Creating the Farm

Trees felled 1991Left Field Farm was once a pasture for sheep, part of a larger farm.  With the decline of sheep farming the land began to return to woods in about 1930. After purchasing the land in 1991, we cleared a small area in which to garden. The forest duff covering the newly cleared ground was left in place, this would be the base of organic matter that started the garden off.  We then began a regimen of soil building that we still follow today. We applied manure and farm-made compost to the earth, allowed the tree roots and stumps to rot and eventually cleared the soil of rocks by hand digging them out.  Because the soil was rocky, and to this day remains dotted with ledge outcrops, we decided that the soil would be built up but never tilled.Amended soil 1994 These choices resulted in the added benefit of a farming method that ties up carbon from decaying organic matter rather than releasing soil-stored carbon through tillage.

As the soil structure improved to a more garden-like quality we built mounded raised beds that enable us to achieve highly intensive production of a wide variety of vegetables crops. Over the years, we have increased the size of the garden to
about ¾ acre.

Initial Garden 1991 Market Garden 2000