Thursday, December 8, 2011


I am totally stoked to publicly announce the "back in black" second edition of the "A Farm In Cleveland?!" t-shirt. It took a year, but the unbleached white tees are almost sold-out. Please note, that this second edition still bears the infamous "?" because a farm in Cleveland is still a preposterous idea.

So why black? Initially, my hunch was that the general sentiment of locavores/policy people/farmers would favor an unbleached white tee for the a la naturalness of it...and there was some of that. But there was a lot more of "do you have it in black?" I caught on pretty quickly and vowed never again to deny my heavy metal roots by printing a white shirt.

Plus, this is Cleveland. We ain't very flashy. Subliminally or consciously, we all know the beer belly slimming attributes of a black tee. And the practicality of going with anything while being able to hide stains can't be beat!

Apart from the back in blackness of them, the shirts are still the same ol' 8-color print. There are men's and women's styles. The women's are printed on Bella brand, fitted, made in the USA, organic cotton. Whilst, the men's are on Heavy Gildan cotton tees (like many of my metal tees). They were screened at Clevo's Jakprints, whose professionalism and turnaround time are awesome.

Through the holiday season, Lakewood's brother-to-the-farmer, Root Cafe will have a ready stock of shirts ($20) for you and all of your loved ones. I will also be selling these wares at the Gordon Square Holiday Market on December 17th from 10AM - 2PM in the Gordon Square Arcade. Being that I'm an all-access farmer, if those options don't work, contact me at to arrange something. Heck, I could probably even deliver for anybody thinking of multiple shirts.

And if you're out of the state, or out of the country, believe me, the irony/hope of "A Farm In Cleveland?!" t-shirt will not be lost in translation. And for that reason, I also have Paypal available.


Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Path in Two Years!

Some people get all OCD when planning to farm/garden/grow. Often, pathways are the first set of infrastructure built on a farm. Quickly followed with very even precision-measured rows. I'm still working on my rows, but alas, after last week I'm proud to say that I have my first pathway!

The path sits right behind the fence-line, facing W 130th (the main street). Construction materials were cardboard and woodchips, plundered from Factory Direct's dumpster and Mount Woodchip respectively.

The path's primary purpose is weed suppression with three sub-goals for that weed suppression.

One: to make it easier to use the fence as a trellis.

Two: to give me more access to my drip irrigation header line.

And Three (I don't like admitting this one): to "neaten up" the frontage in hopes of somewhat pacifying the thorn-in-my-side, Pete GagePro.

I'm certain I'll reach two of those three sub-goals, but there's no telling with Pete. Let's cross our fingers.

As always, Subee-1 performed marvelously.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Last 2 Weeks (and that's all I got to show for it)

One of the major frustrations with farming is the extreme delayed gratification. Them photos above represent the last two weeks of my life. When I compare my thigh/wrist/hand soreness to those photos of pink flags and flat ground, I just think to myself, "really?"

Of course, that bottom photo of garlic barely shows off the jackpot asphalt that I was again lucky enough to hit in one year's time (let's just hope I don't get nearly arrested again when making drops in friendly neighborhood apartment dumspters). The land in the top photo is two thousand square feet of sunchokes at my new Perennial Expansion Farm.

That land had never been worked, and I hit a similar jackpot of rocks and sub-boulders. This time there was no guilt associated with worm carnage as I found only one in the entire two thousand feet. The pockmarks left from the removal of sub-boulders will be filled with Old Husher's brand of worm inoculant/castings, complete with worms and delicious organic goodies.

So speaking back to delayed gratification, it should be noted for educational sake that I won't even see a garlic scape until June or a sunchoke tuber 'til the fall of 2012, which is time enough to erase these feelings of exhaustion. It's no wonder hardly anyone is planting new orchards around here (coupled with a lack of land tenure).

Now taking a gander at that sunchoke plot, you should notice a heaping pile of Mount Trashmore that dwarfs my Subaru. It's an illegal dump that is the property of Ashland Chemical. Apparently, Cleveland has cited Ashland, but the Mountain remains. Weird pickups dumping, and even the occasional semi unloading. Meanwhile, people hop the fence and sort for scrap. Given these conditions, don't think I use the term post-ghetto wasteland lightly. I specifically chose my new plot with a view for juxtaposition.

Thanks goes out to Ed Sotelo, who spent three hours of his life de-cloving 20 pounds of garlic, Mike Birchler and Kevin Orr, who each also spent three hours of their lives soil-prepping the sunchoke site, and Bruce Cormack, who filled the void of sunchoke tuber seed stock with 15 gallons of tubers (three 5-gallon buckets worth of sunchokes, if you were wondering what "15 gallons of tubers" meant).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Summer 2011 in Tweets

If I urban farm tweeted, instead of blogged, it would have gone like this with some introspective tweets thrown in for good measure.

Inserted hyperlinks nixay the 140 character count rule.


Looks like I fell into the ol’ farm blog summer cliché.

All in all, the summer was rad, slightly marred by rain and more marred by mice, but I’ll take it.

Sales tripled! But still nowhere near enough to live on. Onwards, upwards, and fine tuning is needed.

Most of that tripling was people based sales.

That being said, these restaurants treated me well: Fat Cat’s, Root Cafe, Sow Food and to a lesser extent Bar Cento. Mucho Gracias.

Mexican Sour Gherkins ruled the season. Next year, I’m sure there’ll be imitator growers :) and I won’t be able to say exclusive anymore.

As a farmer, don’t visit your mom on Mother’s Day. Sorry mom.

I found out that I’m legally zoned to have a farmstand without having to go to Cleveland’s Kafka-esque Board of Zoning Appeals. Sweetness!

Old Husher’s Farm now accepts WIC and Senior Food Coupons. So far none of these folks have been crackhead junkies like the teabaggers say.

If anybody knows the secret to selling heirloom peppers, please enlighten me.

This week, I pulled off my 1st farm-to-school fall veggie sampler at Berea Elementary. The kids ate kale chips and kohlrabi! Success!

I threatened the children with an “F,” if they didn’t try my veggies. Just kidding. Also, there was no Hidden Valley Ranch on hand.

Actually, it was on hand, we just didn’t need to crack the bottle.


A good varmint is a dead varmint.

Skunks, groundhogs, possums, mice. I don’t discriminate.

In the epic 2011 Battle of Mice Versus Melons, the mice won (see representative photo).

There’s no such thing as a vegan vegetable. Something’s gotta die.


I found another quarter acre plot for Old Husher’s Perennial Expansion Farm (OHPEF).

OHPEF is located in the post-ghetto wasteland mentioned in my blog, Funny how that works.

Next year, I either need to work on better spacing, or conversely better thinning.

I could use a trailer at this point in my life too.


Some restaurants are full of total ish.

Momocho allegedly told me that they “wouldn’t know what to do with 10 pounds of ROYGBIV cherry tomatoes.”

Three Birds allegedly told me they “have a garden out back where we grow all that (regarding basil).” Upon inspection no garden was found.

Deagan’s allegedly wants a three month production schedule in advance.

My second year in, and already I’m competing with the big boys, Chef’s Garden.

I actually like competition so that last statement shouldn’t be in the BS section, but I didn’t know where else to put it.


Pete Gagepro is still harassing me. The City of Cleveland still won’t commit to anything long-term and took four months to return my lease.

I’m more worried about Cleveland’s slackadaisicalness, than Pete’s neurosis.

The City says they want orchards, but won’t give us long-term leases or sell us our land affordably. That’s a mixed message.

What the City needs to realize is that they are training us to move (for cheaper land in the ‘burbs/rural lands) with piddly 5-year leases.

Conversely, there are some hardcore poser/slackers in our Local Food Scene. Self-absorbed and selfish, these folks make us all look bad.

That’s why urban homestead laws, like the one I wrote about in this blog, are crucial.