Saturday, January 12, 2013


Despite the forecast of dense fog (a fog I've already seen emerging in Greenwood on my way home from the studio this evening), I plan to head out to the farm tomorrow morning. The temperatures are warm and I want to take advantage of that as well as inspect the rows for winter growth. I would like to try out my new nejiri gama, a sickle-type hoe, and measure for irrigation. Irrigation?

Yes, I have six or eight rows not planted, and I plan to plant, ahem, experiment with growing tomatoes, New Mexican chile, fillet beans, potatoes, lettuce, mixed greens, pea greens, and probably others, all from quite a distance -Brooklyn. So I will need to measure for irrigation piping, to be installed with a timer and yet to be determined emitters.

I will head out to what is becoming my Agway, in Riverhead, to order this spring's nitrogen -alfalfa meal (I've pretty much ruled out blood meal -too expensive to ship and no one has it locally, in bulk) and start poking around for barn space. I am also going to pick up lime to spread with my new Minneapolis-area thrift store-purchased drop spreader. You cannot beat $5.99 for a 22-inch drop spreader! It's a black plastic Earthway model, which I plan to outdo by building my own that straddles a 40-inch row, has heavy duty all-terrain tires, and a large hopper using the thrift store unit as a model.

A drop-type spreader is important because it leaves lime and fertilizers exactly where you place the machine, whereas the common broadcast spreader flings these materials quite broadly. Not only is a broadcast spreader wasteful and inaccurate for row farming, but the one that was left on farm has proven to not even be able to handle the terrain without tipping over (that was fun).

Now, if I am to grow 40 foot rows of say, tomatoes or potatoes, what on earth will I do with the produce should I be successful? Well, not to get ahead of myself, but I rather think I will set up a small CSA-type scenario, maybe a FAFSA -friends and family supported agriculture. I won't take preseason shares as does a typical CSA farmer, primarily because growing from such a distance is still quite an experiment, but will sell shares of produce near harvest. This is a safe, albeit tentative (my operation is still rather tentative) way of dealing with the risk. Methods of economical distribution still to be worked out in 2013, however the following year, should I continue with this madness, I will plant enough garlic to support a physical market location and that location would be the outlet for any additional produce.

Sounds like a plan, right? Well, I'm still taking suggestions. Next up -ordering seeds.


  1. No advice but rooting for your success.

  2. I'm in! I love reading along and am still enjoying the last of the garlic.

  3. good luck! if you have need harvest time, i have a buddy in brooklyn i can steer your way.

    1. OKdoke. If I'm in need, you'll read it here first!


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...