Seeking Space

Lunaria Gardens is growing, and we’re seeking a centralized space, preferably in the Philadelphia area, for:

  • Farm/ garden: for growing flowers, herbs, edibles, natives
  • Floral design studio: for creating special orders and event designs
  • Plant nursery: for our specialty herbs, edibles, perennials, natives
  • Workshops: in topics like sustainable floristry, natural dyes, botanical brewing

We’re motivated to find our new home, so if you have a lead, please share, and email [email protected] to start a conversation.

Thank you!

Kristen Jas Vietty
Grower-Forager-Designer
Lunaria Gardens

HIRING: Farmstand Manager, Clark Park/ West Philly

bala market display slate signage Lunaria Gardens

Clark Park Farmstand Manager

Lunaria Gardens is seeking a 2016 Farmstand Manager to work Saturdays at the Clark Park Farmers Market in West Philadelphia.

Job type: Part-time seasonal. Saturday morning availability is required, approximately 7:30a-3p. Possible option to assist in nursery in Roxborough as well.

Season term: We are asking for a commitment of Saturday mornings, April 2 through June 18, 2016. Lunaria Gardens will likely continue market participation beyond this point, but we would discuss summer plans at a later date.

Compensation: $10-16/ hr ($7.25/ hr with sales commission)

Position posted: Saturday, March 19, 2016

Contact: Kristen Jas Vietty, [email protected] (no phone calls)

 

Position Description:

Lunaria Gardens will be participating in The Food Trust’s Clark Park Farmers Market in Spring 2016. At this market, we will be primarily offering potted plants: edibles, natives, ornamental perennials, and houseplants. We will also carry a limited selection of flower bouquets and gardening supplies. The director will train and assist, but the Farmstand Manager is in charge of ensuring everything runs smoothly each Saturday.

– Loading vehicle at nursery in Roxborough/ Manayunk on Saturday morning (or Friday evening if preferred).

– Unloading vehicle and creating display at Clark Park Farmers Market: setting up tent, tables, merchandise display, signage.

– Photographing display for Instagram/ Facebook promotion.

– Assisting customers with selecting merchandise, taking special order requests, selling subscription products. Cultivating relationships and repeat customers, but not allowing conversations to interfere with duties.

– Handling cash and credit card sales, recording sales data, and maintaining optimal visual display throughout market hours.

– Breaking down display and loading vehicle.

– Unloading vehicle back at nursery, reporting any issues or trends to director.

 

 

succulents Philadelphia Lunaria Gardens farmers market clay pots

 

Requirements:

– Must have familiarity with plants and their general growing requirements. Applicant must have some gardening/ farming/ ecological know-how, like cool-season vs tender vegetables, plant families, sun-shade requirements, etc. You will be helping people select plants, so you need to have some base knowledge, as well as an interest in improving it through ongoing training and self-study.

– Must be excellent with customer service and sales, and possess an outgoing, personable, and positive nature.

– Must be punctual, communicative, organized, and comfortable jumping in and figuring things out.

– Must be able to comfortably lift 50 pounds and withstand standing and sitting outside (under tent) in all weather conditions.

– Must commit to work Saturday mornings from mid-March through mid-June.

– Must possess valid drivers license and a vehicle.

Preferred:

– Ideal applicant will live in the vicinity of West Philadelphia, and have some connection to the community.

– Familiarity with botanical nomenclature, gardening, landscaping, agriculture, permaculture, or ecology.

– Interest in assisting with occasional nursery operations (seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting) during peak season.

– Interest or experience in floriculture is a plus, and could elicit additional Friday hours.

– Experience in visual display and merchandising is a plus, as well as any experience doing other markets or pop-up events.

– Do you have experience with social media/ email marketing, web design, construction, proposal writing, or other cool skills? Let us know.

 

Lunaria Gardens Farmers market display fall bulbs floral arrangements philly

 

About Lunaria Gardens:

Lunaria Gardens specializes in edibles, natives, and perennials for the landscape, and houseplants, floral arrangements, and seasonal decor for the home. Our focus is on habitat creation, food production, and sustainable beauty. New for the 2016 are customized plant assortments and floral subscriptions. Owner-operator Kristen Jas Vietty has a background in visual arts, administration, music, and permaculture design at residential, farm, and municipal scales.

 

To Apply:

To be considered, send email to Kristen Jas Vietty: [email protected] (no phone calls)

Email subject format: “Clark Park Farmstand Manager: (Your full name)”

Please either attach a resume in PDF or Word format, or include link to an online resume.

No formal letter of interest required. Instead, either in the email body or in an attached document, answer the following questions in list or paragraph form:

1. Can you commit to working most Saturdays through June 18? Sometimes last-minute situations arise, but please specify if you already have trips or weddings booked on certain dates.

2. Do you have a valid drivers license? Do you have a vehicle with ability to assist with transport of tent, tables, and merchandise?

3. What are your strengths and weaknesses in your plant knowledge? We primarily sell edibles, herbs, natives, and houseplants, and limited amount of non-native ornamentals or cut flower crops.

4. Do you have interest or experience with floral design, as well as Friday availability?

5. What are you hoping to learn or gain from this position?

6. What can you bring to this position? If not listed in resume, please list any skills.

7. If not included in your resume, please list links to social media profiles, websites, links to cool projects with which you’re involved.

 

Lunaria Gardens Philadelphia flower arrangement floral design native bouquet

 

 

Please do not call to follow up on applications.  Thanks much for your interest and time.

Lunaria Gardens is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Kristen Jas Vietty

[email protected]

lunariagardens.com

facebook.com/lunariagardens

instagram.com/lunariagardens

twitter.com/lunariagardens

Photos from Forest Gardening Workshop at Fields without Fences

I was recently lucky enough to attend a forest gardening design & installation workshop led by Sean Walsh, on June 28, 2014. I first met Sean over Memorial Day weekend, 2013, where we both attended a permaculture water systems workshop with Andrew Faust, and then teamed up to create a design proposal for the workshop site, Green Light Plants. I was impressed with his knowledge and experience gained since his time at the Conway School of Landscape Design, and now he’s leading Appleseed Permaculture’s New Jersey franchise.

The workshop was held just outside of Frenchtown, NJ, at Fields Without Fences, operated by Johann Rinkens & Lindsay Napolitano. This 10-acre commercial food forest project is just in their second growing year, and it’s amazing how far the site has come in that time. They have an excellent website that describes the history of the degraded land, and how they are restoring the ecology – do check it out. Fields Without Fences’ products can be purchase through a New Jersey based farm distribution service, Zone 7.

I’ll just tell the story of the workshop in photos below:

Appleseed Permaculture's Sean Walsh, introducing forest gardening concepts and showing us some site assessment examples.
Appleseed Permaculture’s Sean Walsh, introducing forest gardening concepts and showing us some site assessment examples.

 

Johann, Sean, & Lindsay orient us with the Fields Without Fences site.
Johann, Sean, & Lindsay orient us with the Fields Without Fences site.
Lindsay fields without fences forest gardening
Lindsay describes their approach to raspberry management. She describes observing brambles growing in wildflower fields, so they pair raspberries with Echinacea/ coneflowers. The flower’s sturdy stems hold the berry canes upright, negating the need to build trellises.
A shot showing a glimpse of the many polycultures utilized at Fields Without Fences. I spy a young pawpaw, comfrey, bolting lettuce & sorrel, and allium flowerheads.
A shot showing a glimpse of the many polycultures utilized at Fields Without Fences. I spy a young pawpaw, comfrey, bolting lettuce & sorrel, and allium flowerheads.
Lindsay called the elder the iconic plant of Fields Without Fences, and it was, appropriately, in full bloom during the workshop. They sell the aromatic elderflowers as well as the berries.
Lindsay called the elder the iconic plant of Fields Without Fences, and it was, appropriately, in full bloom during the workshop. They sell the aromatic elderflowers as well as the berries.
A closeup of an elderflower, as well as some developing berries.
A closeup of an elderflower, as well as some developing berries.
Fields Without Fences has a small annual vegetable production area, where the polyculture approach is still utilized.
Fields Without Fences has a small annual vegetable production area, where the polyculture approach is still utilized.
The main pond collects runoff from this previously waterlogged site. Since this photo was taken, the pond now is home to a couple of ducks.
The main pond collects runoff from this previously waterlogged site. Since this photo was taken, the pond now is home to a couple of ducks.
Most of the site is cover cropped with a seed mix heavy in red clover. The farmers leave it in place, fixing nitrogen in the soil, until ready to plant. Also shown are some of the many currant bushes featured throughout the polycultures.
Most of the site is cover cropped with a seed mix heavy in red clover. The farmers leave it in place, fixing nitrogen in the soil, until ready to plant. Also shown are some of the many currant bushes featured throughout the polycultures.
Pollinators are a vital part of the farm ecosystem, and there are 2 meadow areas for winged friends. Pictured is a hive housing the European honeybee.
Pollinators are a vital part of the farm ecosystem, and there are 2 meadow areas for winged friends. Pictured is a hive housing the European honeybee.
Closeup of honeybees a the hive entrance.
Closeup of honeybees a the hive entrance.
Here are some yarrow and alfalfa flowers attracting the attentions of the honeybee.
Here are some yarrow and alfalfa flowers attracting the attentions of the honeybee.
A beautiful permaculture design plan for Fields Without Fences was displayed. Click to zoom in and read about all the different zones and systems.
A beautiful permaculture design plan for Fields Without Fences was displayed. Click to zoom in and read about all the different zones and systems.
Over lunch, attendee Roman Osadca shared some delicious garlic scape pesto from his homestead, Valley Fall Farm. As of 2014, Roman grows over 290 varieties of garlic!
Over lunch, attendee Roman Osadca shared some delicious garlic scape pesto from his homestead, Valley Fall Farm. As of 2014, Roman grows over 290 varieties of garlic!
A glimpse of Fields Without Fences' plant nursery & propagation area.
A glimpse of Fields Without Fences’ plant nursery & propagation area.
A small cattail pond with the northwest field beyond, which has been shaped into additional raised bed production area since this photo was taken.
A small cattail pond with the northwest field beyond, which has been shaped into additional raised bed production area since this photo was taken.
Johann and Lindsay describe their goals for an Africa-shaped bed we'll be designing.
Johann and Lindsay describe their goals for an Africa-shaped bed we’ll be designing.
We broke into 3 groups to come up with design possibilities for the Africa-shaped bed. Here I am with my team, presenting our design proposal. [Photo: Sean Walsh]
We broke into 3 groups to come up with design possibilities for the Africa-shaped bed. Here I am with my team, presenting our design proposal. [Photo: Sean Walsh]
Sean and Lindsay amalgamate the groups' designs into a final plan. The polyculture includes (from canopy to groundcover): butternut, river birch, pawpaw, blueberry, spicebush, sunflower, catnip, and green & gold.
Sean and Lindsay amalgamate the groups’ designs into a final plan. The polyculture includes (from canopy to groundcover): butternut, river birch, pawpaw, blueberry, spicebush, sunflower, catnip, and green & gold.
In preparation for planting, we began  sheet mulching by rolling out round bales of straw over the grass.
In preparation for planting, we began sheet mulching by rolling out round bales of straw over the grass.
We continued to spread straw over the bed.
We continued to spread straw over the bed.
A view of the bed completely sheet mulched with the straw layer.
A view of the bed completely sheet mulched with the straw layer.
Then Johann used the tractor to dump loads of leaf mulch to spread over the straw.
Then Johann used the tractor to dump loads of leaf mulch to spread over the straw.
After all the topsoil was spread, we started planting. Here, left to right, are Jose, Johann, & Sean planting a young butternut tree.
After all the topsoil was spread, we started planting. Here, left to right, are Jose, Johann, & Sean planting a young butternut tree.
Finishing up planting.
Finishing up planting.
A group photo after planting, however, some folks had to leave before we got this shot.
A group photo after planting, however, some folks had to leave before we got this shot.
A panorama of the farm, including the newly-planted bed, and a wildflower meadow. [Photo by Sean Walsh]
A panorama of the farm, including the newly-planted bed, and a wildflower meadow. [Photo by Sean Walsh]

 

Spring Potluck with the Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild

Inoculated shitake logs fruiting in the Hunter Hill mushroom circle.
Inoculated shitake logs fruiting in the Hunter Hill mushroom circle.

 

On Sunday, May 4, we’ll be hosting a gathering of members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild! This free Meetup group is a great way to find out about cool events & connect with other permies. To attend, you must join the Meetup group and RSVP – space is limited!

 

EPPG Spring Potluck!


Sunday, May 4
, 1-4p

Hunter Hill Farm
901 Frost Hollow Road, Easton, PA 18040

One of our members, Kristen Jas Vietty, of Lunaria Gardens permaculture design, has graciously offered to host a potluck at Hunter Hill Farm, alongside the crew of young farmers who help things run smoothly there.

This suburban property is being reverted back to its former farmland glory, with a CSA operation, apple orchard, mushroom cultivation area, meadow & forest habitat, & the beginnings of an edible forest garden. Kristen is converting a school bus into a tiny home, and they’re adding some livestock into the mix.

Join us for some merriment & permie community!

Please bring a dish to share, your own utensils, plates, cups, etc., and park alongside either of the driveways.

RSVP required!

LUNA BUS tiny home in progress
LUNA BUS tiny home in progress

Most Essential 2 (or 3) Permaculture & Forest Gardening Books

Last night I gave a presentation, An Introduction to Edible Forest Gardening, at the monthly meeting of the Ladies Homestead Gathering of Central Bucks County. I mentioned a couple of my top picks for essential permaculture and edible forest gardening books.

 


Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition

It can sometimes be difficult to give a succinct overview of the such an all-encompassing subject as permaculture, but Toby Hemmenway does a magnificent job is his seminal book, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. In the second edition of this award-winning title, Hemmenway addresses not just the fundamental theories, but many applications, like wetland gardens, deer barriers, polyculture design, & more. There are lots of tables of useful plants for specific uses, anecdotes, and overall a friendly, non-technical introduction for anyone looking to learn more about permaculture. Order your copy to get started!

 


Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)

Next on my list is not one book, but a 2 volume set: Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke & Eric Toensmeier. I received these as a gift several years ago, and I still reference them all the time. Coupled with one of Eric’s weekend intensives, these books inspired a major shift in my perspectives on land use. The sheer amount of information here is astounding – Vol. I: Vision & Theory contains home forest garden case studies and a must have list of the Top 100 species, while Vol. II: Design & Practice shows us how to make our edible Eden a reality. This set may seem a little daunting for the beginner, but if you’re going to make one purchase that will stand the test of time, this is it.

 

Have you already read these books? What do you think? Any other titles you’d recommend to folks interested in permaculture or edible forest gardening? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!

Workshop: Edible Forest Gardening / Doylestown, PA

EFG_dtown_workshop2

 In a couple of hours, learn how you can be harvesting fruits, nuts, vegetables, mushrooms, & medicine from your land, WITHOUT tilling, seeding, planting, & weeding year after year.

Join the March meeting of the Ladies Homestead Gathering of Central Bucks County, where Kristen Jas Vietty of Lunaria Gardens will be leading a workshop on edible forest gardening!

Learn how to mimic the eastern woodland ecosystem in your garden, to provide not only diverse harvests, but also benefit soil life, watersheds, native pollinators, & wildlife. These natural, regenerative food forests can improve the value of your home while requiring relatively little maintenance over time.

The workshop will be held at Doylestown Fresh (home of Veg-E systems) on Thursday, March 27, 2014, from 6:30 to 9:00pm. The evening is open to all women, and the suggested donation is $10 general, $5 LHG members. Membership signup will be available at the meeting, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP on Facebook!

If you want to hear about these kinds of events, subscribe to receive a monthly(ish) email!

Related post: Notes from Forest Gardening Workshop with Eric Toensmeier

INTERVIEW / Hunter Hill Farm / Easton, PA

A little late April Hunter Hill harvest in my kitchen. Clockwise from top left: mint, oregano, chives, sage, Siberian kale, radishes, salad mix (arugula, claytonia, spinach).
A little late April Hunter Hill harvest in my kitchen. Clockwise from top left: mint, oregano, chives, sage, Siberian kale, radishes, salad mix (arugula, claytonia, spinach).

Hunter Hill Farm is a 12-acre homestead & vegetable CSA just outside of the city limits of Easton, PA. Last year, I was a resident for the season, designing & helping to install the initial orchard phase of their edible forest garden. I decided to stick around the area, and this year we’ve been doing a little bartering of a different sort – forest gardening & poultry consultation in exchange for veggies. This week, farmers Dan Hunter & Bethany Towne came over with groundcover questions, as well as a beautiful harvest of some early greens, herbs, & radishes. I thought some readers would appreciate learning about what they do, so I suggested an interview. Below is our conversation.

Looking northwest upon the hoophouse and the fields in early spring.
Looking northwest upon the hoophouse and the fields in early spring.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What made you guys want to be farmers at Hunter Hill?
Dan Hunter: Maybe 7 or 8 years ago, I was watching C-Span, and Roscoe Bartlett was giving a presentation on peak oil, and that was I guess the first time I heard about the whole energy crisis thing. And at that time I was trying to be an upright bassist, which was predicated a lot on me having a wagon, and hauling a bass around. So I got interested in sustainability in general, and then the farming part seemed to be the one that most most attractive and stuck, like I tried a bunch of different things. And then I started some apprenticing work and started looking around for land with my parents, and that drug on for about 3 years. And then we finally found a place that was enough land and in our budget, and then we bought it. So, I’m gonna say, food security.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What is your farm mission?

Bethany Towne: I just try to grow a lot of food, and we try to make some money to get by. I like sharing it with everyone, and eating it. And learning about permaculture is really cool too, because if we can set up something really awesome, then we’ll have the experience and a lot of the resources to help people do that too.

DH: For me, I wanted a place where I could kind of make a livelihood and everything, but also be an experimental ground for different types of agriculture. If the goal was just to grow food for money, it would get old and I wouldn’t feel that I was doing much. So the idea is for it to be an educational place, or a place where people can just come out and relax. Our friend was talking about farm therapy programs in Europe, where people in different situations can come out relax for a while. So yeah, getting integrated in the community, and not just, you grow stuff and then you sell it, and that’s the extent of the interaction. The ideal is to be much more plugged in, to be a resource for the community, and have as many overlapping functions as possible. Because land is a huge thing. Land is expensive, and it’s hard to get, and hard to maintain. So many possibilities with it.

 

Dallas Vietty relaxing on the farm. Summer, 2012.
Dallas Vietty relaxing on the farm. Summer, 2012.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What do you offer at Hunter Hill?

DH: We offer a 22-week CSA (Community-supported agriculture), from the 1st week in June to the 2nd or 3rd week in October. It’s a weekly pickup of vegetables, in either a half or a full share size. And there will be other things that come in through the year, like mushrooms or fruit, that we’ll offer as add-ons, as retail items when people pick up.
We’ve also had Seventh Generation Charter School classes visit for educational field trips. Or if people have an idea for what they want to do, that’s related to, I don’t know, the growth or integration of communities, or experiments in agriculture, or whatever, that’s great, and they should talk to us.

BT: We sell to restaurants sometimes, and there are instances of being super busy and we have way too much of something, but maybe if we had better connections with particular restaurants…

DH: … or individuals, or 3rd Street Alliance, or pretty much anybody who’d be interested in coming out and picking something, we should set up a call list, or an email chain. So there’s opportunity for gleaning…

BT: … or trade.

 

Inoculated shitake logs fruiting in the Hunter Hill mushroom circle.
Inoculated shitake logs fruiting in the Hunter Hill mushroom circle.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What makes your CSA special?

DH: We really don’t really use any machines. What’s in the field is entirely hand worked, so we do no-till. So yeah, we just sheet mulch. And the only amendments we add are composted animal waste, or house compost. So it’s very simple. We try not to get involved with large supply chains, partly because their expensive, partly because they suck. I guess we’re still buying seeds from Johnny’s. But there’s some vague anti-corporate inclination going on. I feel like there’s not very much intention about how that gets carried out, but it gets carried out to some extent. But yeah, I feel like the special part is just the no machine thing. Just compost additives. All the stuff is hand-picked and maybe washed.

 

What can customers expect if they do sign up for a share?

DH: Full shares can expect 8-12 items per week. An item can be a bunch of carrots, or a quart of tomatoes, a head of lettuce. Half shares, 5-7 items per week. And it’s gonna be fresh, because we don’t have any fridge space! So even if we wanted to hold over products, we really can’t! So, expect fresh, seasonal vegetables in quantity. And shares are picked up from the farm or a drop point in North Bethlehem, near the YMCA.

 

Some cool-weather annual CSA vegetable transplants, as well as perennial forest garden plants & trees, April, 2012.
Some cool-weather annual CSA vegetable transplants, as well as perennial forest garden plants & trees, April, 2012.

 

Lunaria Gardens: Dan, you mentioned no machines and no-till, but I want your words for readers. What is it about no-till?

DH: Well, my limited understanding of soil science and agricultural practices leads me to believe that tilling is primarily an expedient practice. In tilling, it’s like the rain comes down, and if soil is loose, it moves; so if you break up the soil all the time, more soil and nutrients and everything are going to wash off your land. I guess that’s really the crux of the matter. And I guess when you till, you’re breaking up the soil ecology that’s trying to form all the time to help you. So we don’t till. And we don’t use machines because their expensive, and they’re part of the industrial corporatocracy, and they compact the soil most of the time. And they also have sort of an expedient element to them, that makes it easy but ends up hurting you in the end. That has been my experience of it. I guess I could expound on how they hurt the people using them, or the people making them, or the places where they’re taken, or the larger watershed or ecology, but mostly, I don’t like working with them, and they’re expensive.

 

Camping out in the apple orchard. Summer 2012.
Camping out in the apple orchard. Summer 2012.

 

Lunaria Gardens: Who else is helping behind the scenes, besides you guys?

BT: Oh, yeah, lots of people! It varies a lot year to year, and you never know, it seems like there might be quite a few people coming to stay at the farm at some point during the year. But Dan’s parent’s bought the property, and they help out a lot. Dan’s dad was just helping me build the frame for a chicken tractor last week, which is really exciting. Scotty… I don’t know, there’s tons of people!

DH: Lehigh Valley friends who have varying degrees of residency at the farm [laughs], or non-residency.

Bethany: Yeah, Joe Farnack was working for us really regularly last year, and helping with harvest, and taking home vegetables.

 

The Hunter Hill kitchen, during a young farmer potluck & film screening, March, 2012.
The Hunter Hill kitchen, during a young farmer potluck & film screening, March, 2012.

 
Lunaria Gardens: What resource would you love to come into?

Dan: One thing that was amazing, was this guy from Green Briar Equestrian Services or whatever…

Bethany: Oh yeah!

Dan: Yeah! [laughter] This guy who cleans out horse stalls, he goes out with his Bobcat loader in his dump truck, so he has to leave it at the place, and then go dump the load somewhere locally, and then go back and pick up his Bobcat – so he goes and dumps at all these farms. And he dumped 6, 7, or more dump truck loads of equestrian bedding. And that’s probably 3 solid weeks of full-time work that he just donated for free, in terms of if we had to go pick it up, and all the wear and tear on the truck. So, um…

Lunaria Gardens: So… delivered horse shit?

[laughter]

DH: Or just convenient sources of decent compost. The ideal is that it’s free and delivered. That would be great. Because that’s the input, besides some infrastructure, or irrigation stuff.

BT: Man, it’s really exciting thinking about like the future, like we’ve been working on growing medicinals and things like that, but even with the permaculture project, fenced portion is a small percentage of farm property, but there’s so much that you can produce on that land to share with people. And things that don’t take as much work as a vegetable plot. It’s pretty exciting.

 

Lunaria Gardens: Would you say you get excited about abundance?

BT: Yeah, haha.

 

————————

Hunter Hill Farm 2013 CSA shares

Full share: $500 ($25/week), Half share: $300 ($15/week)
Length: 20 weeks, June 6 to October 17
Pickup: Thursdays at farm (901 Frost Hollow Road, Forks Township, Easton, PA) or Bethlehem, PA
Includes: A share of non-certified organic vegetables; 8-12 items (full share) or 5-7 items (half share) / additional seasonal offereings, i.e. apples or mushrooms, for purchase as available

Contact: Dan Hunter/ 484-788-4634 / Local Harvest / Facebook

————————

Lunaria at Coffee & Craft Fest!

Homestead Coffee Roasters is about the closest our podunk Upper Black Eddy will ever have to a downtown. And thank goodness for that, because the place is super rad. Owned by the Lewis family since 1979, the Homestead specializes in fair trade, organic coffee roasted in small batches. Plus you can get all sorts of great food and snacks, right next to the tranquil, historic Delaware canal.

This Saturday, June 19, they’ll be hosting Coffee & Craft Fest 2010, featuring coffee tasting, live music, fuzzy alpacas, crafts, and yours truly. That’s right, Kristen will be there with potted plants, aromatic herbs, fresh greens, handspun yarn, and artisan paper goods. So come out and enjoy some lunch, sip some fair trade joe, and support your local economy!

Coffee & Craft Fest 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010, 11AM – 4PM

Homestead Coffee Roasters
1650 Bridgeton Hill Road, Upper Black Eddy, PA
610-982-5121 map
Homestead on Facebook

UPDATE 6/23: I had a such a great time meeting lots of cool local folks and providing people with healthy food and handmade goodies! Here are a few photos of what you missed:

Our bounty of fresh herbs and greens.
Despite the heat, I brought out some of my handspun yarn.
I debuted some silkscreened, handmade paper cards along with other print and paper items.
People really sniffed out these potted herbs.
My quiet, friendly neighbors, the hum-dinger alpacas.
A small glimpse of the array of venders.


Organic Garden Workshop/ Work Party: 6/12/10

It’s our first workshop in Pennsylvania! And what better way to kick off the curriculum than with an organic garden work party! Come learn how to turn your lawn into an thriving, abundant, edible paradise!

Lee has designed a simple raised bed vegetable garden for a woman who was interested in growing her own food. We will be erecting an 8 foot deer fence, as well as a skirt extension to keep groundhogs out, assembling a raised bed, filling it with soil, and planting lots of veggies!

Come learn about organic gardening, lend a hand, eat some food (lunch will be provided at 1:00), bring an instrument, and have fun!

Please RSVP on the Facebook event or email if you’ll be joining us.

Saturday, June 12, 2010, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

@ Dorothy’s House, 1751 East Saw Mill Road, Quakertown, PA map

UPDATE 6/23: Photos!

Before the workday, Lee dropped off the soil on site
The wood was cut to size to create a 3' x 15' box, secured with L-brackets.
We lined the bottom with uncoated cardboard to suppress any grass or weeds.
The box was filled with soil.
Our helpers arrived and began working on the fence while we raked the soil level.
To deter groundhogs, we made a skirt around the perimeter out of a 4' roll of 1"x4" welded wire.
Deer netting was installed overhead and around the perimeter.
We planted seeds and transplants and watered them in.
The final garden, ready to thwart critters and feed a family!

Preparing for a Weekend of Art & Music at R.A.T. Gallery

Hey folks, today I’m going to diverge from poultry and plant talk and spread the word about a cool community space in the area. R.A.T. Gallery is a non-profit radical art team focusing on emerging artists “who are not governed by conventionality or status.” Our first visit to the R.A.T. was for Friday’s open mic, which is held weekly. In all honesty, I usually have low expectations for open mics, but the quality of the music, the space, and the energy was fantastic. (A video of Lee and I performing Fiona Apple’s “Extraordinary Machine” that night has since surfaced.)

This weekend there will be the usual Friday open mic, but on Saturday there’s a new exhibition opening. Organized by Laura Esposito, the show has been given various titles – Give a Rat’s Ass for Art, Diversity of Community, while I’m a personal fan of Consciousness: Visual & Vibrational. Whatever you call it, come out on Saturday night and see some art and performances.

Here’s a sneak peak of a piece I’m working on for the show, The Official Territorial Claims of Antarctica. Hope you can make it out to see this and more!

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, May 1, 7 – 9 PM

Open Mic every Friday 8 PM – 1 AM

R.A.T. Gallery
5207 Point Pleasant Pike
Gardenville, PA 18902 map

R.A.T. Gallery on Facebook
R.A.T. Music on Facebook

This event is sponsored in part by Brad’s Raw Chips, Murphy & Klein Floral Studio, and generous volunteer & monetary support from lots of rad people.