Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Favorite Things List: Spring 2014

Cocoon Double-Hang Nest Chair.
We see all the articles buzzing about on the Internet about the 10 coolest things to build for your home or how to have a lavish backyard this summer. Between all those lists, and other articles we've run into, there's no shortage of "To-Dos" at Better Farm this (or any!) year. Here are our top picks for cool new ideas we'd like to employ—as soon as the there are more hours in a day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY Shadow Puppets

Image from Machetera.
On a recent trip to a very cool toy store, I found a lovely collection of shadow puppets for sale.
I was struck at how beautiful they were in their simplicity, and another thought: Why buy them, when you can make personalized shadow puppets of your own?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Planting in Mulch Beds

Some of Better Farm's chickens have been hard at work digging up worms and helping to aerate soil between garden rows.
One of the most common questions people ask about mulch gardening is how one should go about planting in the layered beds of compost, hay, cardboard, newspaper, and other biodegradables.

Two words: dandelion weeder.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Eat Your Enemies: Spotlight on Invasivore

Sir-fried carrot and invasive burdock root. Image from Food 52.
In a world of international shipping, plane travel, criss-crossing railroad tracks, and roads, invasive species have become par for the course. In any ecosystem, you're likely to find a number of species that have immigrated from elsewhere; often with detrimental effects to the native population.

Invasivore, a group of people taking advantage of this invasion, promotes the consumption of invasive species as a means of controlling those populations and essentially turning proverbial lemons into delicious lemonade.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Compost Initiative Kicks Off in Redwood with Workshop, Hamlet Cleanup

In partnership with the Redwood Neighborhood Association, Better Farm's "Better Buckets" initiative kicks off at 12 p.m. Saturday, April 19, with a workshop to construct Redwood's community compost bin, seed-planting and basic maintenance in the Community Greenhouse, and a trash-pickup project in downtown Redwood.

Those interested in participating in the inaugural year of Better Buckets may also stop in that day to pick up their free compost buckets; 5-gallon pails that will be filled with an individual's or family's food scraps and picked up (or may be dropped off at the community greenhouse) on a weekly basis throughout the year. The dirt produced in the Community Greenhouse's compost bin will be available for free to the public.

Here's a little background on Better Buckets:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Latest from Artist-in-Residence Mike Brown

Artist-in-Residence Mike Brown has been penning stories and writing songs at Better Farm since 2010. He's uploaded some new content to his YouTube channel you're officially invited to check out.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mark those Calendars!

Vintage calendar image from Life Hacker.
Now that Spring's in full swing, the calendar is filling up fast. Here's a rundown of all the 'better' stuff we've got going on. Check back regularly on our website for new additions being added; and follow the blog to get more information on specific events and how you can get involved.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

How Mulching Will Save Your Garden (and Sanity!)

Image from Oregon Live.
For all of you starting in with the back-breaking work of tilling, weeding, fertilizing, and otherwise prepping your garden beds for the impending season, this is a Public Service Announcement from Better Farm.


Turn off that roto-tiller. Back away from that hoe. Return that bag of fertilizer. Pronto.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Arrives at Better Farm

Some Better Farm hens hang out on the back deck, enjoying sunshine.
Well, it's official: Spring has sprung at Better Farm. Creekbeds on the property and throughout the region are flowing. Birds are chirping. Coyotes howl at night. The hens and roosters have grown increasingly noisy and are venturing further and further from their coops during daylight hours. The dogs are lying in the road, on the driveway, on the deck, and in mud puddles. Out on the lakes, ice cracks with each step.

To celebrate—or to catch up, today has been packed with a flurry of activity to usher in this season, unseasonably late.