We dig into their mulch-based no-till production system (which doesn’t require much digging!), including the nuts and bolts of how they handle different crops, source appropriate materials, and manage fertility. Because their production system also relies on the incorporation of a 200-hen laying flock, we also dig into the challenges of managing egg production alongside of the vegetables. And a goose comes into the story, too.
Brooke and Daniel share how they developed their off-the-grid infrastructure, including an engineered filtration system to draw potable water from a pond on their farm. We also discuss the impacts of bringing a second child into the family and onto the farm, and the challenges of building a farm from the ground up with a minimal debt load.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
We’ve paid for all of [our infrastructure] with the food that we grew in these fields.
A lot of the farmers around here only know how to grow in a tunnel. They’ve gotten spoiled by that controlled environment. We’re the opposite. We love growing in the field. We want to use as little plastic as possible.
At first when I started this quest to plant a bunch of beneficials, [I thought,] this is a bunch of BS. They look pretty but I’m not controlling my pest pressure this way. Ten years later I feel like it totally pays off out here.
We’re extremely focused with our time and with the time of our laborers out here.
[Our chickens] are our best farm workers. We could not do the no-till system without them.
Urbavore uses Electronet poultry netting from Premier to keep their chickens in and ground-based predators out. I’ve worked for years, and I think they’re great.
Daniels favorite tool is a Rogue hoe, made from recycled agricultural disc blades.