Tilian is in bloom! The hoops are green and glorious and the chicks and ducklings are roaming the sprouting clover and basking under the warm March shining sun. Summer CSAs are gearing up and the farmers’ tans are coming in…can you believe this is t-shirt weather already?
As the Farm Incubator Program Manager, I am gearing up for an exciting, fun filled summer at the farm! We have a few events scheduled already: Join us on March 31 from 6:30-9PM for our 2012 Tilian Kick-Off! Come right away for a farm tour, then join us at 7:30 in the barn for desserts & local beverages, while you hear about each of the 6 farms at Tilian. Sign up for a CSA or to join us at our first hoop build of the season on April 14!
The rest of the season will showcase the farms progress and community investment at celebratory events such as a Mind, Body, Soil series that will get you moving, eating and will leave you entertained by local artists, as well as our second annual Barn Dance at Barry Lonik’s in Dexter and our amazing All Farm BBQ in August. Exact dates and times for these events will be announced in April. Keep an eye on our facebook page for details!
So much is new this year; for starters, we have doubled in size! Five incubator farms and the new Tilian Farmer Residency Program are sharing the barn, equipment, water and fields leased from Ann Arbor Township. Tilian has an updated lease that is officially between FSEP (Food System Economic Partnership, our fiscal partner), and The Ann Arbor Charter Township and is good for two more years at the generously low rate of $1/year! We are ever thankful for the like-minded mission of the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Board as well as for the dedicated staff and board of FSEP, both essential partners in this Tilian endeavor.
We now have access to over 40 acres of land! The 16 acre field we started on last year remains the home of the Farm Incubator Program’s four vegetable farm businesses: Seeley Farm‘s seasonal greens, Green Things Farm‘s diversified vegetable CSA, and new in 2012 Meristem and Honest Eats Farms that will have CSA shares available in Ann Arbor/ Grosse Pointe and Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, respectively. Bending Sickle Community Farm livestock is relocating to one of our new fields, those 19 acres to the west of our original field, and the Tilian Residency CSA will farm on the land nearest the barn. (You have to check out the new heated hoop! This fancy house is heated in the 1/3 nearest the barn and is perfect for starting transplants that can go into the unsheltered fields with a head start!)
Well, I’m off to call about getting a dumpster at 4400 Pontiac Trail, type some meeting notes and prepare for my quarterly grant reporting. Looking forward to seeing you at the farm!
Peaceful planting to you and your farmers!