Ohana Kuleana Blog

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Blueberry and Garlic Planting: September Workday 2015

In our culture of instantaneous gratification we often have to remind ourselves that most good things take time. This is something that we gardeners get the chance to practice often.

We are putting in the prep work now for our Food Forest, including a blueberry patch, which we will harvest from for many years to come. And also planting our garlic plot.

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The Gift Model: September Workday 2015

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How often do you give without any expectation of reciprocation? We all have needs like food, water, shelter, love and friendship, recreation for which many of us might be willing to barter, exchanging goods or services, but bartering still involves an upfront exchange, you give something and you get something. The Gift Model takes it a step further: you give your time, talents, and things as generously as you can without assumption of receiving something back and because others do the same your needs are met as well. 

Living in the current economy and culture that we do trying to live the gift model sounds brave to me, you are putting a lot of trust into other people. Nick and Heather Bartow are the brave souls who are living the gift model right here in our own community.

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Wild Wisdom of Weeds Workshop 2015

After trekking almost 100 miles, over 8 mountain passes Katrina Blair found her way back to Durango to teach us a little bit about the wealth of food hiding in the cracks of our sidewalks - or in between our garden beds. We often call these plants weeds, but we soon learned there was more to them than just pesky adversaries trying to choke out our tomatoes.OKCG_WS_-_Wild_Wisdom_of_Weeds_8.17.15_Pics-022_long.15_Pics-023.JPG

Katrina was returning from the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival that she walks to every year from Durango to teach about wild plants. She carries only light camping gear and a knife and lives off the plants she is able to find on her hike. She said this year the wild strawberries were delicious and abundant, and she returned from her foray feeling more in tune with this wonderful place where we live.

When I look at my cupboards and refrigerator full of store bought food it seems like a daunting task to feed myself from the weeds I usually pull and throw in my compost. But Katrina gave us different glasses with which to look at the world, ones with which the dandelions transform into pesto, the giant hollyhock leaves into burrito wraps, and the thistle into a delicious chai tea. Suddenly my weedy backyard has transformed into a tasty, wild kitchen.

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2nd Annual Pies in the Garden - 2015

Pies_in_the_Garden_2015_Photos-010.JPGPies in the Garden was celebrated for it's second year at the Ohana Kuleana Community Garden.

The garden was bountiful, the pies delicious, and the sunflowers as tall as gentle giants!

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The Science of Cooking Workshop 2015

WS_Science_of_Cooking_Photos_7.13.15-021.JPGDo you approach cooking as a fun experiment? Do you think of yourself as a "Kitchen Chemist"?

After The Science of Cooking Workshop we walked away with a scientist's mindset and ready to try (and sometimes fail, but keep learning) new ways to turn our food into delicious, nutritious creations.

We started with a quick and easy Focaccio bread recipe and learned the 4 basic ingredients to any bread:

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Blueberries, Mushrooms, Compost and more Permaculture: July Workday 2015

These sunny days and plentiful rain make for a happy garden and lots to do, so we got right to work at our July workday!

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OKCG Members Marye and Julie ready to rock!

On the list was
getting familiar with our herb garden,
building another compost pile
mapping out a few more permaculture guilds in the food forest,
and framing a bed for our blueberry patch.

Wait a second, you might say, blueberries don't grow in Colorado!

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Mushroom Cultivation Workshop 2015

"Fungi are the beginning and the end to this whole system." -Travis Custer

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The decomposers of our world, fungi will eat anything that was once living and is now dead...wood chips, carboard, even cotton cloth.

DID YOU KNOW?: There are over 270 known species of mushrooms that have medicinal properties including anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti-fungal, immune system support and more.

Travis Custer, of San Juan Mycology, taught us about fungi and the role they do and can play in growing healthy communities. Fungi provide important roles like decomposing "waste", producing an edible product, and creating humus for healthy soil. All of which connect back to taking care of our Earth and our communities.

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Beyond Sustainability, Into Abundance: The Colorado Permaculture Convergence 2015

Permaculture is for everyone. That's what I left the Colorado Permaculture Convergence with this weekend.Ohana Kuleana Community Garden Members at the Permaculture Convergence (R to L: Mia Carrasco-Songer, Julie Yarsa, Michael Wasson, Marye Jackson)

As we experience this changing climate, shortage of water, excess of waste, and degradation of our beautiful land and wonderful communities permaculture provides a guiding path to action.

Permaculture is the philosophy of working with the natural cycles and systems to create an abundance for all. At the 2015 Colorado Permaculture Convergence, hosted by the Permaculture Provision Project in Cortez, CO, we got to celebrate the people and projects working on permaculture in the Southwest and learn from the skilled, experience speakers.

Grant Curry, one of our hosts, inspired us to think beyond sustainability, which he described as having your nose just above water. Closing speaker, Joel Glanzberg, reminded us that we may feel the urge to jump all in and become a permaculturist with our own off-the-grid homestead complete with water catchment system, food forest, and a composting toilet but we need everybody (doctors, teachers, lawyers, homemaker, restaurant owners...everyone!) to think like nature.

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The Best Time to Plant a Tree...

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  –Chinese Proverb

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And so we planted trees including a Ranier Cherry, a Stanely Plum, a Mt. Royal Plum, and a Mulberry donated by the Permaculture Provision Project. Not to mention several

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Back to the Basics! - Garden Basics Workshop

To get ready for opening day next week at the community garden we gathered for the Garden Basics Workshop taught by Brooke Frazer.

We hold this workshop at the beginning of the season every year due to it's popularity and this year it was the second in our 2015 garden workshop series

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