I first learned about Urban Eden Farm from two of my friends who eventually decided to get a CSA from the farm. I was surprised by their description of a farm just five minutes from downtown, but that is just one of the great things about Spokane-the amazing places hidden in the nooks and crannies of the landscape. I began following them on Instagram and was inspired by their hard work; fixing tractors, weeding the rows of vegetables, and this past spring, dealing with their stream flooding through their shed and down the road, as well as the beauty of fresh picked radishes, glowing rhubarb, and giant heads of lettuce.
Following my phone's directions (as I so often do!), I found myself in Latah Creek, nestled beneath the cliff's of the South Hill. Green houses and plant nurseries popped up like mushrooms as a train chugged along behind all the activity.
When I first arrived at Urban Eden Farm, I was greeted by the sunny Tarawyn, crowned in a straw hat. She led me back to the field where a group of employees and volunteers were weeding rows of beets, pulling weeds and thinning beets (one wise gentleman said in a variation of another gardening proverb, "A beet in the wrong place is a weed." Beets grown too close together end up tiny and stunted. ). I pulled out my three legged camp stool to sketch everyone busy at work and promptly sunk four inches into the soft, damp earth. Luckily, I kept my balance and did not fall over, but it was a near thing. I got to repeat this experience several more times because the weeders worked much more quickly than I drew so I had to move further down the row to keep them in my sight. Soon my back pack was nearly twenty feet away from me!
They're moving past me
This is my favorite sketch from this trip. I love all the action!
Next I crossed the stream on a plank bridge to sketch their farm birds. I'm pretty used to chickens, having some of my own, but I was not prepared for the scream of the peacocks. It really does sound like an alarmed child. They wouldn't come out from cover so I couldn't see them, so their calls were extra startling. However, the chickens belligerently staring at me in expectation of kitchen scraps was completely familiar.
Walking past a worn barn I spotted a vine winding it's way up the wood siding, a coil of nails pinned to the boards below. A perfect farm scene!
I couldn't leave without sketching a hoop house. It was WAY too hot and sunny to sketch inside the greenhouse so I stationed myself at one end, peeking in through the door and slated window-lots of tomatoes getting big and tall!
It was a wonderful morning and I saw so many beautiful things that I wanted to paint I couldn't fit them all in! Thank you to Tarawyn and everyone at Urban Eden Farm for hosting me!