As part of her “Let’s Move” campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama has set a goal of 10,000 new food-related projects nationwide, and the IKAR garden will be counted towards that total. The USDA’s website has a map of the different projects that have been registered throughout the United States. The IKAR garden isn’t on their map yet, but it should be up added soon.
You can read more about USDA’s garden initiative program here.
What’s a Farmscape worth? For cars, you can look up their Kelly Blue Book value; for houses, you can have an assessor visit; even baseball cards have a Beckett value. But there's no third party evaluator for a Farmscape.
With this void in mind, I decided to take a crack at determining a formula based on my conversations with members, survey results, and anecdotes collected from garden managers. Here’s what I came up with:
Value = FV + P + C + L + E + F + S
For each member the weighting of those variables is different but it is usually based on some combination of the following factors:
We had an interesting problem at our nursery in Claremont a few weeks back. I'd sheet mulched the nursery with free wood chips from a local tree service and cardboard from Pomona College. It's a cost effective method for removing grass and keeping the area attractive, but it provides an ideal habit for Earwigs. Normally we don't worry about earwigs in our gardens because they leave mature plants alone and eat aphids and other pests. In the nursery, however, they were absolutely decimating the young plants, whose succulent growth they prefer. I'd leave at night with everything looking fine and the next morning there would be little more than a piece of stem poking out of the soil.
People commonly ask us: why do you prefer raised beds? I could answer this question in many ways, because there are a variety of benefits unique to raised bed gardening.