The Season Starts at Better Farm

Peas climb a fence in Better Farm's garden.
In the last two weeks, Better Farm's doubled her numbers, celebrated her 41st year in existence, completed another outbuilding, produced beautiful music, paintings, stories and textiles, and really kicked into high gear.

The winterized skeleton crew of Better Farm (Nicole, Mike, Mark, and Brian) in May gained Erin, a photographer from Heath Photography in Redwood; as well as a whole slew of interns and artists. There's Jaci, a recent ASU grad; Natasha, a student at St. Andrews in Scotland; Erica, a painter from Beacon, N.Y.; Matt, a writer out of Jersey City and his dog Persephone; Forbes, a trumpet player from the Boston area; and on Sunday we'll get Soon Kai Poh and Elizabeth Musoke. We were also blessed to have painter Jennifer Elizabeth Crone; visual artist Ruby Amanze, and embroidery extraordinaire Joetta Maue and her son, Tesla, with us for residencies throughout the winter and spring.

Full house! With so many hands, the garden has taken on a life of its own. Natasha and Jaci have been killing it out on the grounds, spotting spiders and birds and frogs, transplanting and planting like crazy, and doubling the size of last year's garden.

Painter-in-residence Erica Hauser layers compost, cardboard, and rich dirt as part of Better Farm's mulch gardening, no-till method of growing food.

New rows are established as Better Farm's garden doubles in size.

Raised herb beds on the property feature sage, basil, spinach, amaranth, chives, mint, summer savory, mustard greens, and more.

Of course, the chickens are in on the action. Acting as mini roto-tillers and producing great compost for us, they hang out with everyone in the garden:

Bedding down in a fresh row of composted dirt.


Meanwhile, the artists keep busy producing work. Here's Forbes writing a composition in the side yard:

With all this hubbub, it's important to keep morale high. So we do things like teatime (featuring vegan cucumber sandwiches and tea made with mint from the garden):
Gathering around to watch rainstorms roll in:

And, of course, hikes out to beautiful overlooks and swimming in crystal-clear lakes:

For more information about Better Farm's sustainability internship program, click here. To learn more about the betterArts residency program, click here.