Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

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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,



and they took the new wheelbarrow out for a roll.



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



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



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



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



Looking Northwest – Before and After



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.


And northwest.


You can be sure there will be after shots.

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All About Compost

We compost our kitchen scraps, fallen leaves, and other assorted yard waste. We add it to our beds in the spring. But we don’t produce nearly the quantity, or quality, that we can get from commercial producers. A few years ago, we feel in love with a local product we found at City Folks Farm Shop called Zoo Brew from Price Farm Organics in Delaware, OH. Here’s how they describe it:

An all natural and unique compost comprised from cafeteria food remnants, zoo manure and bedding, brewery salvage, pet food remnants, yard trimmings & coffee grounds.  Abundant in nutrients and humus.  Excellent for use as a mulch with a natural black color. Both new landscape installations and older landscapes needing some fresh attention will benefit from this excellent compost.”

A few weeks ago, we had ten cubic yards of this black gold delivered to our driveway.

IMG_5027Yesterday, we started hauling it onto the farm. Beginning with the beds that will be planted first – greens, onions, herbs and flowers for our “bee highway.” Soon, perhaps even today, we’ll till it together with the first foot or so of topsoil. After weeks of going back and forth on whether we would or would not till, we decided we would this year and perhaps next. In the future we hope to have built our soil structure up enough to forgo this step and use a broadfork to work new organic materials into only the top few inches before starting new crops. I can already hear the earthworms screaming, but I know their friends and family will join us soon.


CSA members Katie, Coleen, and Liam Hughes joined us to help mulch our garlic beds with Zoo Brew which will help the beds retained moisture as well as feed them some good nutrients.


It’s starting too look like a real farm out there! Looking west at some of our 27 foot beds blanketed with compost from the central path, lined with burlap coffee sacks and straw.