Introducing Spoon Farm

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Is it a garden, or a farm? Who cares either way?

We used to think of what we have here as a garden, because it’s tiny—less than a quarter acre—and decidedly suburban. But lately, our thinking has begun to change. It’s not just the fact that so much of what we eat comes from this scrap of land we cultivate, or that we’ve moved beyond veggies, to include chickens and bees. There’s also power in naming, and in the identities we choose.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn recently that the USDA defines a farm as ‘any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.’ Whether or not we sell it, we are certainly producing (and consuming!) well over $1,000 in agricultural products every year. More on this next year, when I hope to finally buckle down and track the dollar value of our production.

Other definitions of ‘farm’ are even more inclusive, ranging from ‘a tract of land devoted to agricultural purposes,’ to ‘a plot of land devoted to the raising of animals, especially domestic livestock.’

Check, check, and check.

So it’s a farm, this place where we sweat and grumble and search for moments to pause and enjoy the literal and figurative fruits of our labor, and the unselfconscious beauty of flora and fauna minding their own business. It’s pleasing to stand looking out at what right now is the ramshackle, top-heavy, last burst of summer crops and to say, this is Spoon Farm.

We sold honey for the first time a few months ago at the San Mateo County Fair and came up with our name then. Kelly made a first round of labels, and on a whim recently, I made a farm website. Check it out at www.spoonfarm.com!

Late summer veggies.

Late summer veggies.

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Winter babies ready in the greenhouse.

Winter babies ready in the greenhouse.

6 Responses to Introducing Spoon Farm

  1. So you’re now farmers ~ how exciting is that! Congratulations on the sale of honey which I trust will encourage you to continue beekeeping and as for the amount of produce grown I’m sure you’ll be amazed at just how much you’ve saved financially growing your own. Today after a few hours cultivating beds at the allotment before covering with agricultural plastic for the winter months I came home with leeks,parsnips and celery, ideal for homemade soup which reminded me I’m way behind checking on your progress. Seems you’re doing just fine!
    Bear with me; an email is imminent.

    • Always lovely to hear from you, Jackie! I wish our leeks were ready to harvest, but as always, we’re behind schedule.

      This year, I’ve tackled actually weighing our harvests to begin with. Next year, perhaps I’ll get to calculating savings. Oh how I wish I had more time and more organizational proclivity.

  2. I really like that greenhouse. I not going to say that I might “steal” your idea, but I will say that I may just build something that looks sorta like it. Any tips or advice?

    Jay

    • Hi Jay–Our greenhouse is pretty awesome, but we didn’t build it; it was here when we moved in. That said, a few thoughts: we’ve had troubles with birds and squirrels coming through the windows and eating starts. Accordingly, we’ve now installed avian wire over the window frames on the inside. Also, the ceiling is quite high, which has worked fine for us in our mild climate. You’d likely want to make your ceiling lower. The corrugated plastic walls and ceiling are gradually warping. Again, not too big a deal in our climate, but a bad idea for yours–also might collapse under all your snow.

      My dream is to rebuild someday using a bunch of old windows I’ve been saving up. I like the sturdiness and aesthetics of a wood and glass greenhouse.

  3. Thank you! Windows sound good. I’ve heard about that a bit around here. Luckily, I have some and I have a few friends who have some, so maybe I’ll look into that as well.

    Jay

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