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What is a Truffula?

The Truffula Tree.

It has come to my attention that not everyone is familiar with the term Truffula…which should not at all be surprising but to a person who is mildly obsessed with them, I have to admit I didn’t realize that practically no one knows.

If you have never read the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, or if it has been awhile since you last flipped through its pages, please take to time to read it. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the best books of all time.  Somehow, the genius that is Dr. Seuss, is able to tell the story of how the industrial movement and capitalism has turned a blind eye to the depletion of our natural resources and polluting the Earth in the name of mass production. And he tells the story, not as a doomsday story, but a story of hope…that one person can make a difference. He also tells it in a way that is accessible to children, and on top of it all, he rhymes!

The story goes that a young man wants to make millions on his invention of a Thneed. A Thneed is made from the tufts of the truffula tree. Thneeds become extremely popular and in order to maximize profits, the young man increases efficiency and ramps up production by cutting down truffula trees instead of harvesting the tufts. He will not yield to the caution of The Lorax who “speaks for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” He builds a huge factory and is blinded by his greed until one day when the very last truffula tree is cut down and he is left with nothing but an empty factory with nothing to produce.

It’s an incredible story, and in farming in a healthy and sustainable way, we are trying to fight the tide of industrial agriculture which doesn’t think about the consequences of their methods until it is too late. We are trying to make a living off the land without destroying it for future generations. And it still seems unbelievable that people and corporations are so short sighted that they won’t look past immediate profits to see that the way we conduct our economy matters not only for the environment but also the well being of their own businesses.  There is no such thing as a stable and profitable business without being a “green business” because some day, all others will cease to exist when resources dry up and there is nothing left to manufacture. We are seeking to help create a model that is not only environmentally conscientious but also helps perpetuate and sustain our local economy.  Basically we are not in this because we are hippy tree-huggers, it just plain makes sense for us, our community, and as a business.  We make the decisions we make to ensure that we will still be productive and prosperous in the future, with the added side benefit that our children and grandchildren will be, too.  And who doesn’t want that?

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Homegrown Soil

worm bin interior 1

Interior view of a worm bin, yes those are solo cups :).

Daniel here.  This year, I have become interested in trying to add as much fertility as I can to our soil through my own homegrown methods.  I started by becoming interested in vermicomposting while we were living in California.  The farmer that Kelly was working for was nice enough to share some of his worms with me.  My worm bin that year was somewhat successful, but it was nothing compared to the worm bins I have started since we moved back to Virginia.  They are out of control!  I bought my worms from an online vermicomposting company called Uncle Jim’s.  I got red wigglers, which are a species of worms that do really well in a vermiculture application.  They do well indoors and are incredibly prolific in the right settings (i.e. our basement).  An interesting fact I learned is that the worms don’t actually eat the food scraps themselves, they eat the digested material that is excreted by the microorganisms that break down the food.  According to Uncle Jim’s website, worm castings (poop) are richer in Nitrogen, Phosphates, and Potash than normal topsoil.  In a vermicomposting setting, worms can really only break down certain things without creating a very stinky bin or having things turn sour and kill the worms.  We try to stick to good old fashioned vegetable/plant matter in our bins, as well as the newspaper we use for bedding.  We don’t feed the worms meat, dairy, or egg shells.  We also don’t feed onion skins as those break down very slowly in worm bins.  In a larger application they may be able to handle those things but not in our small bins.  The rule of thumb for how much to feed is one pound of food for about every two pounds of worms each day.  We have quite a bit of vegetable waste so this works out well for us and we usually still have plenty left for our compost bin.  When the worms are done breaking things down in the bins, we basically lay them out in a large clear bin and pile the worms and castings in a pile in the center.  By exposing the soil to light, it forces the worms out of the upper crust so that I can harvest the castings.  This process is still not perfect and I usually end up with a lot of worms still in the castings but this is still really good for the soil and as fast as the worms multiply I don’t need to worry about taking too many out.  After we’ve extracted the castings we use them as a soil supplement, either mainly when we are transplanting young plants into the ground, or as a supplement to potting soil for sowing seeds in our flats. The bins are built out of cheap, large tupperware bins.  The bottom bin has 1/2 inch holes drilled into it and the top bin sits down on spacers.  The top bin has slightly larger holes that allow for the worms to move back and forth between the bins.  The idea being that eventually as things start to break down enough in the top or the bottom, you just add more scraps to the other and the worms will migrate.  This has never actually happened for me but the instructions for the worm bins I built said that was the idea.

worm bins

worm bin interior 3 One bin is stacked inside another so that you can continue to put food scraps in the bin that doesn’t have worms in it until they migrate to the new bin.

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.They do a kind of “swarming” that is a beautiful thing if you like soil fertility.  It’s not a beautiful thing if you don’t like worms, like Kelly.

Another way we are adding fertility to the soil is a good old fashioned compost bin.  We compost everything that we can’t feed to our worms, except meat.  Some folks don’t like to compost egg shells or dairy or other things that don’t break down that well, like orange peels and onion skins, but honestly we haven’t had any problems with those things in our bin.  compost bin and finishing barrel

Our bin is simply hardware cloth and posts with a garbage can for finishing.  I am not a huge fan of our set up but it was free as our old housemates set up the bin and the trash can, but it gets the job done.  When setting up a compost bin you want to use something that is porous enough that you will get plenty of biological activity, but sturdy enough that you won’t be hoping it doesn’t collapse every time you go to work in it.  In a farm setting we would have literally just a “pile” with no structure around it.  But for ideal use in a residential setting I would go with a bin built out of old pallets.  Usually you can get them free and you can modify them to whatever size you want.  You could line them with hardware cloth but honestly I have found that it seems to get in my way and inevitably it gets bent down and then catches my fingers when I go to turn my compost.  I have been pleasantly surprised how well our compost set up has worked this year.  We just harvested our first batch of finished compost about a month ago to use in our plot in Catawba.  We also got a little help with getting things going from my dad’s chickens and the litter from their coop.  That did wonders to heat our pile up a bit and start things breaking down.

green composter closed

green composter open composting action!  compost bin close up 1 As you can see pretty much every stage of our compost pile has some biological activity going on.  We had to move our little green bucket outside in order to get rid of the fruit fly problem we had.  Ever since then the little green bucket has been going crazy with life!  Before we even fill the bucket up it is teeming with grubs, flies, and bacteria.  Then we throw the whole mess into the pile and watch things work.  What we end up with is a great soil amendment that hopefully puts some nutrients back in the soil from the vegetables or scraps we have not used.  The only things we have an issue breaking down are the more woody materials that would really only have a chance of breaking down if we had a lot more animal material to add into our compost (i.e. manure, blood, feathers, etc.)

straw on backyard bedAnother method we use to add fertility to our soil is to cover ground we aren’t using with straw or hay.  The picture here is of our garden at home where we have put down some straw to help protect the soil as well as keep it moist and keep the weeds down.  Having this material on top of the soil naturally encourages microorganisms and insects and worms to live in our garden.  It shields them from the sun and maintains a level of moisture necessary to keep them alive.  We have also done this as much as possible with mulch hay at the farm in Catawba, especially in our walking rows.  At the end of the season we will just till all the hay in before we plant our winter cover crop.  This will give our clay heavy soil a big jolt of much needed organic material.

We are trying very hard to use as many methods as we can muster to make our soil better.  We hope we can leave our plot in Catawba and the house we are renting with better soil than when we found it.

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In the Kitchen!

The biggest reason we love farming so much is really that we love to eat. Food is our favorite. And once you start eating fresh, local, organic food, it’s really difficult to enjoy grocery store carrots ever again. And of course it not only tastes better, but it’s better for you, the environment, and local economies. It is also quite expensive to buy food that is grown/raised with an emphasis on quality not quantity…so we are very conscious about not letting anything go to waste. Here are my two most recent food projects that I am quite happy with that help you get the most value out of your veggies:


KIMCHI


Bolting bok choi is too good to let go to waste.

Bolting bok choi is too good to let go to waste.

Because our summer has been so hot, a lot of our bok choi bolted before we could eat it or sell it. But I couldn’t bear to watch it all go to waste. So what do you do when you have to harvest a lot of one crop at the same time?…preserve it! I decided to make some bok choi kimchi. IMG_20150517_135824427_HDR

I started by chopping all the vegetables that I wanted to be in my kimchi…I used baby bok choi and a large bunch of scallions from our garden, plus one bunch of breakfast radishes and two large hakurei turnips that we bought at the farmers market. You put all the veggies into a brine to sit overnight.

The next day, I drained the veggies and then made a paste consisting of:IMG_20150519_110752951

  • 4T grated ginger
  • 1/2 bulb grated garlic
  • 1 T crushed chili flake
  • 1 T cayenne powder
  • 4 anchovies

I coated the veggies with the paste and pressed it into the bottom of my crock. The veggies expel a lot of water so they become submerged ( just add a little extra water if it’s not). To keep them submerged I put a tight fitting plate inside the crock until the water comes up over the top of the plate and put a quart size mason jar full of water on top of the plate to weigh it down. Then I covered it with a towel, put it out of direct sunlight, and let it sit for 9 days…voila!

Finished kimchi.

Finished kimchi.

Now this particular batch came out really spicy so next time I won’t be putting nearly as much pepper in. My last batch of kimchi, I made “Kelly spicy” (almost no spice but a LOT of ginger) and I loved making simple soups of broth, soba, and kimchi…delicious and will knock out a cold in no time.


CARROT TOP PESTO


IMG_20150517_124055944Thinning carrots has always been one of my least favorite things to do in the garden…not only is it tedious and painstakingly slow, it is also very depressing to think of all the carrots you have to sacrifice so that one with grow big enough to eat. One way of alleviating this pain is to treat carrot tops as a crop, and instead of thinning you are actually harvesting. Sure you can use carrot tops to make stocks, but I found this recipe much more satisfying:

In a blender combine:IMG_20150517_130146601_HDR

  •  3 cups chopped carrot tops
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup toasted nuts (I used pecans)
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 t. sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • cracked pepper to taste

IMG_20150517_130839438Blend into a smooth puree…so simple and I had no idea carrot tops were so yummy!

We’ve been using this pesto to make dressings, to make cheese, apple and pesto sandwiches, in our scrambled eggs and egg salad, and will make a great dip for carrots!

Half the challenge of farming is keeping up with the produce, and while composting is definitely not a waste, it is also much more satisfying to find ways to eat everything. We love experimenting with new ways to cook, process, preserve, and ferment our garden bounty:)

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Hope Restored

Since our last posting, we have gone from feeling like giving up on the farm this year, to feeling like not only is there hope, but we have also been reminded just how lucky we are to have the community that we do. Y’all are so wonderful:)

After talking with the director at the Sustainability Center, they hooked the disc back up to the tractor and made even more passes on our plot to break our “soil” up even more. And it worked! We are now able to rototill without fear of injuring ourselves and the tiller! Hurray!!

Our new beds!!!

Our new beds!!!

So last Friday, we went out to the farm and made two new beds…the first beds we’ve been able to make this year.  It wasn’t easy…we have to spend a lot of time raking off golf ball size clods of dirt to find a sufficient growing medium and then we rake all the soil from our walking rows onto the bed to maximize our loose topsoil so that hopefully the plants will be able to establish themselves before hitting the hard clay soil beneath.

Lindsey, Kent, and Liz helping plant tomatoes!

Lindsey, Kent, and Liz helping plant tomatoes!

Then on Monday, some very wonderful people came out and we planted all our tomato, pepper, tomatillo, roselle, onion, and leek plants! We put a lot of compost and organic fertilizer around everything, watered it all, and even mulched the tomatoes and peppers! It took about 5 hours total (including a leisurely picnic lunch:) ) with the help of Kent, Liz, Lindsey, Jacob, and Tom. We would not have come anywhere close to getting all that in on our own, so we are so grateful to know such lovely people that would volunteer to help their struggling farmer friends even if it costs them sore back muscles, blisters, and crazy sunburn.

Cucumber plants.

Cucumber plants.

On Wednesday I went up on my day off and made another bed and planted our slicing and pickling cucumbers, basil, and some zinnias that will hopefully bring some pollinators to our plot. We’re about half way through our plot space now but still have green beans, dry beans, melons, squash, popcorn, and sweet potatoes to plant! And if any space is left we will try to direct seed some roots and herbs though I don’t hold much hope for tiny seeds to germinate in that soil. I’m also looking forward to the fall when I can replant old beds with lots and lots of cabbage and brussel sprouts and possibly try overwintering some kale, onions, and spinach!

Jacob and Kent planting Peppers.

Jacob and Kent planting Peppers.

Other exciting news: we made our first produce sale! Last week we sold some of the baby bok choi (from our front yard) to Local Roots and they have been serving it on our chicken dish! It is pretty special to be able to see something we grew be served at a restaurant!

Some less exciting news: we have made the hard decision to not sell at market this year. We are pretty bummed that we will be missing out on being a part of the farmers market community and not be able to make the West End Market a larger, more successful market, but we still have no idea when we would even have enough of anything to sell and feel we would be more harmful to the stability of the market than helpful. LEAP has been extremely supportive through all this and had nothing but kind words and understanding for us when we told them it wasn’t going to work this year. But we will continue to grow as much as we can and sell to tomatoLocal Roots and possibly be able to fill in spots at either market if a farmer can’t make it one week. We also plan on selling wholesale to LEAP’s mobile market that will be starting up this year to help people everywhere in Roanoke gain access to healthy, nutritious food! We have also felt a lot of love from all our friends who want to support us and buy from us, so whenever we have anything available we will let you all know via facebook and we can sell directly to anyone wanting some Truffula Farm veggies:)

Thank you to everyone who came out to the farm and to those that wished they could have been there. A special thank you to Liz for enlisting the counsel of her farmer father and for being the wonderful person that she is. Thank you to LEAP and Sam for taking a chance on the newbies and then when we felt like we wouldn’t be able to support you, asking us how you could support us. Thank you to Local Roots for making us legit farmers and making our bok choi so tasty and beautiful. And thank you to everyone who reads this blog, follows us on facebook, and those who we see that always ask how things are and when they can buy our veggies. It makes my heart hurt a little from the amount of kindness we have received.

Wildflowers from the farm.

Wildflowers from the farm.

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Unconditional Love

It has been a really rough beginning to the season, and unfortunately it feels like we still have yet to start. We were told that our plot now had been disced since its initial plowing, so on Monday we went up to the farm with the plan of making as many beds as possible and getting some of our hundreds of onion starts in the ground. What we found when we got there was a field of what looked like softball size boulders.  The soil really seems to be lacking any organic matter and the clay content just turned everything into big clods when it was sliced with the disc.  The attempt to rototill was frustrating to say the least, not to mention futile and bordering on dangerous. It skipped over the dirt instead of sinking in and was impossible to keep in control. We noticed that a different section of plots looked like a larger rototilling implement had been used on them and later found out that one had. Our plot however is full of old irrigation tape that a researcher had installed, tested, and proved that he could water with only whatever percentage of loss to evaporation, and then left all the tape it the ground. The day that they were using the large tractor rototiller, which was borrowed, was spent trying to pull up all that tape out. By the time it was out (or at least most of it, we are still finding some) they had to return the big rototiller before using it on our plot. So there we are.

For the sake of our mental health on Monday we ended up giving up and leaving. Also for the sake of our mental health we wanted to take a moment and remember what we have to be thankful for…

We are both lucky enough to have had incredible love and support from our families, no matter how hair-brained our ideas and decisions are…whether it be working at a homeless shelter in the coldest place in the continental U.S. or graduating from college and taking multiple positions that pay only in living stipends or moving 3,000 miles to be with the person you love.  Our decision to start Truffula Farm was no exception and was met with nothing but enthusiasm and both physical and mental support.

In honor of Mother’s Day this past weekend and Father’s Day coming up in June we wanted to 11082421_639501022860862_4336928224567709497_othank our parents for all of their help and hard work this season so far.  When Kelly’s mom Cindy and dad Michael came to visit in March, Cindy came out to the farm to get us started with our growing season.  She helped us put our first plants in the ground as well as start some of our seeds indoors including all of our onions, leeks, and our first succession of brassicas (the cabbage and broccoli family). She and Michael have since gone back to Wisconsin but they have been of great moral support as we have been working through the various agricultural issues we’ve faced this season.

jim on tractor 2Just recently Daniel’s dad, Jim, came out to the farm with his tractor, affectionately named “Thelma,” and helped us spread a trailer load of compost that we bought to add some fertility to our soil.  He spent an entire morning driving up to Catawba, dropping his tractor off, and then met Daniel in Salem to help pick up the manure.  He then unloaded all the manure so that we could spread it before our plot was disced.  It was a huge job that would have taken us days to do without his help.

Jim on tractor jim on tractor 3

It is safe to say that neither of our parents thought that we would want to be farmers.  Our choice to pursue a lifestyle that is notorious for not making money did not faze our parents in the least.  They are just plain proud.  It is these acts of kindness and unconditional love that have kept us going this season as we have faced so many bumps in the road.  As our farm grows and changes, we look forward to working many more seasons alongside our parents and other family members and friends.  We would love our farm in years to come to be a place where folks can get together and celebrate and our parents’ support and love is essential for this to happen.

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Farmer Frustrations

Over a month has gone by since the beginning of our new venture into farming and, besides the ever growing pile of seedlings we have started that reside on our front porch, not much has changed…

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The front steps of our porch is overtaken by onions and tomatoes!

We were so excited and proud of ourselves for making 3 beds at our plot last fall that we could plant into early in the spring instead of having to wait for the soil to dry out enough to be able to till it. We planted 300 feet of veggies and yet the garlic remains the lonely beacon of hope that, Yes, things can grow here…we just have to figure out how.

Virginia is very different than the other places I have farmed in one way…Clay. The dreadful clay soils that suffocate root systems and turn so hard that they crack and rain pretty much just rolls off the surface instead of soaking into the topsoil. My best guess as to why our first Truffula Farm spring sowing has had such pitiful results is that first of all, our beds sitting over the winter basically turned into bricks.  I am always hesitant to scratch more than the surface of our soil with my trusty hula-hoe in order to preserve soil structure, but the problem is that I don’t think we had much soil structure to begin with. Working the top inch of soil before we planted was enough…without the aeration of tillage, our seeds are being suffocated and not getting the water they need. Lesson #1.

Lesson #2…we are part of a new farm-incubator project and farming a piece of land we have never farmed but has been farmed by someone else, which means there are going to be a lot of road bumps and obstacles.

The renter of our plot last year was a college class that was growing food and then donating it all to a food pantry. Great idea…until the semester ended. No one ever came back to clean up the plot, weeds went to seed, and no cover crop was sown.  It’s obvious that the soil structure suffered and we won’t have the added nutrients that a cover crop would give us when tilled in. At least we knew all this going into it…we may spend more money than we should have to on compost and soil amendments, but at least we have a piece of land to farm…

What we didn’t know going into this is how much waiting we would have to do…

IMG_20150417_121257013

Basil, Fennel, and Scallions on our porch railing.

I still am having a hard time understanding how a farm-incubator project has still not done any spring tillage! The spring is the most exciting and busy time of the year and I feel like the entire spring is passing us by before we get to start anything…doesn’t seem like a very good way to support people who want to start a business farming.  We know the farm incubator project has a lot on its plate and we are trying to be understanding.  Nevertheless here we are, half way through April,  and still I sit surrounded by my seedlings that I hope won’t become root-bound before I finally have someplace to plant them. We definitely will not be making it to market by mid-May when we thought we would.

We also found out that the new irrigation system that they’ve been working on installing has been postponed yet again. The project that was supposed to be finished by early April now won’t be completed by June at the earliest.Then we found out that the water is contaminated with Total coliform which means that if we ever want to get our veggies to grow they have to be washed off-farm. We’ve been hauling 5 gallon buckets of water with us every time we drive up to the farm in order to water our few plants that have survived so we will see what happens when we have more than a couple thirsty plants and no irrigation…pray for rain?

IMG_20150417_121305288_HDR

Lettuce and parsley on our porch railing.

Another struggle was not having a greenhouse. We were told that the Catawba Hospital had a greenhouse that we could use to start seeds and that they would water them…how amazing is that! But it was very difficult to get in contact with the person in charge of the greenhouse as she is very busy, and once that happened we learned that it was a therapy program and they did all the planting so there is a certain amount of risk involved.  What a cool idea though to have a greenhouse therapy program. We wanted to be involved so finally we met with the greenhouse lady two weeks ago and she was absolutely flabbergasted at the amount of seeds I had brought (even after my disclaimer that they could do any, all, or none).  Once she calmed down a bit we decided on a few flowers and cucumbers. We left the seeds with her and hopefully they were planted and we will be able to get in contact with her again when they are ready. But I am relatively pleased with how well our seedlings are doing that we started on our windowsills and have since moved to the front porch now that it has warmed up.

All of these events and realizations happened around the same time and I was very sad and anxious about our situation. Luckily, we were invited to dinner at Bramble Hollow Farm not long ago.  We enjoyed a few beers while doing chicken chores, visited the cattle who were munching on a fresh patch of grass, ate delicious homemade pizza outside while the sun was setting, and just talked and talked. It was so nice to be on a working farm again, talk to farmers that have sold at market, and just relax and enjoy each others company. As we got in the car to drive home, I felt like I had been holding my breath for the previous two weeks and now I could finally breath deep again. All the tension I was holding and frustrations I had been harboring faded away and was replaced by excitement for the future which I hope looks a lot like Brent and Anna and Bramble Hollow.

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Baby Chard and Kale plants ready to go to their new home on Truffula Farm!

As Anna says, “Farming will give you the highest highs and the lowest lows.” So I will try to wait patiently for our field to be plowed…there’s nothing I can do to change our planting schedule so I can’t fret about it. But you better believe once that ground is broken, we will be up on that mountain every spare moment we have until all our little plants are tucked in to their new home on Truffula Farm:)

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A New Beginning

Daniel and I have both been fortunate to have experienced several “new beginnings.” We have both moved around, had different jobs and volunteer positions, meet new people, and discovered a lot about ourselves and what is important to us which is how we have come to create Truffula Farm…the newest of our new beginnings.

overlook

Us at Overlook Farm in Massachusetts.

Over three years ago, Daniel and I both found a new beginning at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. Daniel came to Overlook after a one year Americorps job working as a cook in a homeless shelter in Alamosa, Colorodo. I was working as a waitress in Madison, Wisconsin, lamenting the fact that my shiny new college degree seemed to have only gotten me a mountain of debt and not much else. We both applied to be residential volunteers for a year at this non-profit educational farm run by Heifer International. Being accepted was nothing short of the best thing that has ever happened to us both.  Overlook is where we met, where we learned how to milk a goat and slaughter a rabbit, where we learned the stubbornness of goats, how skittish a sheep is, and how surprisingly high cattle can jump over fences, where we fed kitchen scraps to pigs, where we made our first chevre, sauerkraut and beer, where we learned how painstaking it is to thin carrots but how satisfying it is to harvest them, where we witnessed countless number of kids realize that their food comes from the soil and that vegetables are delicious, where we made some of the best friends that we have, and where we realized that farming was something we wanted in our lives for the rest of our lives.livestock

Our second new beginning together was the following season when I decided to take an apprenticeship working on a small organic production farm in northern California. I’ve never worked so hard in my life…tending to 5 acres of organic vegetables, 10 acres of small grains, a 1200 head annual pastured poultry operation, milking goats, feeding pigs, rotationally grazing cattle and sheep, collecting eggs, and training a team of oxen. We ran a weekly veggie CSA as well as a monthly grain/flour CSA and we went to 3 farmers markets a week.

ducksThird new beginning: I was offered a position as field crew leader the next year. I moved off-farm and Daniel and I started a small homestead of our own. We raised meat rabbits, and Muscovy ducks for eggs. We had fig, apple, pear, and cherry trees and a small garden. We spent our evenings experimenting with and learning about cooking, fermenting, brewing, rabbitcanning, pickling, gardening, butchering, curing, and I even learned how to spin my own yarn.

Unfortunately after two years we had had quite enough of California.  Our fourth new beginning was when we decided to take a six week road trip across the U.S. and move to Roanoke where Daniel grew up. Daniel went to work for the family business, Key Living Options, in Salem. They provide group homes and living services for adults with developmental disabilities. I found a job at Local Roots A Farm-to-Table Restaurant waiting tables, bartending, and as a shift manager. We honestly had no intention of staying in Roanoke but we love the area, our Grandin Village community, the wonderful people we have met, and we have now lived in Roanoke for over a year!

daniel

Daniel and Maddie at the Catawba Sustainability Center.

And that brings us to our most recent new beginning! Virginia Tech has a great program called the Catawba Sustainability Center that is used as a farmer incubator project. For very minimal costs we have access to 1/4 acre surrounded by deer fencing, hand tools, a rototiller, irrigation, and a community of farmers! We feel so lucky to have such amazing resources to get us off the ground before we even own any land!

We are very excited for our first endeavor into vegetable market gardening. We have onions, leeks, brassicas, tomatoes, and pepper seedlings started and are anxiously awaiting for the ground to thaw and dry out so we can start planting peas, spinach, radishes, arugula, carrots, and beets! We have just officially been accepted as a vendor at the West End Community Market and plan to start there mid-May every Tuesday from 3-6. We also hope to sell some of our produce to Local Roots where Chef Matt Lintz will make it into the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted. Please come support the West End Market, Truffula Farm, and Local Roots!