Andrew St. Clair

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since Dec 14, 2018
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bike woodworking homestead
I'm Andrew, a young market gardener in east Tennessee.
Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
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Recent posts by Andrew St. Clair

Wow, this feller has some splendid ideas. I am interested in making one of these- just need to know what trees to use in the absence of firs, and how to bend them. Good stuff.
9 months ago
In addition to how these soils are different, and thus grow finer, more potent herbs, I would love to be able to study how they got that way- ie, are/were there special agricultural practices traditionally used in this area, unusual bedrock compositions, some wonderful dynamic accumulator growing there, or some other specific change factor.

Also, based on what I have heard, most soil has healing properties within itself, due to a specific microbe that actually raises a person's IQ. Unfortunately, I don't have a reference for that. Also, I personally believe there is an electrical/spiritual/emotional recharge when "earthing" occurs.
1 year ago
Cardboard boxes? Wax paper bundles? I don't know, I haven't done anything but plastic bags. I sell so far by contract where the big farmer provides the containers, and by peddling by bicycle, no farmers markets yet.
1 year ago

The instructions are a bit hard to follow. Also, I modified several things, based on what materials I had, etc., and made a better hitch than the one they had.

It took a few hours, 4 maybe?
1 year ago
I decided I needed a bike trailer to haul stuff like groceries, tools, etc. around the neighborhood, and I found a simple plan on Instructables. Mostly I have used it to peddle my cucumbers, lettuce, and pickles to neighbors. I've had a few issues with getting the wheels adjusted right, but it is pretty reliable, and customers like the rustic appearance.
1 year ago
This thread has been very enjoyable so far- phenomenal insights and caring. Thank you guys.
I'm a late millennial, I guess, from 1999, and a recent homeschool highschool graduate. This spring my market garden is beginning it's second season, and I plan to install more swalework and help my dad with some orchard guilds on the homeplace this year as well.

Land acquisition has also been a problem for me- currently I am trading produce as rent for about a half acre from a family friend who had an empty barnyard. I highly recommend this arrangement, provided the landholder is someone you trust very well, or maybe if you have a strong contract (My family borrowed 3-ish acres for a family garden and got burned pretty bad).

I wholeheartedly agree that working with an older farmer is a great idea. I partnered with an older certified natural farmer around here last year- the thing that stands out to me the most is the incredible knowledge bank he is at about 65 years old, with no signs of slowing down on the farm yet :)

Like Y'all said, networking can be hard for us, and yes, most of my homeschool group buddies are planning to be computer developers, soldiers, anything but a farmer. I am blessed to have a supportive family. My parents grew up with gardens and stock, then entered the rat race, coming out of it when I was 16. Even so, we always had a garden, and sometimes chickens. I found out about permaculture only recently, but very quickly identified it as my "field of work" and a big passion.

Once again, Thank you.
1 year ago
I picked pumpkins- so purdy, all big and orange- but I had to think hard about pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, and peanuts. Also, I love to grow and eat beans- dry beans.
Note: Peanuts are not on there.
1 year ago
Hey Franak, I am on my 2nd year starting a market garden in rural Tennessee. I reckon It's pretty similar here. I do agree that you should probably keep the 12 acres and house and work with what you have. I also would say;

#1 You are already on the right track; asking questions, ready to start but not jumping the gun.

#2 Get in contact with local farmers and gardener and listen to their advice. Consider cooperating with them.

#3 Ask locals what they would want to buy ad pay attention to their needs and style.

#4 Don't worry about building an LLC or trust or anything until you have something going on and are pretty sure what you are going to do. Start as a neighbor helping your neighbors by providing high quality food/products at decent prices with a smile and a story, whether you're at a farmers market, local stand, CSA or whatever.

#5 Don't spend too much money. You will lose money at first as you find your niche and discover what works for you, and the more you spend the more you can lose.

#6 Just get out there! See if it works! Have fun!

1 year ago
Why are you not having the Peasant PDC? It sounds so awesome!