Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

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Scenes from the Field: Good Ole-Fashioned CSA Work Day!

This past Wednesday I sent out a call for a CSA workday this afternoon. At that time the forecast was for sunshine and temperatures the 60s. This morning, the high was forecast to be 51 with clouds. As folks started to arrive at 3pm, it was about 43 with wind. But they came!

When we first started the farm, and for the first year or two, our work days were well attended social affairs. People warned me the novelty might wear off and attendance might dwindle. Each year brought enough new members to keep everything growing and the dream of our little cooperative going, but the past year or two overall numbers have been down. If I’m being honest.

And so I was genuinely amazed when an intrepid group of folks (OTFUF veterans and new recruits) showed up to lend a hand planting, spreading compost, and doing some other general maintenance on the farm today. It felt like the good old days. I didn’t take my boots off and crack a beer until 7:30. Here’s to more days like this. If perhaps a bit warmer…

Julian supervised the potato planting efforts, and took amazing photos, of course!


Liz, Elizabeth, and our new friend Julian (the 2nd) spread compost in the high tunnel.

Cora and a few other kids on the block who are all members of the
Clintonville Farmers’ Market Kids’ Garden Club
planted a few surprises* to welcome their friends back next month.
The girls brought their mom, not shown, who lent much appreciated help
watering in our wake.

*Thanks to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds who provided us with a $50 credit to their online shop in support of the work we’re doing! Thanks to your generous support, we’ll be experimenting with some new varieties of corn, squash, beans, and carrots this season.


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Easing Our Way Outside

Finally. It’s been warm enough for three days in a row to go outside with no coats! Our bikes are out again, as well as our shovels. The soil finally thawed deep enough to get our soil sample ready to send down to OSU for testing. (More on our burgeoning partnership with Kerry Ard and the School for Environmental and Natural Resources later…) The test will help us understand what is, and what is not, in our soil at this point and how to amend it to make it the most hospitable home for our plants as possible. First sign of good news; we found tons of earth worms!

photo 2

Softer soil meant we were also finally able to push our low tunnel hoops down far enough into the ground to stabilize them. They are set in the raised beds on our side of the fence for now but, if all goes as planned, we’ll be getting a BIG dump of compost at the end of the month and will install some over the fence as well. We’ll be having a few gorgeous days early this week that will be great for planting out the seedlings we’ve been hardening off (see below). Though we’re wondering, should we put them out there with snow and ice in the forecast for Thursday? Gotta love Ohio in March!

photo 1

If all goes as planned, we’ll be able to serve our CSA members a sneak peak of what’s coming their way during our upcoming work days!

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