Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Why We Farm: Selling Your Vegetables

Two years ago, my husband Travis and I decided we wanted to be organic farmers. Neither of us had a background in agriculture. In fact, I was probably about as disconnected from physical labor as you can get — I was pursuing my PhD. This weekly series will take you through Travis’ and my journey to own and operate our own organic farm. From a farm internship in a tiny New York town, to management positions at the largest CSA farm in the southern United States, and now our current project of running a one-acre farm in Austin, Texas, our experience has been filled with wild successes, sharp disappointments, and self-discovery. I hope our story can provide others with ideas and resources for their own farming projects–urban or rural, big or small, hobby or professional. I also hope it can shine some light on the new organic movement surging in urban spaces and among America’s young people. To me, our collective attempt to reconnect with food is a testament to the ability of youth to create, even in difficult times.

Travis and I both had a day off from our fulltime farming jobs, and just to change things up, we spent it farming.  It was a chance to accomplish a few large tasks on our own quarter-acre field that we’ve dubbed Round Table Farm.  It was pretty exciting, actually, because we made our second sale, 10 lbs of looseleaf spinach to a local restaurant, Barley Swine.

Travis and I got to Round Table Farm around 8am to begin harvesting. Unfortunately, the cucumber beetles got to our spinach first. So far they haven’t done a lot of damage — just a hole here and there. But it was enough to spark a 20 minute debate between Travis and me about which spinach leaves were acceptable to sell. Travis, the pragmatist, knew that with only one bed of spinach, we were going to have to pick the plants pretty hard to get 10 lbs and meet the order. I, the — (… what’s another word for anxiety-ridden perfectionist? Lets go with aesthete) — I, the aesthete, insisted that whatever goes through our metaphorical door must be beautiful. We ended up finding a balance after a lot of what about this one’s, and moved on to washing our harvest and spinning it dry. We even exceeded our goal by 0.3 lbs.

We took an extended midday break and came back in the late afternoon to plant a bed of fennel and apply some mulch around the field. Even though farming is physically tiring, and we’re both working two full time farming jobs, during this busy time we have boundless energy when working on our own land.

Neysa is currently farming an acre of organic vegetables in Austin, Texas. For updates on her farm, visit www.dissertationtodirt.com or follow her on twitter @farmerneysa

One Response to “Why We Farm: Selling Your Vegetables”

  1. This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own
    blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say,
    and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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