Author: admin

Progress, slow, muddy progress.

“It seems to me that the garden is the only practical way for urban societies to come in close contact with the basic realities of life, and if that contact is not close, it is not meaningful.”
-Fred Bahnson

We’ve got leaves!

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…and some tires.

I knew I would be excited about this (the leaves, not the tires), after all, leaves are magical, full of wonderful nutrients that lawns and crops crave. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve been a little puzzled on why we fight these wonderful little additives every fall, raking or blowing piles upon piles to our curbs, where the city politely picks them up and takes them to a place that then composts them to sell back to us…couldn’t we just skip a step?

This guy describes it well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9OhxKlrWwc

All that to say, keep those piles coming, because if you don’t want them we need them! Thanks to our friend Robert Hodge (look him up, he is doing some wonderful work) we are receiving loads from the city that we will in turn work into the soil as we begin the process of tilling. The woody vegetation is (somewhat) knocked down, enough for us to see the contours and slopes of the property, it looks even bigger now that it’s cleared. I’m anxious to get some little plants started, and into the ground as it always feels better to add than to take away.

The response has been wonderful so far in regards to this little neighborhood farm, all of our work shares have been spoken for but we still have full and half shares available. Payment plans are definitely available, contact me for more information on that. I do want to make clear that a share will cover ALL of your vegetable needs for the week, for 33 weeks. A full share each week will average around 10-20 pounds of vegetables, and the cost comes out to about 25 dollars per share. It is a commitment in that you will actually have to eat the vegetables, some of which you may not be familiar with (kohlrabi or rutabaga anyone?). This is the fun part, and where we all post wonderful recipes of what we’re doing with our shares each week.

Keep looking for us down there, next we’ll be working on moving rock and spreading leaves.

All the best,
Brenna

The Beginning

Welcome!

I’m excited to be writing this.

My name is Brenna Wright and I am working to put a neighborhood farm in East Knoxville. Those of you who live in the wonderful Parkridge community have probably noticed our slow development of the empty lot located at the intersection of Washington and Mitchell. We started with removing some of the dense vegetation close to the creek and the Standard Knitting Mill building.

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what used to be

I was a little sad about this…after all, I stood by the side of the road with my thermos of coffee and watched the dozer rip and shred and toss aside everything that had once found refuge in this little meadow. It felt like cheating, to still be clean and warm after such a drastic transformation had taken place to the landscape. And although it may sound silly, it was a good transitioning time for me, everything felt much more real. I told myself, and all of the little birds now looking for a safer place to land, that we’d make this place good again.

And so today I went out with a smaller piece of machinery, and some friends, and we mowed the outline of our farm.

Cameron, and she says she's not photogenic,
Cameron, who says she’s not photogenic.

 

 

mowing it down
Daniel, mowing it down

It was a good day to be in the sunshine, and to be with these two. It was exciting to see the layout of what will be in just a few short months.

Just a brief description of the farm:

  • We will operate as a CSA (community supported agriculture), meaning we will have shares available at the beginning of the season for people to purchase. This purchase will entitle them to a generous bin of vegetables every week. This year we plan on a 33 week distribution.
  • We will be a for-profit organization operated by a manager, staff, interns, members and volunteers.
  • Our produce will be chemical free and naturally grown. We will use conservation agricultural methods to ensure that we are increasing soil fertility and biological life.
  • Our hope is to reclaim blighted or unused urban spaces for agriculture use; therefore adding to the availability of local food systems, providing a gathering place for the community, and beautifying our neighborhoods one lot at a time.

Very briefly, there it is.

Look for us out there this week, our next step is to clear out the remaining rubble and tree roots.

Peace,
Brenna

Urban Farm Shares

This CSA share will be valid for the 2015 season starting mid April. Because this is the first year for our neighborhood farm, the price of shares is subject to change. Currently, we are planning on a 33 week distribution window, if our season is delayed by first year factors than we will deduct the weekly amount off of every week we don’t distribute. Click here to reserve your share.

Our Mission

Mission:

To grow healthy, fresh produce in a community effort between neighborhoods, volunteers, members and staff in order to beautify, restore, and bring life to vacant spaces in Knoxville

What is it, exactly?

Abbey Fields is an urban farm project dedicated to the rebuilding of living spaces and the creation of local food systems, as well as creating community anchor points to foster relationships while working, learning, and celebrating together. Each location cultivated by Abbey Fields will be thoughtfully planned in regards to the ecological capability of the land, considering factors like soil fertility and sustainability, as well as assessing the needs and wants of the community to see how the land can best be used. Abbey fields will utilize conservation practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, and permaculture design to ensure the farm’s sustainability.

So, Urban Farming?

Urban farming is movement by grassroots organizations, businesses, universities and individuals that provides quality, neighborhood-grown vegetables and more. Urban farming is not a new concept; people have shared communal space in order to raise and preserve their nutritional sustenance for centuries. With chronic heart conditions, diabetes, and obesity becoming common trends, especially among children, it is essential that we educate our youth on the beautiful aspects of consuming good food. How much better if they could grow it themselves?

Learn about and reserve an urban farm share.