Our generation of farmers is filled with folks (like us) who didn’t grow up on farms. A few of our friends are taking over family farms, but there are many others who grew up in the burbs or the city and found farming as a way of life. Because of this, as a group, we are landless peasants in search of places to grow. I have many farmer friends who have either bought old (often dilapidated) farms or taken over existing operations as I did at Snipes in 2009. In either case these old farms usually come with trash and/or treasure from the preceding growers.
Amongst the trash at Snipes (including a greenhouse filled with broken plastic easter eggs..what?) there was some treasure. A recently dissolved garden center left a plethora of useful tools at our disposal. Greenhouses, tractors and many other tools lightened our financial burden those first few years and continue to aid the Snipes Farm and Education Center today.
As for Love Grows, this year Ailsa and I are starting from scratch in most ways and some amenities do not have easily affordable/portable solutions (since tenure is tenuous- a topic for another post). Neither of us enjoys buying things. Usually a dark cloud of consumer guilt follows us around any store we find ourselves in and all the way home, even if we are making a necessary purchase. But consumerism is yet another a topic for another post.
Almost every day we ponder a solution for greenhouse tables. In years past we have been lucky to work off of Benchmaster-style tables (vestiges of the former garden center) intended for our specific purposes. That means we can keep our seed flats at waist-height (a real back-saver when dealing with needy seedlings), level (for watering), and away from pests. One of these 8’x4’ greenhouse tables costs around $100, which wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t need 40 of them to fill our propagation house!
The sunny side is we still can make do with alternatives. Our ever-thoughtful friend Beep (not a typo) pointed us to a set of old fences sitting in the “to be burned” pile of wood here on the farm. So this week we started cutting the pickets off these relics and tonight our very first seedlings are resting peacefully atop them.
So for now we’re going to put the old adage to the the test, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!” Thanks for reading!