When you're a city girl with a deep desire to grow trumpet vines, poppies, peonies, and, uh, highly toxic plants, it's tempting to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. I want to dig! I want to make my own planters! I need land! A fire escape is not a farm! Except when it is...
- I ran into Naya Peterson last fall and she told me about the new business she was starting, Fire Escape Farms. I knew from our friendly acquaintanceship that it would surely be smart and stylish, but it's even cooler than I expected. Fire Escape Farms has its own line of seeds, offers delivery by biodiesel station wagon to San Francisco customers, carries the so-necessary Tin 'O' Twine and elegantly spare garden markers handmade by disadvantaged artisans, and offers classes! The next one, "Fire Escape Farming" at Workshop, is sold-out, but keep an eye out for upcoming classes. Smart & stylish, all around.
- The Greenhorns was founded in Berkeley in 2007, and their mission is "to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers in this ample and able 21st century America". They have a radio show and a blog full of farming opportunities and discussions. The Greenhorns Guide for Beginning Farmers is offered as a free download, and is packed with information about obtaining an apprenticeship, building healthy soil, marketing your beautiful produce, hundreds of resources for further research, and more. They also host countless fun events, including film screenings, foraging bike tours, and a polenta picnic. Sign me up!
- 18 Reasons always has a fascinating range of events, including many urban homesteading classes & conversations. Past classes were "Grown Your Own Goat Cheese Salad!", "Feeding Cities: Urban and Peri-Urban Farming Dinner", and "Farm Camp Monthly Lectures", but it's not too late to sign up for "Growing Old: The Craft of Aging Cheese and Culturing Milk", "The Global Farmstead with Jasper Hill Farm".
- I pore over the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalogue when it arrives at the end of every winter, so I was thrilled to see their seeds available at Bi-Rite Market on 18th at Guerrero. Still, I highly recommend throwing yourself into their beautiful and charmingly old-timey catalogue, available as a downloadable PDF. It will pull you through those last dark winter days and convince you that things will indeed start growing again, maybe even on your little old fire escape.
What are your favorite urban farming resources?
Images: Fire Escape Farms