April Comes with a Flurry of Activity

It’s spring at Three Roods Farm. 

We’re eating lettuce and spinach out of our greenhouse.
The microgreen trays are established: radish, peas, fenugreek and sunflower shoots are seen below.

A huge compost heap was built. Two older heaps are seen behind the new one.

The garlic is up greening in the sun. The baby chicks arrived.

The Muscovy ducks are scavenging in the barnyard. The females are laying egg clutches. 

Intern Robert O’Neill arrived. He’s also a wrestling coach for Lapeer HS.

Sky and David Brown of Kibbutz Detropia arrived with son Avi and dog Stitch. 

Peas, fava beans, lettuce, spinach and radishes were planted. 

The barn is tidied up.

Rivka Switala, visiting former intern, weeded inside and around the sorrel bed.

First event of the season: Tree Stewardship on Earth Day Volunteer weekend April 21st-22nd!   Saturday 9am-1pm Plant Trees. Volunteers welcome. Have lunch with us 1-3pm. More tree planting from 3-7pm. Dinner and bonfire to follow. Stay for all or part of the day. Spend the night in your tent in our HipCamp area or stay at the William Peters Mansion B&B in the village of Columbiaville. Sunday 11a-1p satsang (truth gathering) and lunch at the farm. Afternoon 2-6pm tree planting at the Lapeer Land Conservancy Tibbits Nature Sanctuary. Come for all or part of the day. Show some love for your Mother! learn from tree expert, Dr Greg, how to plant a tree that will last. sapling trees are available for sale after the event. 

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Marching Forward into 2018 with Joy and Parsnips

Parsnips are a crop that can remain in the ground all winter. As soon as the frost comes out of the soil, parsnips can be harvested. Parsnips are a favorite in chicken soup. They can be cooked and mashed with butter, salt and pepper as an alternative to potatoes or rice or bread.

 

Would you like to join our 2018 CSA? Three Roods Farm will serve 18 members this year. The cost is $500/24 weeks. When you pay, you will get a bag of parsnips as a thank you.

 

Some people don’t know the term CSA. It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is local farmers serving their communities. Families reserve a share of the harvest by paying in advance. Everything grown is divided weekly by the number of members so that everyone gets a share. Herbs and perennials are included in the share. May brings rhubarb, sorrel, chives, mint and asparagus. As spring crops including radishes, lettuce and peas mature, they are included in the share. When they fade, the summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and herbs come in. Lastly the autumn crops ripen, making heavy bags of storable squash, apples and potatoes. Many other fruits and vegetables will be grown. See the Subscription Garden page for more details.  It is an adventure of eating with the seasons.

 

Eggs are available as an extra.  Our chickens are very healthy and a colorful addition to the farm.  Jackie Delisi will continue to bake and make her organic breads available to 3RF customers on Thursday pick-up days. Stew chickens  will be available in the fall. Other farm products, like soaps and teas, will be developed by farm apprentice Sky Brown. Stay tuned for details.

 

We look forward to serving you.

The Stillness of Winter

Although winter can be brutal, and this one is torturing us with days upon days in the single digits, the continuous cold is beneficial for the farm. Dormancy keeps the farm from being overrun with insects come spring. It is essential for the strong survival of perennial plants.


In the stillness, we sit and dream of what can be. Dr Greg is going through his seeds and will make the new seed order soon. Robin is updating the website. The CSA will continue. See the Subscription Garden pages for latest details.  Ideas are swirling with new friends for projects they will initiate in 2018 (no announcements yet).

 

 

From the window, we see a sharp shin hawk alight on a nearby tree branch. Greg snaps the photo.

Sharp shin hawk

Somehow we’ll get through this, although the forecast is gloomy.

 

Gandhi Day Peace Fest Report

The Peace Fest began in the barn with Don McAvinchey dressed as Mohandas Gandhi addressing the group. 

While he was speaking, Dr Doom arrived and things became strange.  Soon, the Queen of Fury and her assistant kidnapped him! The assembled group had to search for clues at the behest of Dr Doom. They used mirrors to see better because the clues were hidden within themselves. Eventually they were ready to search for the Mahatma.

Superheroes kept showing up. Spontaneous Combustion, Joyful Weaver, Stone Hagg and Tinkerbell came. Sister Mary Fran led everyone in a peace dance to unite them. ‘Fill your cup, drink it up, Ya Allah Allah. The fish in the water’s not thirsty.’They reached the area where the Queen of Fury held Gandhi ji in jail.  Dr Doom gave everyone clay and suggested we create a representation of something blocking us from doing our peace work. It might help us transform ourselves to be the change we wish to see in the world. Even the Queen of Fury started to transform herself through this project.
Here are some of the people working on their clay representations.People spoke up and revealed the things that block them from their peace work. Gandhi ji himself said he feels lazy sometimes and wishes he could sleep all day rather than do the important work he was called to do. Dr Doom mad efforts to correct his faults, too. People felt happy and were ready for another peace dance. They danced to the words “Spirit of Peace, To your cause we give our strength, That love may reign and war may cease, Mir Miru Mir” a prayer for Peace on Earth.

Then Robin introduced Swaroop Bhojani founder of Hut-k Chaats of Ann Arbor. Swaroop ji told the story that led him from diabetes to good health, from a job in a cancer research lab to creating what he calls ‘Nutrilicious food’ to prevent cancer. Everyone lined up to taste the Mango Lassi, Power of Seven, Samosas and Whole Bowl which Swaroop brought. Dr Doom still had a hold of Michael.The event ended with an assembly in the Poplar Grove to recap and hear about peace work others are doing. Don told us that he has played Gandhi more than 100 times and would say ‘yes’ to any invitation. He shared about his work as a family therapist and his new office in Davison. He recently relocated here from New Mexico.

Doug Reith explained the concept of gerrymandering and brought petitions to sign which will make this a ballot issue in the next election if enough signatures are collected.

Robin invited everyone to come Sunday mornings at 11am to Satsang at the farm. At a satsang, she explained, people inspire and bless each other with spiritual wisdom in the form of stories and songs from the great saints and sages. She invited them to come back for satsang the next day or any other Sunday.

 

As night fell, many had to leave. A few stayed behind for a fire and songs.Michael was completely restored. 

The next morning, a satsang was held in the Poplar Grove. 

Peace be with you.

Gandhi’s Birthday Peace Fest

 SATURDAY.                     OCTOBER 7th.                            2-6 pm    

 

Americans know Mohandas Gandhi as a peace activist who led his country to freedom with the use of non-violent civil disobedience. He championed the disenfranchised and tried his best to keep the country unified as well as peaceful. His birthday is a national holiday in India just as Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is here in the USA. It falls on Monday, October 2nd.

Would you like to know more about the man who used water fasting to bring attention to the issues of his day? The man who encouraged us to ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’? The man who developed a concept he called Satyagraha – Truthforce – to motivate people to use their inner strength to overcome oppressive rulers without resorting to violence? You will have this opportunity on October 7th! On that day Gandhi will be amongst us as portrayed by Don McAvinchey. 

Don is an unusual Gandhi. As a tall, white-skinned man with blue eyes, it must be the balding head and round glasses or maybe its the dhoti and walking stick. He certainly is a deep listener with a peaceful demeanor. He returned to Michigan this summer after being in New Mexico the past 18 years. By profession, Don is a Family Therapist, specializing in Narrative Therapy. He will address the audience as Gandhi around 4pm.

 

Between 2 and 4pm, peace dances will be offered. Robin has been involved with the Dances of Universal Peace for many years. Her friend and co-dance leader, Sister Mary Fran, IHM,  will share simple dances that remind us of our human unity. Each dance has a melody and a phrase that all can learn. Old hands join with young ones in the circle.  These spiritual folk dances come from a wide range of traditions. They ground us in our bodies while elevating our feelings. The dances are happening between 2 and 4pm.

 

Also between 2 and 4pm, there will be activities for the superheroes amongst us. Michael Francis Mallon, aka Laughing Moon, has a passion for breaking through the impossible. He founded the Superhero Training Academy in Detroit.  He is a skillful leader, creatively encouraging joy, fortitude, compassion and wisdom.  Three Roods Farm has partnered with Michael and the STA for many years. In the summer of 2012, 20 superheroes spent days camped out on the farm preparing for an epic bike ride. When they were ready, they costumed up, rode off, and searched for people and situations where they could be of service. It was awesome! Robin served on the board of directors. Greg is working with Michael to design a living playscape on the land next to the STA educational building. 

For those who have always wanted to walk through the orchard and arboretum, Dr Greg will be on hand to answer questions and show the trees. He recently tallied up the number of woody plant varieties that grow on 3RF and came up with 95! That is varieties, mind you. The number of trees he’s planted and nurtured exceeds several thousand. He plants trees with all the farm interns who stay long enough because that it still the single most effective antidote to global warming anyone can perform. Planting trees is one thing. Keeping them alive and protected from nibbling rabbits, bucking deer and invasive insects is another. He’s a master composter and will gladly explain his compost system. Michael dubbed him Mulching Peacock. Dr Greg is my superhero, for sure.

No event is complete without food. I invited Swaroop and Sumi Bhojani to bring their Nutri-licious snacks. The Bhojanis have devoted their lives to creating the most tasty and nutritious foods possible. Swaroop was a research scientist who thought his way into developing the foods on the menu of Hut-k Chaats. He and his wife own and operate Hut-k, the name being an expression meaning ‘out-of-the-mainstream’. The restaurant, located in Ann Arbor, uses locally sourced produce and Indian spices to get a product not available anywhere else. We are fortunate that the Bhojanis are making the time to be with us all afternoon. They will offer several items from their menu – Whole Bowl, Mango Lassi, Samosa and Power of 7 – all reasonably priced.

 

There is no charge for this event. A donation box will be available in the barn for those wishing to help offset our expenses. Thank you. Peace and blessings ~ ~

 

 

 SATURDAY.                     OCTOBER  7th.                            2-6 pm

Gandhi’s Birthday Peace Festival at Three Roods Farm 

Mohandas Gandhi was a peace activist who led India to freedom with non-violent civil disobedience. He championed the disenfranchised and worked to keep the country unified as well as peaceful. His birthday is a national holiday in India as Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is in the USA. It falls on Monday, October 2nd. Our Peace Festival will be the following Saturday, October 7th from 2-6pm. All ages are welcome.

Would you like to know more about the man who used water fasting to bring attention to the important issues of his day? The man who encouraged us to ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’? The man who developed a concept called Satyagraha – Truthforce – to motivate people to use their inner strength to overcome oppressive rulers without resorting to violence? You will have this opportunity on October 7th! On that day Gandhi will be amongst us as portrayed by Don McAvinchey. Don is an unusual Gandhi. As a tall, white-skinned man with blue eyes, it must be the balding head and round glasses or maybe its the dhoti and walking stick that give him a Gandhian air. Don certainly is a deep listener with a calm demeanor. He returned to Michigan this summer after being in New Mexico the past 16 years. By profession, Don is a family therapist, specializing in Narrative therapy. He will address the Three Roods Farm audience as Gandhi around 4pm.

Between 2 and 4pm, peace dances will be offered. Robin has been involved with the Dances of Universal Peace for many years. Her friend and co-dance leader, Sister Mary Fran, IHM,  will share simple dances that remind us of our human unity. Each dance has a melody and a phrase that all can learn. Old hands join with young ones in the circle.  These spiritual folk dances come from a wide range of traditions. They ground us in our bodies while elevating our minds. 

Also between 2 and 4pm, there will be activities for the superheroes amongst us. Michael Francis Mallon, aka Laughing Moon, has a passion for breaking through the impossible. He founded the Superhero Training Academy (STA) in Detroit.  He is a skillful leader, creatively encouraging joy, fortitude, compassion and wisdom.  Three Roods Farm has partnered with Michael and the STA for many years. In the summer of 2012, 20 superheroes camped out at 3RF preparing for an epic bike ride. When they were ready, they costumed up and rode off searching for people and situations where they could be of service. It was awesome! Robin served on the board of directors. Greg is working with Michael to design a living playscape on the land next to the STA educational building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those who want to learn more about trees, Dr Greg will be on hand to answer questions and show the 3RF orchard and arboretum. He recently tallied up the number of woody plant varieties growing here and came up with 95! That is varieties, mind you. The number of trees he’s planted and nurtured exceeds several thousand. Farm interns who stay long enough always learn to plant a tree because it is the single most effective antidote to global warming anyone can perform. Dr Greg is a master composter and will gladly explain his compost system. Michael dubbed him Mulching Peacock. Dr Greg is my superhero, for sure.

 

 

No event is complete without food. I invited Swaroop and Sumi Bhojani to bring their Nutri-licious snacks. The Bhojanis have devoted their lives to creating the most tasty and nutritious foods possible. Swaroop was a research scientist who when he developed the super foods of Hut-k Chaats. He and his wife own and operate Hut-k, the name being an expression meaning ‘out-of-the-mainstream’. The Ann Arbor restaurant, uses locally sourced organically grown produce and Indian spices to get a product not available anywhere else. We are fortunate that the Bhojanis are coming all the way to Columbiaville to be with that afternoon. They will offer several items from their menu – Whole Bowl, Mango Lassi, Samosa and Power of 7 – all reasonably priced.

 

There is no charge for this event. A donation box will be available in the barn. Parking space is limited. Carpool if possible or consider parking in the village and walking to the farm. Thank you. Peace and blessings ~ ~

 

Summer on the Farm

My daughter Sophia wrote a song about life on the farm called ‘Room for Two’.  One of the lines is “there’s always too much sun, never enough rain”. That line went through my head the past few weeks. We finally got 2 and a half inches a few days ago, refilling our water catchments and our hearts. Below is the empty catchment near the greenhouse. We use water from this  to water the plants in and around the greenhouse.IMG_1275We had to resort to using the village water, which is thankfully available via a hose.

We had a bumper harvest of French Breakfast Radishes. These are red, white and juicy. Our CSA received radishes 4 times and I still had plenty to bring to Vermont for Sophia’s wedding.  Farmers give radishes as party favors, don’t ya know? IMG_1292IMG_1294Karen Page, pictured above, comes every Monday and works with me for 3 hours in exchange for her share of the harvest.  She is the new Executive Director of the Lapeer Land Conservancy and the resident land steward of the Tibbits Nature Sanctuary.  Karen always has a rock in her pocket. She has boundless curiosity about the natural world. Here she contemplates a balanced rock composition.IMG_1297BIG NEWS: As much as we have loved our farm these past 21 years, Greg and I are ready for our next adventure.  The farm is for sale to anyone with the capacity to take it to the next level – and some money in his/her pocket. To see the specs, check out MLS#:216055332

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IMG_1279IMG_1278IMG_1277IMG_1284“Where’s there’s room for one, you know there’s room for two, and ya know wherever I am, baby, I’ll make a place for you”

(To hear Sophia and The Second String Band: http://2ndstringband.com/)

2016 CSA Nearly Full. Here’s the Scoop!

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Here’s the news:

  • The Farm Tour and Potluck is Saturday, May 14th. 11am – 2pm.  Members meet each other and receive first share of the harvest. Hopefully asparagus. Other items coming in May: spinach, radishes, sorrel, rhubarb, chives, mint and cilantro.  Meet full season intern Jake Breczinski. Special guests, Cathy Phaneuff and Jackie Dilisi, will explain their relationship to the CSA. Cathy provides goat milk weekly to those who sign up with her. Jackie will bake and deliver Artisan Bread for those who sign up with her. R>S>V>P> to rmallor@gmail.com about the potluck.

The CSA is nearly full.   Anyone sitting on the fence is advised to get put their money where their mouth is ASAP!!

 

Three Roods Farm is participating in many programs organized by Back Track to Nature (BTTN) this year. BTTN is the programming arm of the Lapeer Land Conservancy.  See the last post for more details on May programs. Please come and also help us spread the word.  These programs are very special. The cost is nominal or simply a donation.

 

  • The first BTTN program is Tuesday, May 10th from 4-6pm.  It is an Agroforestry walk and talk with Dr Greg. Dr Greg has been managing our farm and reforested acreage for 20 years. He has created a forest garden. It is a work of art and skill, knowledge and persistence. To register for this program, contact Karen at 810-969-1023 or  backtracktonature@gmail.com.

2016 CSA Season

A new year. 2016. The year of the fire monkey according to the Chinese calendar. An election year here at home. Most likely a drought year due to El Nino. Who knows? We trust that the sun will rise tomorrow.  We trust that spring will come again. We’ll plant our garden. We hope you join us for the fun of it, for the health of it.

This is our 21st year!  This year will be different.  We are extending our season to include 4 extra  weeks at the beginning.  We expect the asparagus to be ready in May, along with rhubarb, sorrel, spinach and mint. Therefore,  the projected start date is Saturday, May 14th.  That will also be the Member Farm Tour and Potluck.  Harvests will thereafter be on Thursday mornings. The last harvest date will be October 20th. The cost of a share has risen  to include these early vegetables.  Shares are $425 for 24 weeks.  A great deal, averaging less that $18/week.  Working shares are available for those who can contribute 15 hours during the course of the season by coming 5 times for 3 hours.  Working shares are $350. Although early season share bags are light, with only a few different vegetables and fruits, by mid-summer, the bags are heavy with produce. The biggest complaint we hear is that we give too many vegetables.

To reserve your share, send  a deposit of at least half the amount. Checks should be made out to Robin Mallor and sent  to Three Roods Farm/ 4281 Our Acres Drive/Columbiaville  48421.  Call or email with any questions or concerns. rmallor@gmail.com.  810-793-2511 (this is a land line)

Here are a few photos from previous years to whet your appetite.  May peace prevail on earth!

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DSCF3204Photo 28.07.14 12 45 04DSCF3027banana peppers

Meghan picks a winner.
Meghan picks a winner.

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2015 CSA Season Ends

The CSA Season is over.  Thanks to our members and friends for being the ‘community’ in Community Supported Agriculture.  It’s been a good year.  Anyone interested in joining us for 2016 should contact me asap.  Many of our 2015 members plan to return, but there’s usually a few spots open for newcomers.IMG_9913

Eggs are available through the winter. Still $5/dozen. When the temps sink below freezing, we keep the eggs in the root cellar, so call first. 810-793-2511. IMG_4548The Farm in March 2012

 

 

Greening with Life

April showers and sunshine are turning the farm slowly from brown to green. This is a panoramic view taken by Intern Mikayla Hood.

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Mikayla enjoys seeing Shah Jahan and Mumtaz outside her door when she awakens.

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We are upgrading the barn and constructing a new greenhouse attached to the long barn. New doors and roofing make it look and function so much better. The work is still in progress.

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 Chickens, ducks and peafowl are all getting along well.

DSCF3497The ducks are laying. We hope one of the ladies will start sitting on the clutch soon.

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 Baby chicks are growing fast.

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 Intern Daniel Lago dug a latrine in the woods for use when we are out near the tipi. He’s from Miami and is loving the cooler Michigan weather.