Over the Fence Urban Farm


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2015 Post-Compost Post

I’m tired.

There’s still a pile of compost on the driveway, but it’s less than half the size it was this morning. And it’s only there because I didn’t let folks mulch non-farm related areas. Those feel like personal responsibility. Not because we couldn’t have moved it all in a single day. So, once again, I am amazed by what a small group of people can accomplish when we come together and set our head, heart, and hands to it.

Here are a few highlights from the day.

The kids went worm hunting,

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and they took the new wheelbarrow out for a roll.

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Henry and Marc assembled our new farm toy – the broadfork.
Then Henry, David, and Andrew put it to work.

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Cora, Melissa, Kate, Pam, Elizabeth, and I planted and transplated – leeks, cabbage, radicchio spinach, radish, kale, chard, peas, and fennel.

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Then Carrie and I put them all to bed under a nice frost blanket.

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And, of course, we moved about 7 yards of compost! (Go early team that didn’t get caught on film – Jess, Kathy, Damon, Emily, Mark, and Joanna, and Sarah!)

Looking Southeast – Before and After

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Looking Northwest – Before and After

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It was a VERY good day.

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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.

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And northwest.

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You can be sure there will be after shots.


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Farm School: Day 2

My head is spinning from class tonight which left me wishing I hadn’t ditched so many of my high school biology classes.

Our instructor for the evening, Jacqueline Kowalski came down from the Cuyahoga County Extension (that’s up near Cleveland from folks out of state) to give us a very quick and dirty introduction to plant science and soil quality. The three hours flew by as we worked through learning activities, like the following vegetable quiz, and listened to Jackie run through a ton of information. Lots of the terms and concepts were familiar, but I definitely walked away with a list of things I need to learn more about.

photo 1[For those of you trying this at home, the samples were beets, carrots, onions, garlic, spinach, tomato, potato, and  asparagus.]

I really enjoyed the discussion of soil and can’t wait for the ground to thaw so we can have ours tested to learn what we are really working with. The chart following chart shows the general makeup of viable soil. Seeing that 25% is air really helped me understand why you shouldn’t walk on your garden beds. I’ll be showing it to the kids for sure! I also hope to conduct a “shake test” with them to explore the makeup of our soil. See how it’s done at Far Out Flora, and watch for our results this spring.

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