Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EarthDance Farms: A Model of Sustainability in Ferguson [PHOTOS]

Posted By on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM

EarthDance Farms has its roots in a fifteen-year-old girl's first encounter with organic agriculture.

Hoping to cultivate his daughter's love for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, Molly Rockamann's dad took her to visit Al and Caroline Mueller's organic farm in Ferguson.

The seed was sown. It took more than a decade to germinate, but germinate it did. Now what began in 2009 as an apprenticeship program at the Muellers' farm has grown into EarthDance. A year ago this week, with funding from the Open Space Council, the nonprofit was able to purchase the fourteen-acre urban farm where Rockamann's dream began.

      Crystal Rolfe
  •       Crystal Rolfe

Apprenticing at EarthDance Farms involves a great deal of fun. And weeds.

See also: - Molly Rockamann cultivates Gut Check's urban-farming acumen

Today EarthDance plants and harvests organic produce, raises chickens and even keeps bees. The fruits of the farmers' labor can be purchased at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, the Ferguson Farmers' Market and EarthDance's own CSA program.

      Crystal Rolfe
  •       Crystal Rolfe

The sign at the entrance to EarthDance Farms, made from repurposed windows.

      Crystal Rolfe
  •       Crystal Rolfe

The first CSA share of the season included rainbow Swiss chard, green garlic, radishes, shallot tops, arugula, mesclun and spicy braising greens.

      Crystal Rolfe
  •       Crystal Rolfe

This herb spiral should produce herbs longer into the season than traditional methods, using less space. Behind the herbs, a "Three Sisters Garden" features interplantings of corn, beans and squash, another naturally enhanced growing strategy.

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