Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

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Service Learning with OSU EEDS Students

This afternoon I hosted half a dozen OSU students and their friends for some hands-on learning. I had visited and spoke with them last month during a Rural Sociology course at Ohio State they are enrolled in called “Population, Place, Environment.” My article, “Art Education in My Backyard: Urban Placemaking on an Urban Farm,” was included on their syllabus. Most are majoring in a multi-disciplinary degree program,”Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability.” I’m still trying to figure out what all this means, but it was great hanging out with them and hearing about their interests and academic pursuits.

Sarah is conducting a survey of people who live in the vicinity of urban farms in Columbus.
Joachim was recently appointed a parcel of land to garden through the city’s land bank.
Molly has been working for clean energy solutions.
Laura is interning with OEFFA.

It took me a little longer than usual to get things ready for the workday since we are still unpacking from the off season. With a little effort, I got the workspace opened up and found the tools we’d need.

Thelma and her friend Laurel arrived first, eager to get to work. I saddled them with resizing the last beds on the west side. This wasn’t easy as things have been out of wack from the start.

They got things marked off and moved soil around to get the beds back in line.

Then George, Sarah, Alayna and her friend worked on reestablishing the walking paths between the beds.

On the other side of the farm, Laura, Molly, and Joachim worked on the garlic beds. They removed the straw that was set in the fall, counted the plants, fertilized, and recovered them with a new blanket of straw.

It was a great afternoon – relaxed place, productive energy, engaging conversation – and I lamented the fact that there are only a few weeks left of the term, leaving us little opportunity for additional time together. A number of the students are graduating this spring and I feared that coming to the farm today might not have been well-timed. On the contrary, they reported that garden therapy was just what they needed. Since I’ve been grading my own students’ papers night and day with no end in site, it was just what I needed too.

Come back anytime, y’all.


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Happy Hour on the Farm


It’s official. Over the Fence has our first tradition. Happy Hour on the Farm. Sunday afternoon. One hour of intense working followed by (more working) and a beer. It’s a high energy event that generates really good vibes and gets a lot of stuff off our perennial “to do” list.

Yesterday was about 90% harvesting, 10% pruning/composting. Next week will be all about planting garlic. Here are a few shots from the day.

DSC_0054I took a shot like this in June. Need to find that for a comparison post…

IMG_7909LOVE, love, love to have people working side-by-side.

DSC_0035So long irrigation.

DSC_0063Finally, we were awash in green beans.

DSC_0019Those beans don’t pick themselves…

IMG_7905Sneak preview. We’ll be harvesting the bulk of these babies next week. It’s gonna be sweet!

DSC_0033Not a bad haul for the first week of October. (Note to self: Fall CSA 2015)


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CSA Workday Round-up

This just about sums up yesterday afternoon.

Via Facebook:
E.B. – “I woke up this morning feeling crummy, grumpy and anxious. I just got home from two hours at Over the Fence Urban Farm for a CSA work day and now I’m feeling energized, peaceful and content. I just needed a little garden therapy!
M. F. “Oh my goodness I brought the same feeling home with me! We came with a tired girl and an unhappy tummy. And left happy and well. . . It’s good therapy

We had seven folks turn out with was just enough to get a huge amount of work accomplished and not too many to manage at once.
Ready for the troops to roll in.

Ready for the troops to roll in.









Lesley and Emily cleared the pea bed while Pam tended (her) tomatoes.

Lesley and Emily cleared the pea bed while Pam tended (her) tomatoes.

Maya taking her turn for the "Kids with Carrots" series.

Maya took her turn for the “Kids with Carrots” series.

Elizabeth, Maya, and Cora helped clear the carrots.

Elizabeth, Maya, and Cora helped clear the carrots.






Melissa and Jessie moving mulch...

Melissa and Jessie moved mulch…

Romaine starts read to go where carrots once were...

Romaine starts ready to go where carrots once were…

Kathy, Emily, and, Elizabeth trimming and grading garlic by size and condition.

Kathy, Emily, and, Elizabeth trimmed and graded garlic by size and condition.


Jessie cleaning carrots.

Jessie cleaned carrots.

And, of course, the busy were as busy as we were.

And, of course, the busy were as busy as we were.