Instant farmer!

Unstacking tomato cages

Libby’s first day on the farm: a full day in the field, plus a Big Salad lunch! There’ve been a few first-timer days this year, and a bit of a casual presentation routine has developed. Starts with a tour: “How much detail do you want?” The difference between growing more or less by hand, as we do here, and different degrees of tractor-based farming is probably the main point I try to get across. And then, it’s on to the fabulous WORK, a taste of the many tiny farming fieldwork pleasures. Today, Libby pulled weeds from carrot beds, on her own for a while, and then I joined in. Weeding carrots and tomatoes, hand-pulling and with the wheel hoe, setting up some home garden-type tomato cages, transplanting lettuce…the time flew by. Chatting is usually a big part of working in the field (with no noisy machines to get in the way): farming stuff, trading bits of personal history, and inevitably, it seems, some Bigger Topics. Today, the concept of MINDFULNESS came up and really stuck with me… And so, another fine day on the tiny farm. Libby seemed PRETTY HAPPY with it all. Cool. We’ll see her next week! :)

Watering in lettuce transplants

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10 Responses to “Instant farmer!”

  1. Nicole says:

    Wow that’s so cool! How does it work where someone who  has never farmed before gets to come work on a farm???

  2. Cassandra says:

    How do you find the tomato cages work out for you? My tomatoes grow too big for them and we’ve gone on to using concrete reinforcing wire cages. Just cut, roll, and hold together with zip ties. It does take two people, gloves and bolt cutters though!

    I tried trellising but the tomatoes overwhealmed them too.

    Hubby lets his sprawl all over the mulch in his market garden. I wonder what the differnece in production is?

    Just love your blog, lots of great ideas for us to try!

  3. Stonehead says:

    It’s such a pleasure to find there are other people who grow vegetables by hand on a field scale. I was starting to feel that I and an old chap about five miles from us were the only ones left.

    I spent almost 10 hours out in the potato field today, hoeing row after row clear of weeds. It will be more of the same tomorrow, although I might do a few hundred metres of onions for variety.

  4. heidi says:

    closing date is this coming friday for our fenelon farm – look forward to meeting you sometime in the near future!

  5. Jean Ann says:

    I have a similar question about the cages…mine seem to be too heavy…I wonder if there is ANY good solution…

  6. Liz says:

    You make it all sound so wonderful! Have you got room for one more?

  7. ewa says:

    Hi Mike, This seems like heaven for those who seek outdor job. And you sound like a Big Dad haveing great hart for each of them just next to plants and animals :)

  8. Matron says:

    When you are growing salad veggies on this larger scale, do you make succesional plantings? otherwise you will have hundreds ready all at te same time?

  9. willing hands organic farm says:


    How wide are your beds?  How many rows of salad mix per bed?  The bottom photo looks like 5 of lettuce mix, the bed on the other side of your helper appears to be 3 rows. Everything is picture perfect!!  Where are all the weeds???  My beds are flat not raised, 2×25 with 1 foot paths between.
    I too wonder at the sheer volume of “green”. How many pounds of greens are you harvesting each week?  I really need to get planting more,  am not reaping enough from the plantings I have.

  10. L.Bo Marie says:

    hmmm, my neighbour has these lovely stakes she uses for her tomatoes… they are long spiraling stakes.. about 4 feet high when in the ground, very sturdy, we just wrap the plant around them as they grow.. I’ll try to remember to take a picture ….

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