Sep 20, 2011

Listen Up

"Life isn't about [making money].  It shouldn't be about that."
In case you missed it last Friday, Justin was featured during a segment on KWMU's "Cityscape" program.  Collaborating with Sauce Magazine, Cityscape aired a story on urban farming in St. Louis. Producers caught up with Justin to get his take on what caused him to become passionate about urban farming as a way of life.  

If you missed the segment, listen to it here:  Justin's part begins around the 03:37 minute mark.

Sep 16, 2011

Back to the Start

For those of you not familiar with this video yet, several weeks ago the popular food chain Chipotle uploaded a video of Willie Nelson covering Coldplay's "The Scientist," with computer animation accompanying the song.

Don't view it as just a commercial for Chipotle, however.  The company commissioned the video to emphasize the importance of developing a sustainable food system, and I think it hits its target spot-on.  Willie's cover of the song is haunting, as is the narrative of the cartoon, and yeah, I'll admit that it made my eyes well up a little.

As long-time supporter's of Farm Aid (Willie Nelson's other project), we're happy to see Willie Nelson supporting Chipotle's endeavor to highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture.

Sep 6, 2011

It's Been a Long Time, We Shouldn't Have Left You...

We can't believe it's been almost four months since we last wrote a blog post! Spring turned into summer, and summer produced some crazy hot, hot temperatures, and what else can we say? We've been working tremendously hard these last few months out in the fields, at the markets, and around town.

Now for a brief little recap:
You might already know that our grow space at our homestead in Affton is around 1/10 of an acre. While it's surprising to see the bounty such a small space can produce, we started searching earlier this year for ways we could acquire more land on which to grow more crops. Our search ended once we met Virgil and his wife, Margaret – farmers in nearby Fenton, Missouri (St. Louis County) whose property spans 500 acres in the middle of subdivisions and strip malls.  

We've been renting a few acres from Virgil and Margaret, and if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you might have already seen photos of what our plot looks like and the transformation its undergone while in our care. 
(keep reading...)

May 17, 2011

It's That (Itchy) Time of Year Again...

Spring has sprung, and our crops are growing, and as such our back door is seeing tons of activity as Justin and I travel from inside to outside, and vice versa, with gardening tools, plants, and other items.  However, we're not the only two coming in and out of the house; mosquitoes are, too.  Last night, for instance, I managed to swat a half dozen blood suckers.  Although, swatting with my hand is as far as I'll go to kill these pests.

As residents of St. Louis County, our local government routinely sprays for mosquitoes from the months of May through October.  However, the mosquito tucks don't spray down our block.  That's because we're on the do-not-spray list.  Yes, it's true, people have a right to opt-out of mosquito spraying!

But what's the problem with mosquito spraying, you ask?  Plenty.

Apr 25, 2011

In Season: Bamboo Shoots

At YellowTree Farm, we're big on gleaning and foraging.  Open your eyes; there's plenty of food all around us just going to waste. Bamboo shoots are in season right now, and we're selling plenty of them at the Maplewood Farmer's Market.  Fresh, springtime bamboo shoots are considered a delicacy all over Asia, and they're an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E, and iron.  
If you're already a fan of the frozen or canned bamboo shoots available in grocery stores or in your delivery of Asian takeout, you simply must try our locally foraged fresh version.  Just peel back the outer layers until you come to the tender, bright green insides.  Slice them up, boil or sauté them with some salt and oil, and you've got a hyper-local side dish to any meal.

Mar 21, 2011

Looking to Learn More?

Thinking about raising your own flock of chickens for eggs?

Wondering if a goat would make a great lawnmower?

Next month, we'll be teaming up with the people at Brick City Gardens to lead a workshop on raising livestock in an urban setting.  You can learn the in's and out's of caring for and maintaining a variety of animals like chickens, ducks, goats, rabbit and quail.  We'll teach you a myriad of things including what legalities to be aware of, proper ways of slaughter, and tips on how to succeed.

The event will be held at Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood on Saturday, April 30th from 9:00am-12:00pm.  Cost is $40.  To pre-register email Sue at or call (314) 630-5910.  Learn more here.

Feb 18, 2011

CSA Coming Your Way!

It's true.  We've decided to do a CSA this year, with pickups to be held at our booth at the Schlafly Farmer's Market.  We're doing things a little differently than how typical CSAs are set up:  We are offering shares in more affordable tiers of $500, $200, or $100.  This is structured so that you get to enjoy our specialty produce and still have enough money in your pockets to spend throughout the farmer's market.  It also serves as a great introductory CSA plan if you're a newbie to CSAs, if you're hesitant to sign up for one based on expense, or if you're afraid you'd waste unused produce.

There are roughly 30 market days at Schlafly from April-October.  Our $500 share provides for pickups of items at nearly every market date, with the value of each pickup being $18-$20.  The $200 share allows for half the number of pickups (to be set up, for example, every other week, or however you like), with $15-$17 as the value of each pickup.  The $100 share provides a small taste of the items we offer, with pickups valued at around $8.  It won't be enough produce to fill the fridge, but it'll provide a great opportunity to sample and try our unique items.
(keep reading...)

Jan 25, 2011

Meet the Kids...

We've been on "goat watch" for the last few weeks, as two of the does at our Waterloo location were pregnant.  We spent entire weekends and much of our spare time on weekdays waiting for the girls to give birth, and they finally did just the other day (within days of eachother, too).  We've now got three kids:  Two males and one female.

Jan 12, 2011

See You Tonight

We'll be at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood at 7pm tonight for Slow Money St. Louis' first meeting.  Slow Money is a wonderful organization, and we're very excited about St. Louis starting up their own chapter.  We're even presenting our plans for 2011 at the meeting, so you should stop by to hear more about what we've got in store for this year!