Season Extension Farm Tour @ Chick-a-biddy Acres

Last Sunday, Farms at Work and 26 of our closest friends were invited to tour the hoop houses of Chick-a-biddy Acres and learn all about the world of season extension. Folks on the tour included current and aspiring vegetable farmers, and avid home-scale gardeners, who, when gathered in a room together, made up an inspiring cross-section of the entrepreneurs and producers in our region.

The group was not fazed at all by the threat of cold weather. In fact, the north wind and sleety conditions served as a great accent to the day's take home message: that with some modest investments and a bit of craftiness, it’s more than possible to remain productive and profitable in the vegetable business well into the colder parts of the year.

Sherry Patterson, owner and operator of Chick-a-Biddy Acres, has been farming vegetables for well over a decade. Her new business partner, Josh Blank, started occasionally working and volunteering for Sherry several years ago. On the recommendation of friends, Josh found his way into a full-season internship under Sherry. Since then, the two have worked so well together that Josh has been made a full partner in the business.

As we made our way through each of the farm’s four hundred-foot hoop houses, Sherry and Josh happily fielded all manner of questions, from construction to maintenance, cold-hardy varieties to production techniques, and marketing to capital investments. It was certainly an informative few hours, and we’re quite certain that many growers left inspired to try their hands at lengthening their own seasons next year.

We’d like to thank Sherry and Josh for welcoming such a large crew to their farm on a Sunday afternoon, and for sharing their knowledge and experiences so openly with the group. We’d also like to thank everyone who made the trek out to Hastings on such a blustery fall day, and for their help in strengthening the agricultural community across our region.

Stay tuned for the next one!