January 15, 2015
Kari's recommendations:
Phoenix Grow Your Own Food Summit 
It's time to be inspired by your food again!  Register today for a $40 Early Bird discount. GrowPHX.com

Citrus and Deciduous Fruit Special Supplement
Everything you need to know to grow healthy citrus trees.  Published by the Master Gardener Journal. Download the PDF

Backyard Orchard Culture
Learn about urban orcharding and intensive planting from The Urban Farm and Dave Wilson Nursery here.

FREE Fruit Tree Class
For a friends in the Phoenix area, The Micro Farm Project is teaming up with Natcher Culture to host a FREE fruit tree care and pruning class.  find out more about it here.

Do you have an urban farm story, tip, event or resource to share?
This newsletter and TheMicroFarmProject.com are a point of contact for urban farmers.  If you  have something to share that relates to urban farming, let us know!  We will highlight a few of your ideas each month.  Tell us about them  here.

Urban Farming Community
Newsletter
All about citrus...Orange you glad?
 

Are you interested in growing food?  If so, you are in good company!  Garden Media just released its 2015 trends report, Unearthing the Good Life.  The highly anticipated paper points out what growers already know, that gardening goes hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle. According to the report, more and more people are growing edible plants as tools to increase their well-being and sustainability.
Fragrant Orange Blossoms
By Ellen Levy Finch (Elf) (Own work)

If we think of plants as helpful tools, some of the best at a gardener's disposal are hard working citrus trees.  Noted for their evergreen leaves, fragrant blooms and delicious fruits, citrus trees are beautiful and highly productive.  Plant a tree once, and enjoy bountiful harvests for years to come.

At The Micro Farm Project, we just finished harvesting the last of our citrus fruit for the year, and now we are thinking about the varieties that we would like to add to our orchard.

The ideal time of year to plant citrus is right around the corner.  In anticipation, this issue of our newsletter is all about growing citrus trees.  Whether you already have them in your landscape or are just dreaming about it, this newsletter is for you!

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Citrus Tree Care
One of the 5 "C's" of Arizona, citrus is one of the easiest edible plants to grow in the Phoenix. Not only is the fruit delicious and healthy, the blossoms are gorgeous and they smell wonderful this time of year. Citrus is well adapted to our desert climate, and hundreds of varieties are available to us, from standard oranges, lemons and grapefruit, to exotic pomelo and kumquats. Did you know that Clementines are now available to grow at home?

Even if you live outside the Valley of the Sun, read on to learn some tips and techniques for growing and enjoying citrus. 
. Read the rest of this article.

Photo by Urban Food Garden
Photo by Urban Food Garden
Planting Citrus Trees
A proper citrus planting site should have the best soil possible, with good drainage. If there a white, hard layer of calcium called 'caliche' in the soil, remove it with a pick axe. If you want to grow a large tree, make sure that the tree is spaced no less than 10 feet from other trees or obstructions, and that the roots will not be restricted.

Read the rest of the article.

Sunny Grapefruit Marmalade
and Other Uses for Citrus Rinds
Christmas time was unusually cold on the farm this year.  Not White Christmas cold by any stretch, but a fewdays of early morning frost motivated me to harvest the rest of the grapefruit off of our tree to prevent its ruin.
Grapefruit marmalade
By Leslie Seaton from Seattle, WA, USA (Grapefruit Marmalade)

What does one do with a windfall of five-dozen grapefruit with a short shelf-life?  Some was eaten fresh, and many were distributed to friends and neighbors, leaving roughly two-dozen  hanging around. 

Fortunately, I was prepared for just such an occurrence.


Read the rest of the article. 
Thank you for reading our newsletter.  Our family is so encouraged and excited to be part of the growing community of people who grow and raise food.  Our mission is to support urban farmers in their growing endeavors.  If you have any questions, tips, or just want to connect, email me!

Sincerely,

Kari Spencer
Chief Enthusiasm Officer
The Micro Farm Project

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