Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tour of a Sustainable Agriculture Farm

Last week, my wife and I had the chance to tour High Hopes Gardens, a 7 acre farm just off Highway 330 west of Marshalltown. High Hopes grows a large variety of foods and flowers and uses sustainable practices. It was a definite learning experience for me.

Here are some pictures from the tour.

This trellis has gourds growing on it. Thought it was a cool picture with the sun and birdhouse in the background.

They grow many varieties of flowers and sell bouquets. Here are some Zinnias.

The Raspberry patch was huge. There is an old Mulberry tree in the background that they considered cutting down when they bought the place and plant some apple trees. However, they kept the Mulberry tree because the birds like to eat the Mulberries and they stay out of the Raspberries.

Here is a water tank they bought at an auction. It collects rainwater that runs off the barn and they use the water to water the plants around the farm. A half inch of rain fills up the tank.

They have some chickens. Here they are in a little pen that keeps the dogs and other larger animals out and the chickens in. They rotate the pins around the farm, so one area doesn't get worn down.

And they have 3 goats. They said they'd like to get another female and use the milk for cheese and things. However, these 3 help weed and clean up the gardens in the fall.

Here is a picture of one of their garden plots.

They also have 2 bee hives and they have gotten 16 gallons of honey this summer.

Check out the High Hopes blog to read more about the farm.


bgunzy said...

You mean "pens", not "pins", right?

Good stuff, but where's the JD 9620 4wd tractor? No one can call themselves a farmer without a big JD four wheel drive tractor and a fat subsidy check in the mailbox!

Just kidding!

noneed4thneed said...

Thanks, I posted this while eating breakfast and getting things ready for work all at the same time.

Another farmer who uses sustainable agriculture south of Marshalltown told me someone that worked for the county told him he didn't farm because he only had 40 acres.

It is amazing how much food and products you can get out of just a little land.

Anonymous said...

I know this couple (at least I have met them before through sustainable ag circles). Great people!

Buy local, everyone! Even if it is not certified organic, if they are using sustainable methods you are doing better for the environment than buying organic that's trucked in from California.