Winter Harvests and Spring Blooms

Winter never lasts long here in Southern Arizona! While our winter crops are growing happily, signs of spring are already making their debut appearance. We are in the process of seed inventorying, crop planning, equipment maintenance, winter grains and forage planting, and spring field prep. We are still in full production of delicious greens and root crops, and our propagation greenhouse is bursting with babies ready for the warmth of Spring. One of our most exciting projects is our Permaculture Compost-Fed Chicken Operation. Inspired by our friends and permaculture experts Karl Hammer and Geoff Lawton, we are using the organic residual waste from Wholesum Family Farms’ hydroponic greenhouse tomato farm in Amado, mixing it with our own manures, manures from local horse farms, straw from our grain harvests, as well as wood chips from local tree services. Combining all of these ingredients and then letting our chickens forage on it has allowed us to cut feed costs by half, with the goal of eliminating grain feeding completely. We have already seen an increase in egg production, even though the temperatures here have been in the 20s mostly every night for the past 6 weeks. Last week was the conclusion of a successful Earth Harmony Sustainability Seminar. Leaders of diverse areas of our EcoVillage shared their knowledge and lessons learned about agriculture, alternative building, and community development. It is always an exciting opportunity to share what we know with others who can then go on to bring their own sustainability projects into reality. We offer these seminars bi-annually so make sure to mark your calendars for the next one: August 25-28, 2016! The next event we are gearing up for is our annual Easter Celebration and Egg Hunt! Keep up to date with all the fun and educational events at Avalon Gardens by visiting our website. Thank you again for supporting this great and necessary local and organic food movement.

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