Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday and it’s nearing the end of the year. Give back to your community and help your taxes at the same time! We’ve given hours to our community and we hope to keep making positive change. The greenhouse is growing, we’re planning for the 2019 CSA and food donations, and looking for more students to get involved. Thanks to all of you who have supported us over the years and through this GoFundMe.

https://www.gofundme.com/growing-food-to-grow-the-community?fbclid=IwAR2hSPRMBMmcRi7smYp3qPZ3TK3Io-ru1j96Eomx00SIeBgceb-wy6ARhpc

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Fundraising and Partime Farm Manager

Hello Again all.

After a year “off” or should I say a year with a new baby, trying to grow food as best as possible, and still giving tours and presentations, we are in the planning phase for 2019.

We recently started an advisory board to brainstorm ideas and help guide us into the future. More info on these amazing, energetic individuals soon.

We started a GoFundMe account and are hoping to raise $20,000 to help pay for our first employee, start a program for minority high school students interested in sustainability and sustainable agriculture, and to purchase supplies to grow in our neighbor’s 1,000 ft2 greenhouse. We are building beds right now and have already sowed one bed with a variety of crops to see how they hold up against the cold night time temps.  Please help us spread the word and consider donating to our our efforts:

https://www.gofundme.com/growing-food-to-grow-the-community

The farm manager will be a part time position and will be in charge of managing the field and greenhouse, a 30-40 share CSA that will again support Women Infants and Children program here in Coconino County, sell produce to a few local restaurants, and help the diector teach and schedule our interns. If you know of anyone interested in a farm manager position, please refer them to our job description below and have them apply.

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and for your continued support.

Position Description:

This will be a paid, ten-month (February through November), part time position. Weekly hours may vary depending on needed tasks. The farm manager will be expected to manage plant health, soil health, pests, weekly tasks for interns, intern schedules, data collection, and harvests.

Position Goals:

  • Successfully run a CSA (up to 40 shares) by growing in a 1,000 ft2 greenhouse and 15 hoop houses
  • Grow produce for local restaurants
  • Communicate progress via social media (FB, WordPress, Twitter)
  • Develop the program’s success so the position remains economically self-sufficient
  • Educate interns on self-sufficiency, agriculture, and other biology related topics

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 3+ years of experience working on a farm or direct agricultural experience OR
  • Degree in agriculture, botany, or related field and 1 year working on a farm or direct agricultural experience

Preferred Skills:

  • Planning, evaluating, and organizing plant production schedule
  • Pest and disease management skills and the ability to solve these problems quickly
  • Manage schedules and provide leadership for up to five interns
  • Communicate and promote EcoRanch’s mission and core values to the community
  • Effectively communicate monthly progress through writing on social media
  • Update and maintain accurate farm records and reports using Word and Excel

Job Requirements:

  • 20 hours/week (although it may fluctuate between 15 and 30 hours/week)
  • Valid driver’s license, clean record, and reliable transportation

Compensation:

  • $7,500 + $1,000 bonus upon completion of the term
  • Produce for the duration of the position (equivalent to ~$2,000)
  • Two weeks paid vacation

Timeline:

  • Applications accepted until Dec 1st
  • Interviews conducted week December 8th
  • Position chosen week of Dec 15th

Please send a resume and cover letter to flagstaffecoranch@gmail.com

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2017 Achievements

Happy 2018 to you all!

2017 started with an exciting new plan to develop a student driven, collaborative CSA that was affordable and contributed to our community in positive ways.  We partnered with Tree A’Lolly farms in Doney Park and the Women Infants and Children program of Coconino County.  Ten people signed up for our trial year and we had plans to donate to WIC. What an exciting and stressful experience.  Every week, we marveled at what was coming out of the ground, while worrying if everything was going to grow or if we would have enough food for the shares.  Is there enough variety?  Will people know what to do with the produce?  Are people going to be sick of lettuce?  Better yet, when will people get sick of lettuce?

Looking back, we hardly had anything to worry about.  We had an abundance of produce!  We grew over 1600 pounds and of that, donated 550 to WIC.  Our shares averaged 5.5 pounds each and we offered 70 different fruits, veggies, teas, herbs, and flowers as part of the share.

We were certified as a Sustainable Project and Community Partner with Coconino County. We gave tours to the greater Flagstaff community through the Garden Ninjas, Sustainable Homes Tour, and 15 different classes and school groups ranging from elementary through college aged.  We visited five classrooms to give presentations about the EcoRanch.  In all, we had direct contact with approximately 450 individuals.  We collaborated with two river guides who worked for AZRA (a local rafting company) and collected 425 pounds of compost from five river trips. The guides were able to teach approximately 100 clients about the importance and ease of composting. We educated 750 tourists about sustainable living and water, energy, and resource conservation through ecotourism with our student designed, self-guided tours and educational packets, a requirement of each intern and capstone group.

We were able to secure $3500 in grants from Flagstaff Foodlink and the WWOOF organization that allowed us to upgrade to a more efficient irrigation system, further reducing our water use, and create a safer working environment onsite through electrical upgrades in the barn.  Thanks to Warner’s and Goodman Electric for their assistance on these projects! Inside the house, we installed a high efficiency wood stove to further reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, switched to LED lights in all light fixture, two more energy star fans to help circulate warm air in winter.   And finally, we offset our water, electricity, and fuel use through Terra Pass (it cost $200 for the year) and we encourage you to do the same.

If anyone is interested in helping fund our organization so we can maintain an upward trajectory and continue to support sustainable education in Flagstaff while growing healthy, affordable produce for our community, we would appreciate your generosity.  You can send us a check, donate through Paypal, or contact us via phone or email to make arrangements and we will send you a donation letter for your tax records.

Below are some photos and a quick summary of 2017 in numbers.

HANDS ON EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  • 11,024 volunteer hrs since 2012 valued at $121,264.
    • 1852 hrs in 2017
  • WWOOFers – 41 total since 2012
  • 456 hrs educational presentations/workshops/tours
    • 84 in 2017
  • Hosted 26 interns since 2012
    • 9 in 2017
  • Supported 21 capstone students at NAU since 2012
    • 8 in 2017
  • Tours and presentations to 450 individuals
  • Outreach to 750 tourists staying in our Educational Airbnb

PRODUCE

  • 2413 lbs produce
  • 647 lbs – Nonprofits and underserved populations
  • 695 lbs – Local business
  • 2949 – Local eggs
  • Student driven, collaborative CSA provided 1134 lbs of produce and donated 554 lbs to families through WIC

WATER

  • 35,817 gallons saved and reused since 2012 (with 4550 rainwater gallon storage)
  • Showers (402 gal 2017)
  • Toilets (1902 gal 2017)
  • Grey water system (3976 gal 2017)

WASTE DIVERSION

  • Trash Production – 0.76 lbs/person/day (4.4 lbs/person/day Ave American)
  • Compost Collection – 425 pounds collected from AZRA and 1020 pounds from ITEP employees

 

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Flagstaff EcoRanch @ Brix

Tomorrow night is Eat Local Tuesday at Brix with EcoRanch produce. 10% of sales will go to Flagstaff Foodlink‘s Grower Grant Program, which funds Flagstaff area growers to expand or enhance their operations. In 2017, we received a Grower Grant from Foodlink to help us install a water efficient irrigation system.  That system has helped us grow over 2,000 lbs of food, provide food for our 15 share student led CSA (5 shares donated to WIC), sell kale to Tepa Burger, and donate to the Flagstaff Family Food Center, not to mention supplement our diets and give food to our interns and volunteers.

Support local businesses, education, and growers!

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Sustainable Homes Tour

Today we are a stop on the Coconino County Sustainable Homes Tour.  Come on by and visit us!

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CSA Harvest

Can you believe that we only have six more distributions left!  Time sure has flown and mid October will be here before you know it.  We’ve been hovering in the low fifties to high forties at night so we’ll be starting to close up hoops soon enough.  This season has been fantastic as far as production and aesthetics goes.  I’d say the EcoRanch has never looked better!  Together with Tree A’Lolly farms, we have grown 1,000 lbs of produce for our share members and 340 lbs of that produce has been given to the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program.  Squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, and corn are on their way!

Beet MandalaBeet Hoop 2Bees

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APS Green Choice

We choose to offset our energy from APS through their Green Choice program.  Here’s a breakdown of the renewables from 2016.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.26.04 AM

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Registered Pollinator Site

We’re now registered as a pollinator site, you can too! Good luck to all you pollinators out there – stop by our place anytime you like!

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 3.28.54 PM

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We’re at ROOT

Head on down to Root for the Flag EcoRanch Kale Salad…we’re now on their menu!  Thanks Dave-O and the Root family.

Root MenuRoot Menu 2

Our CSA has been going great too!  We ended up selling ten shares which allows us to donate five to the WIC program here in Flagstaff.  To date, we have donated 180 pounds to WIC families.  We have met our target weight for weekly shares, about four pounds, with the exception of this past week, which was just shy of nine pounds!  Thanks rain, keep on coming!

CSA HarvestRadishesChardSalad Mix

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CSA

Our student driven CSA starts soon!  This is a collaborative CSA between Flagstaff EcoRanch, Tree A’Lolly Farms, and WIC.  Here are a few photos of some of the veggies growing and awaiting your dinner plates!  We are selling ten shares and donating five to WIC.  Please send us an email if you are interested.  We do have a waiting list, but as the season progresses we are hoping to determine whether we can offer more shares at a reduced cost.  If so, we can get in touch if you are interested.  Shares run $250 for a twenty week period. This will be slightly experimental for us as we have never run a CSA before so we will be checking in with our members for feedback.  Shares will have about three to four pounds of produce each week and towards the beginning of the season, may be supplemented with eggs, dried herbs, or teas as we wait for everything to grow.  One of the biggest challenges in Flagstaff is working with the weather (like 2 inches of snow last week) and making sure everything doesn’t freeze.  Interns and capstone students will be getting involved and using this CSA as a learning tool.  They will be collecting harvest data, consumer feedback, learning about marketing and sales, working with finances, and strengthening community partnerships. We hope that through this CSA we can continue to “grow food to grow the local food network.”

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Salad Mix.

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Peas and Beans

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Asian Salad Mix

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Fresh Thyme and Sage

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