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Arugula's Star Farm writing & photos...week 11...Potato Planting Proposition ...$Pay involved

Posted 3/19/2018 1:35am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
I was caught from my backside planting the first row of Red Thumb fingerling potatoes.  As you can see, potato planting has quite the limbering effect.  Who needs yoga, workout, or toe touching classes when your body and soul moves fluidly with the rhythms of the planting season.  
This past Wednesday when the Moon was in Capricorn (ROOT SIGN) I was able to try out my theorized "no till" potato planting for the 2018 season.  My pursuit of this alternative method came about because of the incredibly rainy late winter season.  Our total rain accumulation for he month of February was 13.2" and I would bet this was a weather record.  I know it was the wettest that I have ever recorded on the farm for the month February.  Since the soils are very saturated, I started thinking of alternatives that did not include our tractor for the initial soil preparation.  I have come up with the experimental method that I am using this year and I think it will be of great success if all parts of the method can be executed with completion.  It involves perhaps a little more manual labor but overall the soil as a mass will not be disturbed and hence nor will the earthworms or the soil's microbiology.  
Unfortunately, I have not had success in filing the Arugula's Star Farm Farming Partner Positions.  Potato seeds are one of those that the order is made in January and at that time I would have hoped to have found some partner candidates, but here it is potato planting time and there are NO partners.  I have been working to try to get rows pre layed out and dug so prepped rows will be ready for the potatoes to be placed into ground come this week when the Moon will be in Taurus (ROOT SIGN) on Wednesday March 21st, Thursday March 22nd, and Friday March 23rd.  The weather is looking perfect, so as long as I can find some needed hands then the 200 lbs of heirloom potato seeds can be placed in their season's growing home.  
I am always encouraged by the shear force of having many folk work done a row and how the completion comes with such powerful ease.  A job that would take one person a couple of hours often can be quartered in duration.   This is exactly what happened on Sunday at our Ecosystem Exploration Family Farm Day.  We had our best turn out thus far, with 4 wonderful families.  I did not even expect anyone to really want to help in the potato row prep, but one family even brought their gloves and were ready to get to it.  This family of 5, joyfully made it down a 220 ft row very excellently.   To see how a family can work together at such a necessity related task was quite beautiful.  
With that being said, I have come up with the 2018 Potato Planting Proposition.  I have already sent this out to Belmont University's Science Department and Slow Foods Chapter, as they made an initial visit to the farm a couple of weeks ago and we discussed how students could have a hands on farming experience on a monthly basis, The Middle TN Women's Farming Group, and The Nashville Food Project.  
Now, the 2018 Potato Planting Proposition is being sent your way.  Please pass along to anyone that you think would be interested in helping. Here it is posted below.  After seeing what the work of one family can do, I would say this opportunity would be an excellent hands on learning experience that would be  very rewarding for a family or even an individual or couple. All details can be found below and YES there is $PAY involved! 

Potato Planting Proposition 2018:
Arugula's Star Farm NEEDS your HELP!
Getting our Organic/Biodynamic Heirloom Fingerlings Planted for the 2018 season.  A very soil enriched, hands on experience. 
Due to our very very wet late winter we are  preforming a complete no till, 100% manual planting procedure this season.
Will use shovel, trowel, compost, and hay.  
A family, pair, or single can successfully make it down one 220 ft row.  Of course, it takes one person a longer time, but it is completely doable as this is my life and I do it all the time!  
I will give specific instructions for the planting method and directions will need to be followed.  
Any of these dates below will be used for getting rows ready and actually planting potato.
Specific to Astrological ROOT Sign for placing potato seed in ground.  
Wednesday March 21st (weather looks clear and sunny)  Thursday March 22nd (weather looks clear and sunny)
Friday March 23rd (weather looks clear and partly sunny)
To complete a whole row of preparing and planting and topping off with composted hay, it takes one person on average 5 hours I would say, but this estimation depends  a lot on efficiency, determination, and skilled rhythm.  If there are two people working on a row, or a family then completion would of course come way sooner. 
To get to have a super fun hands on Organic Farming experience and to get to be apart of your local food system's supply chain.  
To get Compensated $40 per completed 220 ft row! Needs to be done successfully of course!  
If working as a family, this is the total amount your whole family gets.  If you are a family of 4-5 you might think about signing up for a couple of rows, as you would work through 2 rows in a breeze.   
There are 10 rows awaiting = 10 unit openings
To be apart, please contact Allison Mills Neal at or call 931-682-314  
Please include name, what date you would like to participate, and how many rows you plan on completing. 
You will get a confirmation and any other needed details that pertain to the days activities.  
***Openings will be filled on a first contact, first serve basis***
Since I have sent out to a variety of organizations, I would not hesitate long if you do indeed want to sign up. Unit openings very well could fill up...and I hope they do!
Arugula's Star Farm is located only about 40 minutes from the south end of Green Hills...a beautiful drive with no interstate required. Driving directions can be found on website, or by clicking here. 
Thanks so much!
Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


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