Tools For Small CSA's
Hi My name is Wendy Martin. This is our farm's 9th summer, the 7th as a
CSA. We're called Peace and Carrots Farm. The logo is a carrot standing
upright with two pea pods leaning against it to form a peace sign. The carrot
greens form a circle around it all.
I started out with almost no money or tools and slowly acquired what I
needed. Now I have an 8hp Troy-Bilt tiller and a 3hp Troy-Bilt, also a
Mantis. Most of my two acre garden is in raised beds. Some are 3 or 4ft by 6
or 8ft. Other beds are 4x50ft. Our land is quite steep, so some beds are more
like terraces. I like having the different weights and sizes of tillers for
the different sorts of jobs they can do.
I like the rolling planter with various seed plates. For squash I have a jab
planter. I use a weedwacker around some of the beds. All year I collect
newspapers, then they are used as mulch between beds...covered with hay. I
get all the grass clippings from our town's cemetaries. These are used to
mulch between plants.
I use manure from nearby farms, granite dust, wood ashes, alfalfa pellets and
compost as fertilizers. Sometimes I buy bagged organic fertilizer. To haul
all this stuff, I use a 4WD ATV with an attatched cart. When I pick, I also
use the ATV to haul vegies to the packing shed. The packing shed is a
structure made with cedar poles and slab wood. To save on taxes, it is roofed
with a tarp. There are 3 sinks and counter space made with fencing. The
vegies are washed, then drain on the wire.
There's a shed in the field full of various hand tools....like pruners,
loppers, grass shears, shovels, spades. hoes, claws, asst. rakes, etc. This
year I am using bamboo poles for bean poles and as the framework for pea
trellises. The lower garden is fenced with deer netting held up by bamboo
poles. The rest of the garden is fenced with welded wire. Deer pressure is
terrible here. They used to wipe out about half of the garden.
For picking days, we use an assortment of wax boxes gleaned from dumpsters, 5
gallon plastic pails and some large plastic tubs. There are many knives
floating around for harvesting.
We deliver vegies, flowers, herbs and some fruits. We pack individual vegies
in plastic grocery bags, then tie each shareholder's order together with
twine, making an easy to carry cluster of bags. Folks save bags for us all
year. Flowers are delivered in gallon frozen strawberry tubs from a
neighbor's jam business.
We built a two-seater fancy outhouse by the road and packing shed for use by
workers and customers. Our house is underground and back in the woods. This
year there are two apprentices. I originally advertised through NEWOOF. I
hired 2 women who cancelled out a week before their arrival!!!! So, I put out
an offer on the Rainbow family list. Now there's a man from GA and a woman
from NJ here, helping on the farm. One lives in a trailer, the other in an
Shareholders have been as few as 6 and as many as 30. I have a chronic
disease called lupus, which makes it hard for me to do too much work. I'm
hoping to find a commited person or family who would like to take over the
CSA operation. I have struggled along all these years, doing the bulk of work
by myself. I'm hoping to share the homestead with others so we all have
I'm eager to hear more from other CSA's. Oh...I should tell you the farm is
in north/central Vermont! See ya.... Wendy