediate effect in our CSA share and potential vermiculture. Does anyone have any good blogs, articles, videos, etc to share? Please post them in the comments–I need more info to consume!!! And, don’t worry yourselves–you’ll get the full updates of my attempts, travails, successes, and failures all right here.


11 Comments on “CSA-hooray!”

  1. L. says:

    i fully understand the obsession of new projects and the inevitable result of not finishing some of them, but roof farming CSAs sound so effin awesome!!

    i saw that method used in window farming at the art exhibit on Governor’s Island (i forget what the exhibit was called — *sigh. my brain is failing me as per usual) and it would be so great from your windows and i can totally imagine bp sighing and shaking his head. aww, miss you two

    can’t wait to hear about your adventures in csa and horticulture… love! (L.)

  2. Morgan says:

    Let me know how vermiculture goes! The fifth grader in me thinks that having worms in your house is TOTALLY SWEET. And the conscious adult in me is kind of fascinated by anything related to the slow-food movement.

  3. Mandi says:

    i was at the csa fair, too! so sad we missed each other. can’t wait to share veggie stories this summer!

  4. L. says:

    you probably already know this exists, and it is on the expensive side, but i will post it anyway:


    woolly wall gardening! :)

  5. Hi Alison! Thanks for linking to Sky High Harvest’s website and for your vote of confidence. :) I’m just getting Sky High Harvest off the ground (pardon the pun!) and will need volunteers in the future, so email me @ info@skyhighharvest.com if you and/or any of your friends want to stay in the loop.

    Also, Sky High Harvest is in the Slow Money Alliance contest and we’d love your vote! It only takes a second because you can log in w/FB, Gmail, or Twitter. Vote here and help us get national attention! http://slowmoneybiz.uservoice.com/forums/51983-slowmoney/suggestions/664857-sky-high-harvest-rooftop-farm?ref=title

    And yay for supporting Growing Lots Urban Farm! Stefan is a terrific farmer.

    Dayna Burtness
    Founder, Sky High Harvest, LLC

  6. Maren says:

    Vermiculture! Now I kind of want to try it this summer! But what would I do with the compost once it’s done? Leave it in Central Park? Haha…I need to read more about this. Do you have any friends in New York who do this?

    I love the description of B shaking his head–I can just see it now!

  7. I’m so excited about this! Stefan’s farm seems very cool, and it sounds like you may get a chance to be more involved than you might with other CSAs. I’ll probably be thinking up reasons to drop by on pick-up days. :)

    We’ll have a session on rooftop gardening at the Real Food Minnesota conference. June 26th. Be there.

    Lastly, what are you going to do with your dirt?

  8. Alison says:

    @L. I think we’re definitely going to start the composting soon… I’ll post the adventures here! Probably in a few weeks. B has a friend with some extra worms, but she’s in med school and it’s finals week… you know the drill. PS, I had NOT heard of woolly pockets, but they are so cute!!!

    @Morgan. I’m honestly kind of scared of the worms. I read somewhere that they can get confused the first few days from being moved around so much and try to abandon ship! Eek! I don’t want that. But apparently the solution is just to keep the lights on day-round for a few days. Something tells me the 5th-grade Morgan would want them EVERYWHERE.

    @Mandi. What farm did you decide to go with? I’m sad we missed each other, too! To think we’ve been trying to make plans all this time and all we had to do was coordinate CSA fair together.

    @Dayna. Hey, thanks for swinging by! I signed in and voted for Sky High Harvest in the Slow Money Alliance contest–good luck! You’re doing great work, and I look forward to volunteering with you soon. ;)

    @Mar. You should try it! But do you cook enough and have enough scraps leftover? ;) Hehe! I’m sure that Central Park could use the extra nutrients, though, or: I’ve also seen people selling their compost in the Union Square farmer’s market. Just sayin’.

    @Leslie. I tried to sign up for the Real Food Minnesota conference! Because I really really want to go!! But something is weird on EventBrite and I can’t. Help! Also, I don’t know what I’m going to do with the dirt. Maybe I will donate it to Growing Lots?

  9. […] 03/05/2010 tags: diy, yogurt by Alison …and i haven’t even STARTED with the worms […]

  10. […] I’ve started taking aerial arts (read: circus arts) classes, a four-week session in May-June, which has elicited interesting comments from everyone in my life from my boyfriend to my boss. Mostly people tend to be worried for my safety, and I can’t say I blame them… I’m not among the most graceful of people. But, in only two weeks, I’m already feeling tremendously stronger, and it’s jump-started new life into my running routine! Ever finding new projects, I’ve sketched out a little running plan for the next few months. We’ll see how that goes… we all know that I haven’t started anything even with worms yet. […]

  11. Leigh Rogers says:

    I was kind of dating this guy who works for Windowfarms and built their website.

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