Archive for September, 2010

Happy Equinox!

It is, officially, fall.  It has felt like fall for a few weeks now at the farm and the farmers are more and more discussing what their next year will look like.  We are doing reflections of this year to best understand what next year will look like.  To do this, we are looking at what went well this year, what didn’t go well, and what we want to change.   Some of the things the farmers learned this year were hard won lessons.  The hardest of all is that they learned farming in Seattle is very, very different than farming in Africa.

Like many farms in the area, the tomatoes have gotten blite this year, a foliar fungus, due to the rain and cold but also because they were not staked.  The tomatoes were left on the ground which is the way they are grown in Africa.  They have also learned the importance of using greenhouses in an area with such a short hot growing season.

The Somali-Bantu farmers are happy to say that they now better understand the importance of keeping a budget and how to do that.  Their meetings have become more organized and they have a schedule for everyone to work the different markets.  The importance of farmers’ market stall presentation has become more and more understood and they feel good about how they sell their produce.  And, they have learned that Americans really like a story!  It has been important to be able to share their story with their customers.

This is just a little of what we talked about yesterday.  Our season has a few more weeks but this information will help the farmers as they begin to plan for next season.

It has been a good year!

Somali Bantu Elders

Little did you know, but there is another group of farmers Burst is working with.  Allow me to introduce the Somali Bantu Society of Washington.  This group of elders, with a few younger Somali Bantu supporting them, have been farming in Kent this summer.

The Kent Community Garden, located at W James St and 64th Ave S., has been kind enough to give these farmers a larger piece of land to garden as a community.  They come with years of experience and farmed their whole lives up until recently when they moved to the United States.

Burst is helping with the intention to fold them in our refugee farming program and offer more support in next year’s farm season.  Until then, we are introducing the ideas of what it means to market in the United States and have purchased basic items needed to sell their produce to their neighbors.  The farm is surrounded by apartments and condos, so we are providing them with good produce and learning how to market.

Please come visit us outside of the community garden, and get fresh vegetables at this new site!

Carrot with Personality!

Kent Community Garden Farm Stand