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Backyard Farm Tour 2015

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6th Annual Backyard Farm Tour Coming Weekend of Sept. 12th

post by: Dale Friedkin  July 13, 2015

Bend's Backyard Farm Tour (BYFT) Returns for its 6th rendition the weekend of September 12th.  It will probably be a 2 day event, but we will see for sure as we piece it together.  Last year it turned out to fit better into just 1 day.

A tour of selected sites of gardens, farms, ranches and dairies the BYFT has inspired many to start their own gardens and sparked the imagination those already growing food as they see with their own eyes what some of what the best locals have achieved.

Provided for free as an educational resource for the community with all info provided online, the BYFT is also a fundraiser for non-profit groups who print up the guide booklets themselves, sell them and simply keep the proceeds.  Remarkably the BYFT has a budget of $0.  Even the legwork is done with...legs.  The BYFT's organizer visits dozens of prospective tour stops over hundreds of miles by bicycle.

We are in a golden age for growing food in this area.  Though changes in the weather are decimating the ski industry and wreaking havoc across the globe it is working out great for local gardeners and farmers.    The clichés about growing here of "difficult" and "challenging" have been rendered obsolete.  We now have long sunny days, mild nights and long growing seasons above freezing, even exceeding 5 months in some areas.  This year we have even been blessed with many refreshing and quenching downpours.  It's a no brainer to grow your own and partake of the local product over the unsustainable and noxious product of our industrial food system.  The BYFT is here to help you on your way.

Volunteers and host venues are being sought.  Email us at
Stay tuned to our website and facebook page to keep abreast of the BYFT as we build towards the event.

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Get Some Garden Supplies and See Some Old Friends

post by: Dale Friedkin  May 13, 2015

It's out of place to hawk stuff here but... It's at a very cool garden that has been on the BYFT a couple of times.  I went last year and got some very nice stuff that you won't find elsewhere + only spent 10 bucks. I got some Borage that is now seeding itself, Husk Cherries which are related to Tomatillas and produce a golden sorta-like a cherry fruit, Scarlet Runner Beans and Spanish Radishes. I didn't like the Spanish Radishes but it is interesting to try new things. These people used to have a shop but they decided not to put up with all the bs and simplify and quit, but they still get to do the fun part with these flash sales AND its Duane and Julie Schiedler! They created the BackyardFarmTour and ran it for its first 3 years, so a lot of people here know them and will want to stop by and say hello! The sale takes place Sat. May 16th.


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BYFT'ers Join Forces to Build a Garden

post by: Dale Friedkin  May 12, 2015

hope springs dairy
Backyard Farm Tour Director, Dale Friedkin, Central Oregon Locavore Wwoofers and Hope Springs Dairy will be getting together Saturday to build a garden for Hope Springs Dairy. Hope Springs Dairy has been a host Farm for the Backyardfarmtour the last 2 years. Central Oregon Locavore has been the main beneficiary of the funds generated by the BYFT, the last couple of years and helps with the events materials and marketing. Wwoofers, willing workers on organic farms, is a Locavore volunteer program. The Garden will be one of several projects crews of wwoofers will take on for the day. Mr. Friedkin will design and supervise the garden project. Mr. Friedkin's innovative gardens take their cues from natural systems and eschew common agricultural ideas such rows, rectangles and mono-crops. Lunch will be served.

tags: news, locavore, garden | permalink

The BYFT Endorses Foster Fell for Parks and Rec Director

post by: Dale Friedkin  May 6, 2015

Happy Springtime, farmers, gardeners and backyardfarmtourists!  I just got my Voters Pamphlet in the mail--Who knew there was an election?  Aside from the empty social climbers with their platitudes, I found a candidate who I hearteningly endorse.  That is Foster Fell for Bend Metro Park and Recreation Director, Position 1.  He was the only person running for Parks and Rec that stated that he was for more Community Gardens!  He also alone came out for a free flowing Deschutes River and against the super expensive Disneyland like attractions Parks and Rec are developing.  I know Foster and he is a heartfelt activist who make things happen and takes a stand instead of just being another empty suit.  He is also, like the rest of us, a soil scientist.  He even got a degree in it though.

There is another reason I am for him.  I have this pipe dream for the Bend Parks and Rec, with all of their resources, of developing a Food Forest.  A Food Forest, is a Permaculture construct of a natural, integrated forest consisting of edible vegetation.  For instance in our area, imagine a Park of a forested area with Apple, Pear, Cherry, Plum and Apricot trees and more.  Then there would be, like any forested area, smaller trees and shrubs like maybe hazelnuts, blackberries and raspberries, currents etc., etc.  Wild Asparagus and Strawberries, herbs?  The possibilities are endless.  I think Foster would like this idea and get behind it.  If he does get elected I will present it to him.  The City of Seattle is doing it, so can Bend.

tags: news, politics | permalink

Bend Bulletin: Gardeners share their secrets at Backyard Farm Tour

post by: Dale Friedkin  September 7, 2014

Short growing season in Central Oregon is no obstacle for the creative

By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin

Published Sep 7, 2014 at 12:01AM

It was a garden party on the go Saturday, with dozens of plant lovers fanning out across Bend and Tumalo for the fifth annual Backyard Farm Tour.

Organizer Dale Friedkin said the event is an opportunity to learn from some of the region’s most passionate gardeners, and, through the sale of guidebooks to the 16 different gardens and farms featured this year, a fundraiser benefiting Central Oregon Locavore and the GMO Labeling Central Oregon Alliance...

more at

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Tips for Cycling the BYFT

post by: Dale Friedkin  September 5, 2014

Biking the whole BYFT would be around 45 miles.  If you are a pretty good cyclist it is very possible.  If you are not a very ambitious or a casual rider, it would be a good idea to join the Bend Bikes ride. There is a lot of possibilities between those 2 options too.  Maybe you can start with the Bend Bikes ride and then do some extra stops on your own.  How about driving to some and biking some?

Putting together the BYFT, I have already biked to each place at least twice.  I like to bike off the roads if possible and get away from the cars.  There is plenty of opportunity to do that this year and all of those routes can still be done with road bikes.  Probably the best area to bike the BYFT is from stops #E, #F or #G to #D and then #C.  You can connect those stops by the Larkspur Trail.  From #E, #F or #G get to the start of the Larkspur Trail on Neff just east of Pilot Butte Middle School.  To get to stop #D exit the trail at Derek Dr go to Savanah and take it to the next block, which is Zachery.  After #D, go back the way you came.  The Larkspur Trail then goes through the Pilot Butte Park parking lot and goes underneath Hwy 20 to 15th St, which it parallels on east.  The trail stops at Bear Creek.  2 blocks east right across from Alpenview Ln it starts again.  The Larkspur Trail ends at the Bend Senior Center Park which is right by #C.  All of that is doable on a Road Bike.

Other off road possibilities include the Deschutes River Trail from the westside to Archie Briggs to OB Riley to #P.  Hunnel Rd. is a very uncrowded road, with a 1.5 mile section of dirt road to #N.  Don't do Hunnel south of Rogers unless you are on a Mountainbike.  Stops #L and #K are on cinder road which is not really doable on skinny road bike tires.  The only climb on the BYFT is up the hill to #J.  The view is worth it though!

tags: bike, news, about | permalink

Pick up Guide Booklet the Day of the BYFT

post by: Dale Friedkin  September 5, 2014

BYFT Guide Booklets will be available the day of the event.  Most of the places selling the booklet will be open:

Central Oregon Locavore, 1216 NE 1st Street
Strictly Organic Coffee Co., 6 SW Bond
Cowgirl Cash, 924 Brooks
Lone Pine Coffee, 845 Tin Pan Alley

You can also pickup the booklet at a couple of stops on the BYFT.  Stop #B and #J will have some for purchase.  They are at the southern and northern ends of the tour which will be convenient for those coming from out of town.  Consult or for the exact location.  No one punches your ticket on the BYFT and all the info is online at the above links, so you don't have to make them your first stop either.  If you are asking yourself why you have to buy the guide at all, you don't, but it is convenient to have the booklet and the money 100% supports the worthy causes of Central Oregon Locavore and GMO-Labeling Central Oregon Alliance.

We hope to see you on the tour Saturday September 6, 10am to 4pm!

tags: news, booklet | permalink

GETIT Shuttle Offering Rides on the BYFT

post by: Dale Friedkin  September 4, 2014

GETIT Shuttle

Alternative Transportation Option for Backyardfarmtourists

GETIT Shuttle(, a local green energy tour shuttle, is offering rides to Backyardfarmtourists of the BYFT, Saturday September 6th.  For only $20, much less than their typical tours, the GETIT Shuttle offers an approximately 4 hour ride to most of the BYFT stops and the guide booklet is included in the price.

To reserve a spot call and for more info call (541) 610-6103.

tags: getit shuttle, about, news | permalink

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