Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

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Field Notes 6.19.17

After a week away, it was good to be back home and at work. Sadly we had ZERO rain, but thanks to our irrigation system, we’re still growing strong.

Napa cabbage was ready for harvest and Father’s Day cole slaw.

We’re continuing to enjoy scallions from various sites around the farm.

Roots are starting to come in

We harvested about 20 pounds of potatoes, from volunteer plants!

The last of the radicchio came out of this bed which is now interplanted with with a heat tolerant Sparx Romaine, ginger, Red Russian kale that is still going strong.

Another bed where we’re trying intensive intercropping. Here shallots, basil, and tomatoes.

These winter sown onions are just about ready. (Wish we had about ten times more than we do!)

Peas making way for lima beans as winter sown carrots make way for more carrots.

Hot temperatures meet sprouted ginger!

Mustard went to seed while we were away. So long…

Flowers are coming in to brighten everyone’s day!


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Validation by Six Year Old

An important mission of our farm is demonstrating that good food, lots of good food, can be grown within city limits. I am particularly excited about passing this knowledge on to children, so they might imagine a new future for our public and private spaces. And so, it was with GREAT joy that I opened this text from one of our CSA families this morning.


And then…


So yeah, I’m feeling pretty validated today. Thanks Ezra.

Note: This post was previously called “Validation by Text Message” but after thinking about it, I realized it wasn’t the texting that made this exchange so powerful, it was the sic year old behind it.




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Ginger’s in the Ground

There’s been a lot going on around here. I feel alternately okay and guilty about not blogging more about it. I guess I feel like in year three much of what we’re doing has already been documented . It doesn’t make the miracles of growing any less amazing nor the commitment of those helping us out any less meaningful. It just means I’m tired of running to the computer every week. I have been maintaining our Facebook feed and hope readers will follow us there. And there have been lots of new developments and differences this year from last. There always will be. Thanks global weirding.

As I shared in March, this season we’re trying our hand at growing young ginger. (Here’s a link to my post about the workshop I attended to learn how to grow this tropical root native to Asia in central Ohio.) I’m really excited to see how this goes and so far it seems good.

After about six weeks of staring a tray full of soil, the spouts were finally growing.


The light yellowish part between the rhizome in my palm and the plant shooting out the top is young ginger. In a few months, if all goes as planned, it will be bigger and pinker and so delicious!


After running into Joseph at the market and receiving some last minute advice, I planted the sprouts in a bed that gets part sun. I’m hoping I can keep them wet enough to do really well here. Have no fear, I’ll be sure to post those results here.



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What’s in Your Basket: Fruta Feia

Back in May, I read a great article in The New York Times  (Minder, 2014) about a movement in Europe called Fruta Feia, or Ugly Fruit. It is an example of food politics at its finest. One part economic, one part environmentalist, one part social justice. “It has taken off with hard-pressed consumers, won applause from advocates outraged by Europe’s skyrocketing food waste, and provided a backhanded slap to overweening European Union rule makers. In its own way, it has even quietly subverted fixed notions of what is beautiful, or at least edible.”

One of the founders declared her mission, ““to break the dictatorship of aesthetics, because it has really helped increase food wastage.”  Or sense of beauty is not based solely on how we experience things through our senses – a detailed mosaic, a rich chocolate cake, an earthy perfume. It’s about our knowledge of how those things came to be.

This is all coming to mind as we harvest our carrots. We’re getting some nice straight ones, but we’re also getting a whole bunch that look like DSC_0038this.

None of them are going to be going to waste.

I’m imagining a platter of them roasted with herbed butter or something like that.