News and Blog
Hi Friends, Happy Earth Day Snowing....
Volunteer and Working member information. No Working Members and Volunteers today, Tuesday, April 23 (9-12am) Stay tuned with us as the storm develops, but we are planning on doing the Thursday 9-12am shift so far.
Apprentices; If you can get here safely, we'll continue to transplant. We may need to help the hoophouse unload some snow, and we'll move some snow. Let me know if you are coming or not. Thanks!
Wow! That was quite the snow storm! Our snow dances and the buffalo energy of abundance worked!!!
We will be offering our regularly scheduled working member and volunteer time today, April 18,9-12am; but only for those who can make it safely and conveniently, and our apprenticestaff.
I'll be out on the tractor moving snowout of the parking lots as soon as I send this, so make your own decissions about if and when you can make it today, if you are considering coming. No problem(Volunteers and working members) if you can't.
Apprentices and staff; we'll have Cindy for lunch(?) and our Thursday "walk/talk around right after wm/volunteer time. Do the group text thing if you need to send us updates, etc, this morning. I'm on the tractor, so I won't probablyhear the phone....
Thanks for your snow dancing! See you at FoCo MX this weekend!
Because of the Surprize Deep Snow(YEA!!!) we are calling off the Scheduled working member shifts for today Monday,April15 (2-5pm) and tomorrow April16 (9-12am). Please let any friends that you know that were planning to volunteer today or tomorrow know. Please rsvp to us to let us know you got the message.
Enjoy the snow; we'll give it a try on Thursday at the regularly scheduled time 9-12 unless you get another note by then.
Thanks for your flexing with us!
This is for our working members and volunteers for scheduling the week of April 8-12.
On Monday, today; we will be adding our 1st monday afternoon slot for working members, from 2-5pm today.
Because of the forcast blizzard conditions for late tonight thru Tuesday, we won't be doing regularly scheduled working membership time. Please do not come on Tuesday April 9.
On Thursday, April 11, our working member/ volunteers time will change to 9-12am. If this works well, we plan to keep the times for tuesday and Thursday at 9-12am until end of April.
Please Rsvp asap to let me know you got this update, and what time you are on for this week.
Thanks! Stay warm, and happy springtime snow!
Apprentices! Can we do the Tuesday Morning snow storm as our round table discussion time? Like 10-12am? Rsvp me today ; we'll see you 1:30 or so today....
What? It's daylight savings shift time already? So, with snow coming down, it's time to be ready for spring planting and planning for summer harvests coming right behind. So it's already time for the reunion of our wonderful working membership times to start up.
For new working members, we would like to complete the interview process next week. If you have already signed up for a working position, or are waiting for the interview before making that financial commitment, we would like to have that interview with you during our "Farm Hours"; next week's hours being:Tuesday March 12, and Thursday; March 14 1-4pm. We will be doing the Farm duties while incorporating your required interview, so come with your hat, gloves, and the water and sunscreen,etc. that you need. The interviw itself won't take more than 15 minutes, so hopefully, you can work us in , time wise, on one of those days. If not, we can consider some slots Tuesday (March 12) 9-12am. For new working members who haven't yet been interviewed, please RSVP about when you'll be with us for the interview.
For all working members, we'd like to start your seasonal cycle with us on Thursday, March 21; 1-4pm, for those that would like to work that shift this spring; even if temporarily, just this spring. We'd like all working members to RSVP to us your intended seasonal working time so we can see if we have the balanced numbers to get 'er done this year, and to see if we need to make adjustments.
The seasonal working members times (tentatively) will be(#1) Monday evening 6-9pm; (#2)Tuesday morning 6-9am; (#3)Tuesday morning 9-12am; and (#4)Thurday afternoon 1-4 pm. Please let us know which seasonal working time you intend to attend. This timing will be activated for most of the season, starting late April or so.
For now, our spring working members (and volunteers) can join us on (#A)Tuesdays or (#B)Thursdays, afternoons 1-4pm; starting Thursday, March 21 until Thurday, April 4. That next week we will add another working member and volunteer time on (#C)Monday, April 8, 4-7pm. Again, these spring wm times will shift to the seasonal time slots you signed up for (above) in late April or so.
To recap: We'd like to see new working members who haven't yet interviewed this week during our Tuesday or Thursday, 1-4 Farm times. We'd like all working members to RSVP your intentions for the seasonal time slots and for the springtime wm time slots; we will be receiving back from you all a confirmation #1-#4 and #A-#C.
We will be officially starting our springtime Working Members on #B schedule on Thursday, March 21, 1-4pm.
And finally, there will be no working member and volunteer opportunity on Tuesday, March 19, as we will be taking our Team on Retreat. But we'll be back for the Thursday, March 21, 1-4 (#B) official opening of the 2013 springtime working members and volunteer schedule.
Please; will all workng members, new and returning, and returning volunteers that would like to intention to this scheduling outline; PLEASE RSVP right away with your preferred and intended time choices.
And, if you're one of our new working members this year, also let me know when you can come this week Tuesday or Thursday for at least a 1/2 hour sometimetime between 1-4pm (or not?) for your required interview.
Thanks everybody! Looking forward to a wonderfully abundant season with you!
This week, today; February 21; we'll be at it, weather dependant at the regular time from 1-4pm. Next week, instead of Thursday, we'll give it a go on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 9-12am. Please plan accordingly, and let anybody that you know that may be new to our activities that this is the case.
Thanks for the snow dances, and all your golden support!
Thanks to all that ar writing letters to the City; we are getting ready for that Thang before PandZ on March 31.
I'm hoping that the joy of the Happy Heart Time of year is filling you with dreams of Abundant, healthy, community-building nuouishment and celebration. All you need is LOVE, right? So, thanks for all that you are sending to Bailey, all the Happy Heart Farm Apprentices and Families, all the Fellow Farms and Friends, and to me; Farmer D. It's a bit fluffy, yet difficult to express in words how much it means to me personnally, knowing that you are there for us, supportING.
Yes, we need you now to be in support of our Field and Farm of Hope and Dreams. Specifically, I'm writing for your support with us in the process of the Urban Agiculture Land Use code changes. Thanks to the many of you who have engaged your good will, your helpful suggestions, and your minds and hearts already.
Yes; I've lost a fair amount of sleep, I've gone to my worst case senario fearing; I've stumbled into the Meditation Room with self-doubt and remorse and "coulda', shoulda', and woulda'" thoughts running 'round my brain.
And then, the Dawning, and the Joy of the Acceptance. And the Graditude and the Love for the Here and Now, As It IS. The Welcoming Home. That's where you always come in.
So, I just got off the phone with Lindsay Ex,(Senior Environmental Planner, CDNS | City of Fort Collins firstname.lastname@example.org, 970.224.6143); the City Planner who is the point person initiating this Urban Ag process. I'm happy to report that our path of sacred agriculture is cultivated by the excercise of a power tool; Trust. I trust my deep resolve; I now am more aware of my trust in the universe's abundance of solution when we face our fears with Trust. Thanks for Heartfelt work and sensitivity, Lindsay.
How can you help? Right now, as a community of individuals, we need to express to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council, thru emails or letters, maybe even some phone calls, thru Lindsay how important it is to you
1) that HHF and all the other present ag initiatives are now and have been to you, your families ,friends; and how these efforts have helped you define your sense of belongingness and community.
2)How present models of Urban Ag, like HHF and the other CSA's and for-market growers give Ft. Collins a unique quality and character that needs the prioitzation and protection of the City as they now stand, while
3)engaging the process to quickly move to bigger picture issues that will require greater efforts in awareness and reprioitization and protection, especially in terms of water, structures, and animal interfaces with existing land-use-planning-for-housing-development paradigms.
4)It has become increasinly apparent to me that at this point, HHF and this growth process will be better served by making your valuing statements very personal, if that works for you , about your experience with HHF, but making your statements about provisions of the" grandfathering in" of structures, resources, and proceedures, etc. generalized to all of 'us' (the ones currently operating and on-going) as next step and ongoing and bigger picture parts of this process.
Referencing these most important issues in specific terms at this stage could do harm to the timing of our ability to getting it right in the next phases of this planning process.
So for example: yes, we need to preserve our hoophouses for season extension and greater growing efficiency..... not "the HHF hoophouse needs to be .......this or that. I'm trusting here that all who read this get it; timing is everything. If you need more clarification on this important point, please check in with me before you send off your letters, okay?
5) If you have a positive personal relationship with a person on the P and Z or the City Council, please begin the conversation and the process with them, soon. Don't wait til the actual formal meetings to share your valuing of this important work. The paragraphs aboe will help you with "talking points, and the messages can be conveyed however you want. Here, tho, we are hoping to harvest the benefits of real person relationships; ie extending our awesome community-building reputation and skill to include the real people of our local government.
You know the way we roll; graditude, respect, love and enjoyment as inevitabilities in our coming home together. May all be fed with Abundance. Thanks again for your Dance. Be in touch with us; and your Happy Hearts.
There's more wok to do, but this is a start.
With Sincere Graditude, Always;
Dennis; for the Happy Heart Farm
Good morning everyone,
As a friendly reminder, we will be holding the Urban Agriculture Land Use Code changes open house tonight from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Old Town Library on 201 Peterson Street in Conference Room 1. Presentations on the proposed changes and feedback to date will be held at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.
The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss proposed regulation changes to respond to the growing demand for urban agricultural land uses, such as community gardens, community-supported agriculture, and other urban farming activities within the city limits. Join us to review and comment on the recommended code changes before City Council’s review on March 5, 3013. Your input will help shape the future of urban farming in Fort Collins.
Thanks and we’ll see you there!
Lindsay Ex, LEED G.A.
Senior Environmental Planner
CDNS | City of Fort Collins
Dear Happy Heart Farm Members, Friends, and Supporters of our wonderful Urban Agricultural Community,
We recently attended a preview meeting with the City of Fort Collins concerning their proposed urban ag policies. While we feel that the planners involved are coming to the table with the very best of intentions for helping this area's pioneers , including the HHF,we feel that the offered "licencing and regulation" approach is taken from a context of mostly pro housing development planning precedent , which the new ag regs would save us from; somewhat. From our view, we found the offed licencing be more regulatory versus more protective and encouraging and conservatory of precious land and water.
We proposed to the City that we create a new "urban ag zoning". So far City's proposed regulations could affect soil management pratices, times of operation, structures (hoop house), flood plain use (hops field) and more. Please help us encourage the City to be more forward looking protective, and validating of existing urban ag projects than reactive with its policies. We urge you to attend the urban ag open house tomorrow, Thursday Jan. 31, 4:30- 6:30 pm at the Old Fort Collins Library on Peterson St. to view the proposed guidelines and offer informed comments.
This is definitely a work in progress, and it could be a great opportunity for the City to be a real partner in the highest sense of Community Support ing Agriculture. This open house, and the meetings to follow in front of Planning and Zoning and the City Council are your opportunities to really show what it means to be a participant, a partner, a shareholder; rather than a "consumer."
From our HHF's standpoint, we would love for you to mention your desire, if you find value in what we have given to this community as Colorado's 1st CSA for 23 years and more, is that
1)HHF and all other existing urban farms, their processes, their structures, their irrigation, their parking solutions, and their entities continue to be grandfathered into acceptence by the City;
2)Protection and reprioitization of land and espeically water for current and future urban agricutural projections.
3)Consideration of Urban Ag zoning.
Please read the statement below was created by Michael Baute, friend, fellow farmer at Spring Kite Farm CSA, and Food and Farm representative for Be Local Fort Collins. We feel that it's a great statement of possible "talking points" which you could share when you speak with the Cities planners tomorrow.
We thank you for your time in reading this, attending the upcoming meetings and helping to support the "New Agriculture" wher everyone has a closer relationship with their food. If you can't attend in person, please consider writing an email or a letter to our fine planners
We are grateful for your continuing support!
The Fort Collins Master Plan specifically indicates agriculture and local food production as priority items. The following Principles and Policies are taken directly from the Fort Collins City Plan:
Community Vision – Innovation, Sustainability, Connections, Quality of Place, Sense of Community
Economic Health (EH)
Vision - City Plan envisions a healthy and resilient economy that provides job opportunities, and is based on partnership and innovation
Principle EH 1: The City will pursue development of a vibrant and resilient economy that reflects the values of our unique community in a changing world
Policy EH 1.1: Support job creation
Principle EH 2: The City will support the growth of the innovation economy to set the stage for business development, job creation, and a thriving entrepreneurial environment.
Policy EH 2.2. – Support an Innovative Economy. Support a regional innovation ecosystem that fuels business development and job creation by leveraging local assets including human capital, research institutions, industrial base, physical infrastructure, and quality of life.
Policy EH 2.3 Develop economic partnerships
Policy EH 2.3 Develop the assets to support entrepreneurship
Principle EH 3: The City will support local, unique, and creative business
Community and Neighborhood Livability (LIV)
Vision - Distinctive and attractive community image, design, and identity
Policy LIV 42.2 Encourage Agricultural Uses. To the greatest extent possible, encourage sustainable agricultural uses that are compatible with watershed qualities and wildlife habitats.
Policy LIV 42.3 – Collaborate on Rural Lands Develop and maintain effective partnerships with Larimer County, and other governmental organizations and jurisdictions, and the private sector for the protection of rural landscapes and the continuance of regional agricultural activities.
***Michael's note: (the current city farmers are managing lands in city limits, but are very much managing lands that once were and still are agricultural lands)
Safety and Wellness
Vision – Opportunities to lead active and healthy lifestyles; access to healthy, locally grown or produced food
* Principle SW 3: The City will encourage and support local food production to improve the availability and accessibility of healthy foods, and to provide other educational, economic, and social benefits.
* Policy SW 3.2 – Participate in and follow the Northern Colorado Regional Food System Assessment project and other Larimer County agricultural efforts, and implement their recommendations at a local level, if appropriate
My concern lies in the fact that many of the urban ag proposed updates don't keep in line with the very forward thinking City Plan in regards to urban sustainable agriculture, and innovation to reflect a "changing world" .
1. Short-term licenses (with associated costs and uncertain approval) put into question a farmer's ability to pay off infrastructure investments and soil fertility programs. Sustainable agriculture is inherently a long-term proposition, two-year licenses don't align with this reality.
2. Hoop house building permits (with associated costs and uncertain approval) conflict with the reality of a short, harsh growing climate in Northern Colorado. Permitting officials may not understand the window of opportunity for a farmer to raise a hoop house and get crops planted accordingly, much less the sheer necessity of a hoop house in our environment. Greenhouses and Hoop Houses are different structures, and this should be reflected better to building officials.
3. Farm animals's incorporation into a food production systems provides on-farm inputs such as nutrient cycling and ecosystem services. Animals can close loops within the system, a basic principle to sustainable agriculture. Two pigmy goats may be appealing to a backyard gardener, but those of us managing larger acreages (and in many cases historical farms) in town are able to ecologically incorporate a variety of animals into our systems to provide us with ecosystem services otherwise fulfilled by fossil-fuel powered tractors and harmful chemicals. Biomimicry, the incorporation of natural systems into the design process, is accepted in all other sectors of the economy (and very much encouraged in regards to sustainability), a forward thinking land use plan should accommodate proper pasturing of a variety of animals and realize their benefits into a sustainable agricultural system.
Urban Farms provide various benefits to a community and/or neighborhood- truly LOCAL access to fresh, healthy foods, educational opportunities for school groups and neighbors, ecosystem services, biodiversity improvement, wildlife corridors, and additional open space lands managed by the private sector.
The economic development aspect of resilient, local food systems cannot be overlooked and is currently being investigated throughout the country (including here in Fort Collins). A healthy and resilient local food economy is the foundation for a healthy and resilient local economy.
Us farmers are the innovators of sustainable and creative systems that connect people to the land and to the food, we're building a sense of community and quality of place. These are the City's words used in the City's Master Plan and it's vision. We are the practitioners of this vision, and only want to work together to promote Fort Collins and build a resilient economy. We need innovative codes and regulations that reflects the changing realities of today's climate (environmentally, economically, and socially). We are going to continue to provide food and value for this community, and hope that our work is acknowledged and respected by our elected and non-elected city officials.
Be Local Northern Colorado
Food and Farm Program Coordinator
That's right! We've got some more veggies that have made it to this time of November, and we'd like to share them with you, our Fabulous 2012 membership. Here's how and when...
Anyone is welcome to help us gleen our fields 10am-1pm THIS Thursday, November 8, but we'd especially like to ask persons from this season's working membership and excellent volunteers who worked with us all season. This is, of course totally volunteer basis, but we'd love for you to RSVP, so we have some idea about just how much we can accomplish.
We'll have another go at the harvestables from 2-4pm. Please, again RSVP if you can volunteer during that time slot.
Finally, we'll put those veggies out with suggested allotments(based on guesstimations and RSVP's) for the voluntary pickup and distribution from 4-6pm. Again, if you would please RSVP that you intend to come and get um', it will help us to guesstimate share numbers. Remember, it's dark at 5 these days, so please come before 6pm.
What to expect? Parsnips, beets, cilantro, carrots, tomatoes, cabbages, kholrabi, broccoli, basil,and well, some more Happy Heart Love.
Again, this is informal and voluntary, but we'd love to get you some more HHF Veggies that might make it into some of your Thanksgiving Lovelinesses.
Also, it might be a time for you to bring us some more of your bagged or loose Leaves (without sticks, trash, or pine needles, Please!). We'll help you put them where we want them.
So, let us know if you can come help with the harvestin and/or the pickup.
Winter pickup of EGGS and MILK will also begin to be on THIS Thursday, November 8.
Thanks again, EVERYBODY! for a wonderful 2012 season. We'll send along another November Newsletter soon.
Much in the Spirit of Thanksgiving,
Dennis, Bailey and all the Great Staff at Happy Heart Farm.