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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Diaz’

Just down the road, about 40 miles from rockstar farms, lies the quaint yet progressive small town of Athens, GA.  In recent years, Athens has quickly become known for its abundance of small local farms; farms that produce everything from fresh milled grains to grassfed beef, wild turkeys and just about every vegetable imaginable. A few short weeks ago a group of bicycling foodies got a unique oppportunity to visit, learn about and enjoy the fruits of labor from these farms – CNN was along for the ride.

On April 30th, 30 cyclists parked their cars at the UGA Poultry Center and tuned up their bikes for a 3-day, 100-mile ride to 7 farms.  The first day saw us at Woodlands Gardens where Celia showed us around their pristine intensively managed operation.  Next, we headed to Mills Farm for lunch and an introduction with Luke the mule, who plows the field and grinds the grits that Mills Farm is so famous for.  We ended Friday at Sundance Farm, greeted by the smiling faces of the Janosik family.  With approximately 35 miles under everyone’s belt, we were treated to a delicious meal prepared by Peter Dale of the National using produce harvested just feet from were it was served.  Everyone set up their tents and settled in for the night with roosters for alarm clocks. 

Read the entire article on the P.L.A.C.E. website

Read about our friends Ed and Kim Janosik at Sundance Farms (featured in the CNN video above)

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Paul Diaz, founder of both Tree Sound Studios and our beloved Rock Star Farms talks to planet harmony about the environment, hip-hop and being a beet farmer.

Hip-Hop and environmental action. Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta combine both, so listen up.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast on Planet Harmony

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Rule number one in gardening….JUST DO IT!  If you’ve ever been too timid to put a particular vegetable in the ground, don’t be. There is a ton of information out there on the internet and plenty of seasoned gardeners and farmers who are more than willing to pass on valuable information…like us, here at Rock Star Farms. 

It wasn’t too long ago that I was just plain scared of planting something like an onion because I had no idea how to do it – what type to choose, where to plant them, how to care for them…the excuses just went on and on.  I’m thrilled to say, thanks to my experience here on the farm and priceless guidance from a variety of seasoned farmers, these fears are slowing being erased.

We’re planting onions!!  

Back in late January we selected several varieties (yellow granex, first edition, candy, red candy apple and copra). All in all about 1,000 little seedlings went into the bed. Unfortunately we had some pretty severe weather that wiped out a little under half of what we planted, but we still have over 500 onion plants growing strong that will be ready for harvest in the next couple of months!

So, no matter what you want to start planting this spring, don’t let fear of the unknown stop you and always plant more than what you want because there inevitably will be casualties. 

If you want some quick tips on growing onions, click here

And as always, thanks for checking us out and HAPPY FARMING!

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Sunshine showing off Rock Star Farms winter veggies - best tasting greens you'll ever eat...guaranteed!

We’re super excited to tell you that Rock Star Farms is ready to launch our first winter CSA!  We’ll provide organic and bio-dynamically grown winter veggies for 10 families beginning this week. More shares will become available in the spring. Watch your email for more information, and in case you are wondering what the heck a CSA is and why its important to join one,  check out this article from localharvest.org

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer.  In brief…

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

Click here to read the full article from Local Harvest.Org

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Its February 1 today and even in these cold months, we are growing strong here at Rock Star Farms. Our winter crops will soon be ready to harvest and we are planning for our early spring planting, which is right around the corner. One of the many preparatory tasks that are on the agenda is building our soil with organic matter.  

Now before I started farming, I assumed you just took a seed, stuck it in the ground and wa-la instant plant. Well, sometimes it actually can be that easy, but to create the best possible growing situation, you need healthy, nutrient rich, loamy soil. This does not come naturally to most areas of Georgia, where the red clay rules.  Fortunately we have some good friends at Natures Helper who gave us a great deal on an abundant supply of organic amendments that we have been and will continue to add to our soil as we prepare for plantings. 

As you’ll see in the video, Patrick introduces you to our ONION RING and the process that he is using to ready the ring for onion planting on Wednesday. Thanks for visiting us today, we hope you keep coming back to check out how we’re growing!

Helpful About.Com articles on soil building:   The Dirt On Soil   / Soil Amendments

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timemagazinearticle

The Rock Star Farms crew was on our way to Roots Farm in Athens, GA on Friday night for a slow food dinner (which by the way was STELLAR!) and passed 3 Burger King’s, all with signs that read $1 double cheeseburgers.  I thought to myself, “No way. How can they make a profit, and if they are, what kind of wretched ingredients are they putting in there?” Its becoming more and more apparent everyday that for the average family in America its cheaper to buy greasy and nutrient void fast food than healthy nutrient rich vegetables and animal products. Or is it?  Once you take into account the affects of food production on the land and the people,  energy used to ship said foods, treatment of the animals that are harvested for the foods, long term effects and health concerns, that $1 double cheeseburger ain’t as cheap as it seems.

Here’s a great article from Time Magazine by Bryan Walsh, that will explain all of this a little bit more.

Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench. He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon — circa 2009. (See TIME’s photo-essay “From Farm to Fork.”)

Click here to read the entire article.

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Biodynamic Farming – Its not some form of new age spiritualism or witchcraft, its an ancient form of farming that goes farther back in history than we can imagine. Way…way back in the days when there were no radio waves, carbon emissions, VOC’s, radioactivity or any of the other atmospheric “abnormalities” that engulf us today we were intuitively, naturally in tune and in balance with the earth and the planets. We just “knew” to plan our life activities around the cycles of the moon and the movement of the planets, no thinking about it, we just did it. Today, most of us need a little reminder, a little bit of help remembering that we do not begin where the soil ends – we are part of it all, earth – stars – planets – sun – moon.  When this is considered in our farming practices, its simple – we get healthy soil, bigger and better crops, and become a part of healing the earth.  That’s why we are learning the practice of Biodynamics here at Rock Star Farms, thanks to the help of many mentors, including our friend and brother Jason “Buffalo Boy” Harris from the Josephine Porter Institute.
 
 To get more information and inspiration, check out this excerpt from an article about that wonderful biodynamic farmer, KK Haspel.
 
KK and Ira HaspellMeet, K.K. Haspel. She  runs “The Farm” located on the north fork of Long Island, where she practices a type of farming known as biodynamics, which is kind of like organic farming taken to a whole new level. “It’s spiritual,” Hayden explains. “It’s going back to the Native Americans. You follow lunar planting cycles, purging the earth of any impurities, planting frankincense, myrrh, all this stuff that goes back to the Bible—it gets a little wacky.”
 
 But its not her wacky farming practices that prompted Gerry Holden, owner of the North Fork Table & Inn, to start buying her produce. What convinced him at first were her tomatoes. “Her tomatoes were the real deal. They were ugly and gnarly, but delicious. At the time she had a very small crop. If you go over there today she’s growing the entire seven acres with raised beds, three greenhouses. She makes her own compost, and it is like black gold. She grows everything from edemame to fresh ginger root. Her farm is unbelievable.”
 
Read more on the NY Tourism Website
 

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