On The Farm – August 2013

August 2013 hoop house

We are long overdue for an update on the progress of The Talking Farm! In 2013, The Talking Farm has made significant momentum in converting its 2.75 acres of parkland to a working urban farm. Many thanks to our Farm Operations Manager, Linda Kruhmin, and our Assistant Farm Operations Manager, Matt Ryan, for overseeing this project! Over the last few months, TTF hosted a variety of community and corporate groups that logged in many hours clearing, mulching and planting on the land. Just last week, TTF harvested its first large-scale crop of 2013. This is just a small slice of the goings-on down at the Farm.

Workdays/Volunteers. So far, we have logged 1300 volunteer hours, which is outpacing the number of volunteer hours for 2012. We have hosted many volunteer groups, including those from Y.O.U. Evanston Township High School, Northwestern University, The Nielsen Group, Whole Foods (south), Bankers Accuity, the Rice Center, the Evanston Home School Educators, the Boy Scouts, and many more. These valuable volunteers have helped us plant, build hoop houses, tend to our ethnic heritage beds, and clear large portions of the land for future planting.

Harvest. Even though The Talking Farm is transitioning to a full working farm in 2013, we still managed to grow lots of crops on the farm this year. Our demonstration garden is bursting with tomatoes right now, and we harvested a lot of swiss chard. Last week, we harvested our first field crop of 2013, 1500 heads of garlic! No draculas need apply.

Honors. Congratulations are in order for TTF’s Farm Operations Manager, Linda Kruhmin, who was honored by the Garden Club of America with the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for Early Environmental Education. As TTF’s Farm Operations Manager, Linda was nominated by the Garden Club of Evanston for her work in educating young people in the community about the “beauty and fragility of our planet,” and the need to preserve our access to fresh foods. Congratulations, Linda!

Tours. Would your garden club or community group like a tour of The Talking Farm? If you’re not up for a workday, we’re happy to host a time when we can show you around and answer your questions. Contact info@thetalkingfarm.org if you’re interested.

Hullabaloo Time! Our 3rd Annual Hullabaloo will be Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 2-6 at the Howard Street Farm in Skokie. Stay tuned for more details on our exciting yearly event and fundraiser. In past years, it has been a great day outdoors for relaxing, family-friendly fun. We’re looking for volunteers either for the planning stages or the day of the event. We’re also looking for sponsors for the event, so if you’re interested in being either a volunteer or sponsor, contact info@thetalkingfarm.org for more information.

Partners. Special thanks to partner organizations Bankers Accuity, Lazar’s Furniture and the Niles Township Food Pantry for donating cardboard boxes for use on the Farm. Extra special thanks to Greenwise Organic Lawn Care for their generous loan of equipment.

Stay tuned for more updates and hope to see you at the Hullabaloo!