How I got to Follow the Farmer at Joyful Noise Farm

Note:  Yes, this post is about four season farming and the labyrinth that is Colorado water law, but please don’t be surprised if most of the pictures are of food.  I have my priorities straight, you know!

***

Did you attend the Follow the Farmer seminar at A Joyful Noise Farm last Saturday?  I was honored to be invited as a guest and now my head is just swimming with information and ideas!

My very happy stomach was swimming in Chef Kevin Campbell's amazing meals.  Here is breakfast in the morning sun.

My very happy stomach was swimming with Chef Kevin Campbell’s amazing meals. Here is breakfast in the morning sun.

My group spent the morning with Dr. Perry Cabot, an expert in water law.  Oh my goodness, we learned so much!

We talked about water while exploring the path of water on the farm.

We talked about water while exploring the path of water on the farm.

I’ve had this conversation several times since Saturday…

“We were wrong about the rain barrels,” I say.  “They are not legal in the city.”

“What??”, says my conversation partner.  “Why not?  That doesn’t make any sense!”

I don’t know if it makes sense or not, but Dr. Cabot explained that only people with well permits can have rain barrels and you have to apply for a permit to collect the water off your roof too!  People in the city don’t have wells and the water that runs off the roof belongs to the people downstream.

Want to know more?  Visit the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.

That brought us to lunchtime.  I'll never forget this lunch of goat, chicken, salad, potato salad and sauerkraut.

That brought us to lunchtime. I’ll never forget this lunch of goat, chicken, salad, potato salad and sauerkraut.

Lunch was just as amazing as breakfast.

Here we have Chef Kevin carving the goat, as if this were a fancy restaurant.

Here we have Chef Kevin carving the goat, as if this were a fancy restaurant.

Stomachs full, my group moved on to a session with Clara Coleman, a four-season farming consultant, formerly from Silt, CO.  She showed us how to set up a garden or farm to grow food all year round!

Clara began by showing us how to start seeds in soil blocks.

Clara began by showing us how to start seeds in soil blocks.

Clara showed us two ways to build a hoop house, how to cover the plants to retain heat and even some clever tools for the modern gardener.

I'm fascinated by the technology that makes it possible for two people to run a whole farm!

I’m fascinated by the technology that makes it possible for two people to run a whole farm!

Many of the tools Clara used are either manual, such as the seeder in the picture, or use a cordless drill for power.  She showed us how to prepare beds, seed at evenly spaced intervals, weed with ergonomically helpful tools and harvest greens with an ingenious device that uses tassels to collect delicate lettuces.

She also built a hoop house before our very eyes, beginning by bending metal hoops!

A Joyful Noise Farm also uses greenhouses and Clara explained how to get the most tomatoes possible in the space.

A Joyful Noise Farm also uses greenhouses and Clara explained how to get the most tomatoes possible in the space.

At the end of the day, I had a notebook (and brain) full of information I can use in my home garden and now I know more about small-scale farming too!.  This was way more interesting than any professional conference I ever attended in the corporate world!!

The Follow the Farmer seminars are an annual event.  Keep an eye on Joyful Noise Farm for the next one.  Gardeners and anyone interested in our local food economy won’t want to miss it!

****

© 2013 Hungry Chicken Homestead

Want to read about locally owned businesses in Colorado Springs? The chickens want to tell you about them! Join them in supporting our local economy by signing up for our twice-monthly newsletter!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *