Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

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It’s Time for the 2015 Compost Mosogi!

Last I posted here, the 2015 Compost Misogi was just a seed. That seed sprouted, took root, and will bloom this Sunday when CSA folks come by throughout the day to help us spread 10 yards of Price Farm Organics Zoo Brew compost all over the farm.

Everytime I talk or write about this, the voice inside my head sounds like a sports announcer, and I’m cool with that. This event has all the makings of a great test of endurance and determination – physical challenge + finite task.

Yesterday I picked up another load of burlap coffee bean sacks from Crimson Cup and laid them out in the paths between our rows. Don’t want folks sinking too deep in the early spring mud we’re sure to have. Sadly, it’s raining as I type, and we’re only 36 hours from the opening bell, but the pile is safely waiting for us under the world’s largest tarp. Thanks, Jenny! Something borrowed and blue for good luck, right?

Here’s the field looking southeast.


And northwest.


You can be sure there will be after shots.


Farming. My Misogi?

“We’ve evolved with a desire to challenge ourselves…How can you reach the edge of your potential without risking failure?”

Marcus Elliott
(Harvard-trained sports scientist who enjoys all-night jogs)


I came across this quotation at the gym the other day in Outside. It was part of an article about Atlanta Hawks’ 3-point shooter Kyle Korver and his friends’ annual misogi events. Misogi is an ancient Japanese concept with many interpretations. They all suggest some form of personal challenge that leaves the practitioner cleansed and refocused. This year Korver and his gang completed an underwater 5K relay carrying 60+ ad 80+lb rocks. (Insane, I know. Read the article for all the details.) I’m not sure how Japanese adherents to the more customary interpretations would feel about this, but that’s a topic for another blogger.

I’m an exercise addict, but I’m only physically competitive with myself. This seems to underline lots of Outside content. As I was reading about Korver, etal’s endeavors, I found my mind wandering to the farm. This time a year ago, I was planning for Over the Fence for the first time. I really had no idea what I was in for, but I approached my tasks with discipline and intention. By the end of the season I was so proud of what I had accomplished, including leading a group of folks to help me ensure that all these things got done!

Another of Korver’s mates said of completing a misogi “It’s this W—a win—you have in your back pocket. That can translate to somewhere else. You can say: ‘I have no idea what I’m doing now, but I know I did this crazy thing over here.’ ”

This has been an incredibly challenging year for our family in many, many ways. I’m sure that the success I found on the farm gave me energy to address responsibilities in other areas of my life. Perhaps it’s time to formalize my Spring 2015 goal of spreading our compost in a single day. Let’s make that the Over the Fence misogi. Rain or shine? It’s compost time! (Well, probably not in the rain, but you get my meaning.) Let’s do this.

(Date TBA).