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Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Boulder Belt-Eco Farm—just one mile north of Eaton, Ohio— offers CSA shares and a farm store to Preble County residents. Their story really all begins with “digging in the dirt”— they met each other working as archeologists in Ohio. In a way, the farming idea sort of dropped into their laps—even though they have put in countless hours of hard work and dedication over the years. Initially, Eugene and Lucy weren’t really looking to farm; however, the plot of land that they began renting was located on a 20-acre farm. So, they start out with a garden and what they thought was an inordinate amount of vegetables that they needed something to do with.
In 1993, they set up a 25 by 60 foot market garden and began to sell produce at Richmond Farmers’ Market the following year. Even though they didn’t make any money and they didn’t even keep records to show whether their efforts were economical or not, they had a ton of fun learning how to farm, working on the farm, and selling what they reaped at the local market. 
This was enough to encourage them to expand. Their gardening endeavors grew and grew—spurred on by the doubts that many people had about the possibilities of their success. Eugene and Lucy rose to the challenge, getting their farm certified organic in 2002 after a long, drawn-out process. Lucy explained that organic was really all about having a healthy soil, “Soil is soul. When you treat the soil correctly, everything follows.” 
 In 2005, Boulder Belt-Eco Farm moved 15 miles to Highway 127, the place where it resides today. They have always been faced with the challenge of conventional agricultural that is so prevalent in their county, and they rise to this occasion in their efforts to change the way the Preble community thinks about agriculture and food. 
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm offers six week long CSA shares (actually they are 12 week) throughout the summer season, some members even continue their membership throughout the winter. Beyond that, their mission is to leave the farm in far better shape, ecologically, than it was before they got there. They strive to provide quality, nutrient-dense food to the community and to educate people about why eating whole foods—like raw fruits and vegetables is so important. They are proud examples to young farmers in their area and are always happy to mentor those farmers who choose to leave the conventional agricultural scene for small, local, community farming.
Cheers to Eugene, Lucy, and Boulder Belt-Eco Farm—Local Hero Farmers/Farm—for their efforts as champions of local food in the Ohio Valley to plant, grow, and harvest nutritious, local food for their community.

Monday, October 21, 2013

We are Putting Up a High Tunnel

We got a grant from the USDA/NRCS/EQIP program to put up this 96' x 24'tunnel. This will greatly expand our winter offerings and will also mean far earlier crops such as tomatoes and we just might get crazy and grow ginger or some other tropical crop. We started building it the second week of October and should be finished by mid November (which is too late to plant it for this winter)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Glow Egg


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Making Tomato Sauce

Ready to make sauce. I have the Victorio put together, a bowl to catch the sauce and a container to catch the tomato waste

Close up

Another angle. This shows the compost bucket i keep below the VIctorio as it will start dripping and i need somewhere to put the skins and seeds

Sauce filling the bowl and waste is going into the side container

The tomatoes, most are Amish paste but about 10% are various blacks, pinks and other reds

I am running the waste through as the crushed maters still have a lot of juice left in them

Second run through, notice how much less volume (and mass) there is?

the sauce in the bowl is how much i got out of the waste on the second run through and the stuff in the hopper is all that is left on the 3rd run through. 

A lot fewer maters

and the pot is filling up

When I got done, the tomato juice was about 1" from the rim of the pot (5 gallon). I will cook this juice down for at least ten hours and than can it into quart jars processed in a hot water bath for a half hour. I should get 10 quarts from the approx. bushel of tomatoes I processed.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Boulder Belt Goes to the Farmers Market

We went to the Oxford Uptown Farmers Market this morning but we went as shoppers, not as growers. Though the reason for being in Oxford was to deliver a lot of produce to MOON Co-op so we were there on farm business. Just not at the farmers market.

We had fun an bought a lot of stuff there. It was busy and it looked like just about all the stalls were filled
Produce going to MOON Co-op, our reason for going to Oxford

Josh (in the green) has an interest of working on our farm and is talking to Eugene about this

Eugene talking to marvin and Norma, we used to set up across from them and i went to High School with their kids

Eugene and Marge. She's one of the market's biggest supporters and one of our favorite people she insisted we eat some the bread pudding in the foreground. It is from Ghysling and incredible-the bread is croissants

Debra Bowles owner of artistry farm. She has THE BEST goats milk soap ever. it is rustic and keeps your skin soft as a baby's bottom

I bought 4 bars and a bottle of her shampoo for $20

Mel Bussey,  Owner of Training tracks Canine Learning Station with a dog she's socializing.  Mel works with farmers market patrons and their dogs so that now that dogs are allowed back at this market they are good market citizens

Eugene is asking the dog (who's name i cannot remember;  begins with a K...) to look at the camera


did not


Mr Ross, at market on his day off

Market beginning to close up

shelters coming down

tools and instruments are put away

Bye Bye

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Slug Sex

Early Monday morning Eugene discovered that slugs were going at it on the side of our house. 

who knew slug sex organs were sky blue?
sex organs retracting
That white nubbin is an almost completely retracted sex organ
The slime trail holding them to the wall has been christened "the Jizzum Trail" Yeah, i am aware that it is slug slime and not mammalian sexual excretions but it sounded catchy to us boulder belt denizens
more writhing

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pickled Garlic Scapes

Pickled garlic scapes was how I was introduced to garlic scapes almost 20 years ago at the Elkhorn Ranch near Richmond, IN one night whole bartering German white hardnecked garlic for a bushel of ripe bell peppers. The pickled scapes were the first lesson on how to grow hard necked garlic-you got to take off the scapes in May for full size corms in July. But what to do with several hundred scapes when you have no market for them (something we developed later on)? You pickle them by the quart!
Scapes in the raw

Scapes cut into approx 3" section and the tips, but not the flower bud, removed

The brine-7 cups white vinegar and 7 cups water along with about 1/3 cup pickling spices and a TBL of cayenne flakes. bring to a boil

Packing jars and adding brine

Lids on and ready for the canner

10+minutes in a hot water bath

and they are done!