CSC Land Tour
August 1, 2010 1P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Ed Homeier on the Chicken Cooperative,
Argena Marie on the Orchard, and
George Blackman on the Garden.
Location: CSC, Stelle, IL
The CSC recently formed a Land Committee to act as caretakers of its 7- acre property adjacent to Stelle. One of the objectives adopted by the Land Committee is to demonstrate the sustainable production of healthy food while decreasing outside inputs. The land tour offers an opportunity to observe progress toward that goal. Components of the tour are: one half hour at the Chicken Cooperative, one hour at the Orchard and two hours at the Garden.
The Chicken Cooperative Tour
Ten Stelle families established the Chicken Co-op four years ago on the CSC property by written agreement with CSC. The objective was to illustrate the production of chickens for meat and eggs at cost. During the first two years of operation, the co-op raised and harvested two 100-member Rock-Cross rooster flocks, which were fed certified-organic grain blends and grazed, using home-made chicken tractors. Currently, seven families manage a mixed-breed laying flock of 30 hens (Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds) and four roosters. Eggs are shared at cost among co-op families who sell regularly to families in Stelle at a slightly higher cost. Ed will describe the co-op’s experiences, with attention to the features of the current flock and the coop, which is fitted with solar lights, rain water catchments, and AC power.
Topics on the Chicken Cooperative Tour:
- How the co-op works: members, duties, finances, etc
- Breed selections
- Feeding options
- Seasonal care
- Medical Care of the flock
The Orchard Tour
The CSC orchard contains over 100 mature fruit trees. Argena is a member of an orchard co-operative established by written agreement with the CSC to use a variety of organic techniques to restore this 35-plus year old orchard. Argena has also worked with children, passing on her knowledge to the next generation. Two goals of the Orchard Co-op are to improve the tree-health, creating high quality fruit, and to develop a park-like environment. Tour participants will be invited to take home some of the ripe apples and pears from this year’s crop.
Topics on the Orchard Tour
- The Orchard Co-operative and how it works
- The Junior Orchard club and how it works
- Results of different pruning techniques
- Pests and preventive options
- Seasonal care for the trees
- Mowing and mulching
The Garden Tour
The tour will conclude with an overview of the CSC gardens, describing what has been planted this year. Different growing methods will be identified, along with the features of our composting systems. George will then focus on the Bio-intensive growing method which affords more vegetables on less land using less water than other methods. He will demonstrate one of the features of this time-tested method, “double-digging” cultivation, which he is using to create a new garden bed for a fall crop. Participants will receive handouts and references for further study.
Topics on the Garden Tour:
- Double- digging: tools needed, preparing the bed, how to dig, benefits of the method and planting in the new bed.
- Creating a living mulch in the bed
- Companion planting
- Pests and organic solutions
- Growing various vegetables
- Seed saving
Registration for this event
The cost of the 3½ hour Land Tour is $35.
An optional free Open House Tour of the Stelle Community will begin at 10:30 and, at an additional cost of $10, you are also invited to share a lunch featuring locally grown and organic foods in the Stelle Community Center. The lunch will begin at noon followed by the workshop at 1:00. We hope you can join us!