Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Raised beds

So many people want to use timbers or stone to create raised beds. While timber or stone does look nice, they are expensive and are not necessary for many situations. These pictures show two examples of raised beds. The bare ground beds were created by hilling disk on a small farm, although I have created raised beds on about 1/4 that amount of land just using a shovel. These beds were only used for one year because the tractor mounted tiller was able to level them back down. The raised beds covered by ground cover (a woven polyethene product) were built by a shovel about 20 years prior to this picture. The woven fabric kept the rain from washing the beds flat.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My goal for the farmers market.

Two years ago, I wrote a grant that, among other things, allowed Piedmont Farmers market to hire a full time manager. Last year the market paid her from reserve funds. Long term, they will have to generate more income to mantain a full time manager. There are three things they need to do to keep hiring a full time manager. One is to generate more vendor fees. I have written a grant to build a new building that should attract and retain new vendors. Second is to develop a repeatable iconic fundraising event. I have done that through the Harvest Gala. The final thing I will work on this year is donations and sponsorships.

Busy Part 2

The other project that I worked on this fall was our local farmers market. Here is a picture of the outside of the current building. The part to the right was build in 1988. I was involved in that project right after I was hired. The part to the left is a result of my grant writing efforts in 1999. I started working that year to be in a position to get additional grant money. I helped develop $100,000 worth of matching funds in 2007 and this year I wrote $150,000 worth of grants for a total of $250,000 to build a duplicate building right beside this one.

What kept me so busy this year?

One of the things I was doing this past six months was developing a fund raising event for the local farmers market. With lots of help, we had an event with live music, local food, live auction, silent auction, door prizes, educational exhibits and demonstrations.

Here is a pumpkin that was carved for the event.

I can't believe the year is almost over

You haven't seen many post because of a hectic work schedule. I finished the year by inoculating some more mushroom logs. Here is the set up with an electric drill, hot plate for wax, and inoculation tool. (If you were following all the rules, the logs should not be laid on the ground. ) I am using the tail gate as a work surface for the logs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Here is a picture of my high tunnel built earlier this year

I had the conduit bows on hand. I purchased some wood for the lowest purloin to attach the plastic and also purchased the plastic. The gross receipts for the first 10 days of harvest was higher than the amount I spent building it.

High Tunnel harvest

Early season tomatoes from my high tunnel. Note the normal size ink pen for comparison.