Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

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What a (Wet) Week!

It’s been raining cats and dogs around here for three days.

Thankfully, Dan and super star CSA member Larry Hughes did some work earlier in the week to extend and rebuild drainlines that kept all the work we’d done establishing our beds from washing away.

Next up on the water front: Dan wants to bury a cistern to collect the water coming from the sump. Those tanks are more expensive and harder to come by on Craigslist than the large scale food grade tanks that can sit above ground so we’ll have to wait and see on that one. (Unless you have a lead to offer!) But we can, relatively easily, add some plants to the easement to filter the driveway runoff. Happy to no longer have all that oil and synthetic auto stuff running into the yard. Wonder if it will show up in the soil testing…


Sump pump drain repaired after being impaled by a fencepost.


Pipe running from a driveway drain that ended at the top of the farm space now runs to the easement.

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All About Compost

We compost our kitchen scraps, fallen leaves, and other assorted yard waste. We add it to our beds in the spring. But we don’t produce nearly the quantity, or quality, that we can get from commercial producers. A few years ago, we feel in love with a local product we found at City Folks Farm Shop called Zoo Brew from Price Farm Organics in Delaware, OH. Here’s how they describe it:

An all natural and unique compost comprised from cafeteria food remnants, zoo manure and bedding, brewery salvage, pet food remnants, yard trimmings & coffee grounds.  Abundant in nutrients and humus.  Excellent for use as a mulch with a natural black color. Both new landscape installations and older landscapes needing some fresh attention will benefit from this excellent compost.”

A few weeks ago, we had ten cubic yards of this black gold delivered to our driveway.

IMG_5027Yesterday, we started hauling it onto the farm. Beginning with the beds that will be planted first – greens, onions, herbs and flowers for our “bee highway.” Soon, perhaps even today, we’ll till it together with the first foot or so of topsoil. After weeks of going back and forth on whether we would or would not till, we decided we would this year and perhaps next. In the future we hope to have built our soil structure up enough to forgo this step and use a broadfork to work new organic materials into only the top few inches before starting new crops. I can already hear the earthworms screaming, but I know their friends and family will join us soon.


CSA members Katie, Coleen, and Liam Hughes joined us to help mulch our garlic beds with Zoo Brew which will help the beds retained moisture as well as feed them some good nutrients.


It’s starting too look like a real farm out there! Looking west at some of our 27 foot beds blanketed with compost from the central path, lined with burlap coffee sacks and straw.