Shawn Jadrnicek manages the Clemson Student Organic Farm at Clemson University. Six acres of produce serves a one hundred-share CSA, wholesale markets, and a farmers market, in addition to providing a home for graduate student research.
Shawn is also the author of the new book, The Bio-Integrated Farm, a twenty-first century manual for enhancing farms with practical, permaculture-based design elements. Shawn shares his experience with and insights into the creating optimum farm layouts, including road placement and bed structure, creating drainage patterns that enhance the farm’s biological functioning, and using ponds to increase light and heat in the greenhouse. We also dig into the Clemson Student Organic Farm’s other strategies for temperature management in the greenhouse, including supplementing greenhouse heat with external compost piles.
We also explore the Clemson Student Organic Farm’s strategies for weed control and soil health, including the use of crimped cover crop no-till and additional mulch materials to create season-long weed control, and cover cropping on raised beds. And Shawn shares how he has structured the CSA to function in a campus environment, managing customer needs as well as adapting to a high-turnover, low-work-hours student labor force. Plus, we get a great tutorial on gopher control.
I learned a lot from this interview, and enjoyed the ways that Shawn talks about big ideas and practical details. I hope you enjoy it, too!
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
One of the key factors is keeping your core facilities as close as possible.
When you do something new, start small and learn from your mistakes.