Author: admin

Happy New Year!

Greetings!

We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Here at the farm Daniel and I are working hard to prepare for the next season, as well as closing out the 2015 year by distributing what’s left of our produce to area restaurants. The weather stayed very accommodating for so long we are just now, in January, starting to see some effects of the cold.

A few quick updates to catch you all up, we’re excited to begin development of the un-fenced portion of our location this winter. Included in this development will be official parking, a circle drive for easy vegetable pick up, mulched trails around raised beds, seating, open space for events, installation of trees and other plants, and a lean-to pavillion for washing, packing and distribution. The following drawing gives you a visual of what we’re thinking: thefarm2

Anyone who has talked to me over the last year has probably heard me say something about this development, to me it is a vital next step to our mission of beautification and public accessibility. An Abbey Fields Urban Farm sign will also be erected soon, which has been a needed detail for some time. It is our hope and goal that we can finish what we started in regards to initial development of the farm so that we can nurture all aspects of it’s growth, especially the social and biological.

'Tis the season, oh what fun!

Next up, a new location! While all the details of this new project cannot be disclosed at the time, (still working on zoning requirements, etc) we are super stoked to be acquiring another lot right next to the Old City. Our plans for this site will be dual in nature. One portion of the parcel will be set aside as a community garden for the downtown community to utilize. This portion will be built out in raised beds and will have a small shed and wash station for subscribers to use. The other part of the lot will be used by Abbey Fields, where we will be constructing beds and planting strictly for restaurant sales, serving restaurants in the Old City and downtown. Construction on this will (HOPEFULLY) begin the first of February.  It’s going to be a great project and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Remember, our early bird CSA special is still good until the 15th (see the promo flyer below). We’re extending our season this year by three weeks and also hope to have a few more drop offs for your convenience (like if you have several work friends interested we could bring them straight to your desk!). To sign up visit our newly renovated website and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Enjoy this season of rest, spring will be here soon!

-bHoliday-promo-flyer

New Year, New Website!

Welcome to the new Abbey Fields website! Though it’s been tempting to slump down into hibernation as daylight-hours wane and bright summery harvests give over to a thick blanket of winter cover crops, we’ve been trying to stay busy.

Common wisdom has it that farmers ought to spend the bulk of their time engaged in a balance of three tasks: Planting, Harvesting, and Marketing. The idea being that we don’t get paid to weed or fix equipment or untangle drip-tape. It’s pretty easy to make the connection between planting/harvesting and financial success, but marketing’s role is perhaps a little less obvious.

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Our hope is that our time spent developing an attractive and user-friendly website will give potential members and customers a clear picture of what we at Abbey Fields believe in, and the quality of our work. We’ve incorporated the CSA sign-up form directly into the new site, to simplify things for our members, and we’ve added a list of Frequently Asked Questions about community supported agriculture for those that might be new to the idea.

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So have a look around, and let us know what you think!

Summer

IMG_20150711_122953 IMG_20150709_161237_251 IMG_20150708_151833_347 IMG_20150708_151839_843IMG_20150708_151826_747 IMG_20150707_161208_657 IMG_20150706_112924_869 IMG_20150624_152446_559IMG_20150602_090455_411 IMG_20150613_090549_650 IMG_20150523_085045_844 IMG_20150527_115239_322 IMG_20150527_105513 It’s been a good one so far. July has been far more gracious than June, (said no farmer in East Tennessee, until now). The rain and cooler temperatures have been a refreshing reprieve to the almost rainless month prior. We’re almost half way through our season and it’s been busy, lovely and frustrating, exhausting but worth it. We’ve had several groups come out to help, to take tours, and we’ve been tremendously encouraged by the support of the city and community.

Tomorrow we plant peas for fall (what?!) and begin other seedings for the preparation for the cooling  of seasons. My family and I now live in the neighborhood, which seems appropriate considering the affection I have for this little piece of land. If you’ve been by recently you’ve probably seen my very pregnant self waddling around, don’t worry, we have a plan. Starting next week Parkridge’s very own Daniel Aisenbrey will be picking up my slack in the weeks to come, he’ll be a tremendous addition to the present and future of the farm and I’m over the moon to have him.

Peace and love ya’ll,

-b

 

Spring!

It’s official.

Not just on the calendar, but all living things are relishing in the sunny chorus of Spring. Pollinators of all shapes and sizes fill our greenhouse and the winter rye is a beautiful dark green from the showers of the season. Our spring crops are doing wonderful under the predictable rhythms of sun and rain, with only a few cold nights to leave me on the edge of my seat.

Vegetable pick-ups begin in less than a month, (what?!), and while there’s always the steady anxiety of customer satisfaction, I’m feeling relatively at ease, excited, even, to hand out all our hard work has produced.

Last work day crew.
Last work day crew.

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The next few weeks will begin to unfold and enhance some aesthetic aspects of the farm. I hope to be working some ground in the front part of the farm (outside of the fence) to plant wildflowers and native grasses as well as clearing brush and building beds building side of our property. The extended forecast, while never guaranteed, seems pretty promising that winter has gone and so we’ll start putting out some of our summer crops in the next few weeks.

Sound like fun? Good! Come to our next work day, Saturday, April 18th from 9-12 to help out and see our progress.

Also look for our microgreen products in Three Rivers Market,

Work shares covering crops for latest cold night.
Work shares covering crops for latest cold night.
sunflower sprouts
sunflower sprouts

as well as our produce in The Plaid Apron and K-Brew. It’s a busy time of year, sometimes hard to fathom that in a few short months there will be standing sunflowers and we’ll be well into our CSA season. While there’s always a million things to do, and not enough rainy days to do it, or too many rainy days to get it done, I think we’re settling into a balanced chaos that is helping to keep us on our toes as well as ground us into our mission.

It’s a beautiful time of year, so plant your garden and cook good food for the people you love. I look forward to meeting you all in the weeks to come.

Your neighborhood farmer,IMG_20150411_120249_516

-b

Winter rye cover crop
  Winter rye cover crop

 

 

Was that the sun?

Greetings from the cold, muddy farm. It has been a crazy last few weeks, wait, last THREE weeks of weather (I know this is the conversation everyone is having, but I really want to keep talking about it). We’ve been delayed a bit on getting seeds in the ground, but finally got a day between snow meltage/snow cometh to plant our carrots, parsnips and peas.


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Now that we’ve gone to a semi-permanent bed system the planting ground had actually drained a good bit, making fluffy seed beds for our spring crops.

We have officially moved into the Sertoma Center a few blocks away, they are graciously allowing us use of their greenhouse while we get to work with their clients, teaching them how to seed and transplant, hopefully in the spring they’ll be able to come on over and help us put the little plants in the field. It never fails when I have volunteers to come out to plant, that when they return to the farm, they go directly to whatever it is they planted however many weeks or months before. We love the results, to see what our hands helped to do.009

008Yesterday I was able to have a wonderful conversation with one of Knoxville’s finest, he’s written an awesome write up on the farm, which you can read here: http://insideofknoxville.com/2015/03/abbey-fields-bringing-the-farm-to-the-city/, it was lovely to have Knoxville Urban Guy there, in all his thoughtful questions and insights, our city is better because of his work.

Mark your calendars, our next community work day is scheduled for March 14th from 12-3. We’ll be planting potatoes and other green stuff, as well as digging and moving piles around to clean up the place a bit. It’s always a fun time to meet new folks and to get your hands dirty, if it’s warm enough we’ll put out the garden sprinkler to jump around in (could totally happen in March).

Hope you all are well out there, thank you for supporting this little farm and for all the viral love we’ve been receiving the past few days, I couldn’t be more excited for the season!snowyfarm

Keep warm,

-b

February!

Greetings from the farm!

If you’ve driven by the farm in the last few weeks you’ll notice our super duper fence addition.

 

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It adds nice dimensions to the field as well as indicating that there’s something going on in this place, so please don’t bring your off road vehicles through. The company we used is small, local, and absolutely wonderful, please contact me if you have any fencing or contracting needs as I would love to pass on their info.

We started our greenhouse work a few weeks ago, after a few restless teen-degree nights of checking the temperature on our little room, it was nice to settle into the last couple of days of spring like weather, no heater needed. We seeded cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and celery. Our planting schedule from here through July is loaded down with weekly, bi- and sometimes tri- weekly plantings. Our hope is to have an additional greenhouse soon on the property to house the more of the abundance.  Until then it looks like we’ll be partnering with the Sertoma Center just a few blocks away, which is an activity center for folks with mental disabilities and has a splendid, spacious greenhouse for their horticulture program. I’m super stoked about this partnership as it’s one of the benefits of having a farm in a neighborhood, we get to know and work beside our neighbors, we share our tables and our stories and over the years we see our hard work pay off from the bounty of the land and the zest of our relationships. I get spring time giddy with the possibilities.

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Our next work day will be February 21st from 12-3, we’ll have coffee and perhaps a few power snacks, for those who joined us for our January work day it will be a lot of the same, digging, mulching, perhaps some seeding, although we should have more sunlight as (believe it or not!), the days are getting just longer.

Also, (insert marketing plug), please consider purchasing a share! Split it with a friend, pay weekly, but give it a shot. This is the first farm of it’s kind as we’re solely supported by the community and with your support we’re hoping to invest in other blighted properties, perhaps in YOUR neighborhood, and to employ more eager farmers like myself. Visit the web page for more info and spread the word!

 

 

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enjoy your mountain feeling Monday,

-b

Kudos to the weather man

The weather man got it right, it was a gorgeous day today, our first community work day of the 2015 season. I crossed my fingers and prayed to the sun gods that this Saturday would indeed be a hint of spring, something to pull us out of the drear of this January. And oh how lovely to work beside all the beautiful people that came out, to see the sun shine on our field and their faces as everyone came together to…

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dig.

 

 

Lots and lots of digging.

 

 

 

 

The field was still pretty wet from our week of moisture so the dirt was heavy,

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these people can tell you so.

Most of our efforts were concentrated on the Spring lot, digging beds, digging in manure to put on beds, digging in mulch to put on the walkways, so many shovels going. Cameron got the fire going early and we had a little premium roast from our neighborhood coffee shop for breaks.   029

Our fence is going up next week. The eight foot poles that are already in place are a little intimidating on our modest lot. 035Next week they’ll be cut down to five feet and woven farm fence will be put up to help deter woodland creatures (would you believe we had a deer last year?) and the neighborhood off road recreational driver that tore down our okra and tomatoes last year. The hope is that the fence is as transparent as possible while still giving some lines and shape to the farm.

Our next community work day will be in February, stay tuned to all the various social media outlets for time and day, meanwhile, enjoy the sunshine!030

-b

CSA Shares

Abbey Fields offers 27 weeks of produce, May 2nd through November 7th. Pick-up your weekly Abbey Fields bounty at 1400 Washington Ave, Knoxville (behind Standard Knitting Mill).

Full Share $725: Payment plan breaks it down to two payments of $287.50 after deposit, one due at first pick-up, the other due July 1st. (Suggested for family of four or two vegetarians.)

Click here to sign up now.

Click here to ask questions.