It begins

This afternoon I finally met with the local small farm owner to discuss using some of his land. On several sides it is better than I imagined. The plot we agreed on is about 1/4 of an acre and which will make about 20 beds (4×100 with a path)-I will probably only use 5 at most the first year.

  • One-its free. Yes you read that right-at least as money is concerned. I will be sharing the produce, helping with some with chores, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a rain barrel doesn’t show up at their home, but no money will change hands.
  • Secondly they owners will prep the beds for me with a tractor mounted rototiller. The tiller will make 50″ beds with 18″ paths in between that I will cardboard mulch and layer with wood chips. This is especially good as the area was allowed to fallow and the quack grass is thick.
  • Thirdly, I have access to water, wheel cultivators, and a storage shed/root cellar to store the produce in. They even have fencing for me to use to keep their gaggle (well over a dozen) of geese out of the garden.
  • Finally, I have the invaluable oppurtunity to learn innumerable things about farm steading just by being on a working permaculture farm. Just today I helped the owner use hand tools to skin a huge 40′ log he felled this week that will be used to make the second story of his home in a year or two. Sound difficult? It only took about 20 minutes using some heirloom tools he bought at an old estate sale. It was incredibly beautiful to see those old tools put to use again.

So it begins. My path down the road to small scale ag couldn’t possibly have started in a more optimistic way-sharing labor, tools, land, and knowledge with neighbors and nary a contract or check in site. They have the land -we share the passion- and I supply the labor and seed. Together we will make something special that was not possible without our community and one generation of small farmers helping the next.

It will be an adventure as I learn to scale my thinking from gardening to farming. Last week, I was excited about the daunting prospect of planting 400 cloves of garlic-they will be putting in 800 sq feet in about a month-even at the 6″ spacing they use for ease of weeding, that is something like 6000 cloves of garlic-enough for over 100 families!!!

2 Responses

  1. All I can think to say here is “wow.”

  2. I KNOW!

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