[Market-farming] the best bed shaper

Guy Clark guyclark at socket.net
Wed Feb 23 15:02:03 EST 2005

Hey folks-

I bought a used Gravely last summer for $850 and you can really make
some very nice raised beds with it. In fact, the beds were so high and
rectangular that I went through them with my Troy-Bilt Horse to round
them off some. I have seen them cheaper since. It's a strange looking
machine that takes some getting used to using, but works like a charm
and requires no tractor. I keep resisting a tractor because they cost a
lot and seem the perfect Murphy's Law machines.  I hire someone for $150
to come open new land. Takes a lot of years at $150 to pay for most
tractors and I am by no means a mechanic.

I have made miles of raised beds with a short handled shovel over the
years, but my scale is increasing and I'm getting older (40 in May).
Last year I had 15 CSA subscribers (30 weekly deliveries) and Saturday
markets from mid-March to the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Wednesdays
from May through the end of October. I did not do the Monday markets. I
did work a 40 hour a week off-farm job. Total area in vegetables and
flowers was about 1.3 acres. This year hoping for 50 subscribers to the
CSA, a new cutflower CSA, all the Wednesday and Saturday markets,
perhaps the Monday market as we are trying to start a "wholesale" market
(not cheap prices, but bulk amounts) in hopes of eventually having a
Columbia Farmers' Market brand and a website for people to order from.
Hoping to quit the off-farm job and having a baby boy in mid-June to
make things interesting.

Guy Clark
Fertile Crescent Farms
Columbia Farmers' Market
Columbia, MO (Zone 5b, but Zone 7 the last13 years due for a zonal
pruning any time now)

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