Friday, July 11, 2014

Urban Garden Tour

We recently participated in the very awesome Wasatch Community Gardens Urban Garden and Farm Tour!  We were able to visit five different places where urban agriculture was flourishing.

The first stop we visited was the Simplephat Farm operated by the Bells.  We visited this farm first because it is in our neighborhood (Glendale).  This farm was built on the 0.5 acre yard of the Bell's home.  This is ultimate utilization of tillable land around your house.  They used row gardening, which seems more efficient for large amounts of food.  Some of the notable features of the Simplephat Farm included: an innovative chicken home with a trap door to scoop out chicken litter to use in compost, and long high tunnels with self ventilating doors - similar to, but on a larger scale than, a project I did earlier.

We left the Simplephat garden through the garden's back door, and came into a magical land of urban gardening.  It was as if we had left Glendale and stepped into an amazing place of vegetables and community.  We had come across some of the acreage of the Backyard Urban Garden (B.U.G.) Farms CSA, planted on the land shared by the Wasatch Commons Cohousing Community.

The Wasatch Commons consists of 26 houses, filled with people who share a commitment of an "intentional community."  An intentional community consists of citizens who make an effort to meet and get to know the people in their neighborhood.  I found a Deseret News article that summarized this community well, for those of you who are interested in the concept of the community.  What interested me about this community was the amount of food that they were growing.  It was awesome how much space was utilized for vegetables!
Wasatch Cohousing (picture from Google) is surrounded by gardened spaces!  Many of the members of the Wasatch Cohousing community are farming their property.  A lot of the fresh, local vegetables that you see sold at farm-to-table groceries and restaurants are grown in this block.

One of the BUG Farms plots.

This picture is from Wasatch Commons.  I included it because it shows a good application of a tomato support method that I mentioned in a previous post.

One of the BUG Farms plots.

The next farm we visited was in Sugar House, owned by one of the members of BUG Farms.  I liked the trellis she made, which she said was relatively easy to construct.  Also, not the fruit trees and straw mulch.

The next backyard we visited was an extremely efficient use of space for urban gardening.  The home had a very small back yard, but they managed to pack in a lot of stuff (see above).

Here were the beehives shown on the map above.  They were supported by a stone wall and had direct access the raised garden bed.  I was very close to the hives and did not feel uncomfortable about the bees, as they were not floating around in big bee clouds or anything.

Some tomatoes growing in the greenhouse

A view of the raised beds and some of the greenhouse.

The arbor/ pergola in the small yard.  It makes for a ton of grapes!

Here is a side view of the garden and chicken house.

We had a great time checking out gardens on the Urban Garden Tour.  I will finish with this picture of Brooke standing under another awesome arbor at a crazy (but nice) guy's house. 

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