[Market-farming] Tillage is tillage

Tradingpost tradingpost at lobo.net
Thu Feb 8 17:21:50 EST 2007

If you'll try to specify what it is you're disputing, maybe I can respond.
It  helps to take a definite position and support it. I'm not inclined to
guess what you're driving at. Try it.

paul tradingpost at lobo.net

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 2/7/2007 at 5:31 PM Sharon and Steve wrote:

>> I've relocated and have to start over at the age of 63, but what I'm
>> or not doing shouldn't convince anyone to risk time and capital with my
>> exact methods.
>Well, I have a couple of years on you and find what you have here very 
> Starting over with
>> back trouble doesn't sound promising. And if and when I ever quit 
>> learning,
>> the only thing I'll be good for is pushing up daisies. Even if I could
>> claim to be an expert it wouldn't make any difference since experts are
>> notorious for disagreeing.
>With aching back and bad front, my close work in the garden is on hands
>knees, stuff in the greenhouse on the cement floor is done on a milk crate

>with wheels added. Lots of my lettuce and greens last year were done in
>x 24" styrofoam grape boxes which I can plant or transplant and harvest 
>while standing or sitting at brnches both inside and outside the
>> I mentioned Eliot Coleman because he's got 30 years of growing behind
>> and succeeded financially, growing sustainably without power equipment
>> chemicals, on a miniscule area of land in a harsh climate. That ought to

>> be
>> an example worth investigating.
>I have been to Colemans several time doing some work on greenhouses 
>there...........about 5 years ago. He and Barbara are master crafts
>in everyting that I have seen them do, just look at their web site and
>reminding yourself that everything they do is as neat, clean, consice, and

>efficient as what you see there.
>With a dozen years on the road working most of the U.S. doing greenhouse 
>stuff I have found that financial success is seldom visable. I would
>that before I point to anyone,  I should consider the things in evidence 
>like book sales, writing, consulting, personal appearences, and then I
>be left guessing what they had in their pockets before they started.
>I prefer not to go there, taint none of my business.
>I thought it very odd that no one here
>> asked how does he do it, how can he succeed on such small acreage, how
>> he make any money without tractors and other equipment.
>There are tractors and equipment ar Colemans, and his latest soil prep
>is battery electric powered.
>Those would seem to
>> be the obvious questions, esp when a large percent of produce growers
>> an outside job just to pay bills and support their growing operation.
>> the common wisdom for decades has been "get big or get out" (as Earl
>> declared).
>> I've come to the opinion that "Fresh-market organic produce, small
>> is the ticket to sustainable and financially viable growing, and that
>> building healthy soil in permanent beds with intensive, optimum close
>> planting and interplanting can suppress weeds without herbicides or
>> excessive weeding (with mulch as needed), and get by far the best
>> production from available space while cutting costs per unit of 
>> production.
>> And proven season extension techniques without machinery expense
>> the bottom line even further.
>I would be surprised ( perhaps ever pleasantly surprised) if you could
>me the numbers where labor is cheaper than machinery in crop production. 
>Further, I see nothing in your above production system that cant be done
>100 hp scale. Though I now spend time crawling  about weeding, when I had
>bride and 3 little ones to feed I much preferred pushing 4 row cultivators

>over 30 acres a day.
> It appears these principles are widely
>> demonstrated as workable, but putting them into practice means a lot of
>> variations for different climates, soils, and markets.
>Workable, at what scale? Whats the pay scale for a guy with a hand hoe and
>pitch fork?
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>Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

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