Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

New Events Added

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spring is coming, and now's a great time to get out there and learn some new stuff.  As I mentioned, I'm collecting events, classes, online webinars, in-person seminars, freebie talks, demos, etc. that have anything to do with farming, homesteading, livestock and all those other goodies. 

You can find the list of upcoming events on the Event Calendar (or click the link on the right sidebar).

This week, I've added a ton of really great stuff.  You'll find these on the calendar under the date indicated (or click the link to view or add to your own Gmail calendar):

Lecture: Permaculture Design of Urban Food Forests (January 18th)
This Master Gardener lecture by Michael Almon, the developer of Forest Floor Permaculture, a nut and fruit centered forest garden in Lawrence, KS.  In the permaculture garden of perennial food crops, there’s no need to till every year, much of the weeding is eliminated with groundcovers, shade trees and shrubs will bear food, and irrigation needs will be reduced. Cost: FREE

Vegetable Gardening Workshop (January 25th)
Vegetable gardening is as popular as ever, whether in your backyard or in one of the many community gardens throughout the metro. This workshop in Olathe, Kansas will help vegetable gardeners learn more and to be successful in their gardening efforts.  The featured speaker for the session will be Kansas State University Research and Extension Vegetable Specialist Cary Rivard, Ph.D. Dr. Rivard will discuss watering, weed control and growing great tomatoes.  You will also learn new tips for eating fresh from the garden presented by Olathe Medical Center.  Cost:  Registration is $5 per person and includes refreshments.

Cultivate KC's Annual Farmers and Friends Meeting (February 1st)
Come meet other growers and supporters and learn about Cultivate Kansas City’s projects over the past year.  The event will include pie, coffee, conversation, and learning together (and, if you’d like to bring a pie or two, it would be much appreciated!). The event will have a “Dreamers and Doers” panel, and some group visioning activities that are fun and creative.  The goals of the Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting are to create a space for peer-to-peer learning; to facilitate an opportunity for growers to connect to share challenges, solutions and enthusiasm; to share information about local resources; and to give a “whole systems” or big picture vision of urban growing in Kansas City. Each year the event strives to connect our daily work as farmers, gardeners, food advocates and friends to the vision of the community we want to build with a farm in every neighborhood and access to fresh, healthy, affordable food for all people.  Cost: FREE.  Please bring a homemade (and preferably homegrown or locally sourced) dish to share.

Missouri Beginning Farmers 18th Annual Greenhouse Growers School (February 6)
This is a whole-day event in Columbia, Missouri that covers topics including growing your profits,  an intro to hydroponics, high tunnel design and construction, compost, biofuelds, etc.  Cost is $30.

Missouri Beginning Farmers Webinar Series
MBF is also hosting a whole slew of FREE online webinars on goats, beginning farm financing, and other topics.  They're all on the event calendar.

5th Annual Kaw Valley Seed Fair (February 8th)
The annual Kaw Valley Seed Fair in Lawrence, Kansas is a pre-spring celebration where people can share seeds, information and other resources.  The fair features a free seed exchange that includes books, catalogs and other gardening and seed-saving materials, plus exhibits, local producers and food for sale. Cost:  FREE

Planting and Preserving Workshop (February 13th)
Have you tried to grow enough in your garden to save for the winter, but ended up with too many hot peppers and not enough tomatoes? Do you want to preserve your harvest but have no idea where to start? This workshop in Wichita, Kansas will walk you through what you need to know to plant a garden that will fill your canning jars or freezer. During the second half of the class, you will learn about different preservation methods and what tools and materials you will need to be successful.  Cost: $5.00.

Women Managing the Farm Annual Conference (February 13th - 14th)
The Women Managing the Farm Conference was created to aid women who are helping to grow the nation’s food supply whether by design, marriage or inheritance.   "The Heart of Agriculture" is this year's conference theme.  Over the two days of the conference, presentations regarding business planning, health, managing employees and more will be interspersed with opportunities for networking and learning from others attending the conference. Pre-conference workshops will also be available this year to provide hands-on learning opportunities.   Cost: $145 through 1/30/13; after that date, $170.

KC Master Gardeners Spring Seminar (March 15th)
Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City for their 13th annual Spring Gardening Seminar. There are myriad of interesting topics, including edible landscaping, seed saving and starting, pruning, native species planting, and much more.  Cost: $49 before 2/14; $69 after that date.


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