Farm News/Communication

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Posted 8/9/2017 12:48am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #10 / Week #32 of 2017
We have been just harvesting away here lately…Potatoes, Beans, & Garlic.
Also, Fall Crop planting has started. I have our Brassicas & Chicories in trays and Root Crops & Fall Peas have been started directly in the field. In between the two Carolina Lima Beans rows, in the picture below, is where the Beet, Carrot, and Pea seed has been placed. One can also see how nicely the Limas are drying in the summer sun.  These Carolina Red Limas are planted from our very own saved seeds!  Really a delicious dry bean.  If you have never eaten anything other than a green lima, you really have to try these. Click here for crop variety details.

The Magic Molly Fingerlings are for sure a fun eat, as they hold their brilliant purple color through all cookings.

Please give our Genuine SeedtoGather Seal TM Potatoes, Dry Beans, & Garlic a try! 
Remember orders need to be received by 7 am on Thursday mornings for front door, business, or on farm pick ups. Also, I know I have only mentioned Nashville Town front door drop offs or at least in route to Nashville Town, but if there is a large enough order from a handful of people from Columbia or Franklin town, I would be willing to do a delivery to those locations as well.
Sure hope to hear from you soon.  Thanks, Allie

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 8/2/2017 1:12am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Just a quick reminder letting you know that Potatoes are being dug, Dry Beans are being picked, and Garlic has been cured.  What baskets of fun!  As Potatoes are moving through Nashville Grown to restaurants, varieties are already starting to sell out.  Both Mountain Rose and All Blues are no longer available.  Then there are a handful like Harvest Moon, Adirondack Red & Blue, Heirloom Austrian Crescent Fingerling, Heirloom Rose Finn Apple Fingerling, & Magic Molly Fingerling that I predict will not be around for long, so if you are interested please get them while you can.  Remember we grew 22 varieties of potatoes this year, so we have quite the unbelievable selection for those of you who love to cook up potatoes.  Our Dry Bean and Garlic varieties are very high as well.
Henley and 360 Bistro are the two restaurants that are in the lead for purchasing the most amount of potatoes thus far!  I would love to hear if anyone has eaten at either of these two restaurants and had our potatoes!  I know 360 Bistro has been around for a while, but I think Henley is fairly new and is located in a new Hotel of sorts off of West End/Broadway.  
We will even drop off your order to your door or business, if you are in the spoke of locations on the order form.  We do Drop off deliveries on Thursday afternoons, as this is when we come in town to drop off our ordered potatoes to Nashville Grown (right across from Richland Park off of Charlotte Pike).  If you are wanting a Thursday drop off,  your order will need to be received before 7 am on Thursday mornings!
On Farm pick-ups are always happening on the weekends from now until storage crops are sold out. If  you are wanting a weekend On Farm Pick Up at the Rocket, your order will need to be received before 7 am on Thursday mornings.    
Just Read and  Electronically Fill out Form and then click to send right on in.  Other than having to decide what varieties you would like, it is a very quick and easy process.  
Aren't those the most impressive Pole Bean Rows you have ever seen.  Those are our very own Carolina Red Lima's...grown from our own saved seed.  The trellises are 8 feet tall!  
You can see Eastenn Dutch and I are out digging up some Heirloom Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings.  Yes we dig by hand.  Twice a week..hundreds of pounds each.  Lot's of digging still to go, but I would say we have dug out at least 1/3 of the 12 by 220 ft rows.  
Also pictured below are Heirloom Rockwell Dry Beans, and Strawberry Paw Late Season Potatoes.  
Hope to be delivering to your door step soon!
Thanks, Allie

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 7/10/2017 1:58am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Arugula's Star Farm Tiding # 8 / Week 28 of 2017

Here are our two 220 ft runs of Heirloom Carolina Red Pole Beans.  Growing Tall and Thick on our 8 ft tall metal trellis system. Lots of Dry Lima Beans coming your way! One can just hear the bees a buzzing on the bean flowers when you walk down the rows.  

Hello to all from Arugula’s Star Farm!

Summer swept right in and here we find ourselves in the month of July. July is the month in which I think all of nature and life is at its most full…green areas that have been kept wild are so dense with vegetative species, insects are in a constant buzz and hum, and gardens are full and running over with harvest.

A lot has happened since our last note. Potato digging started about 2 weeks ago and since we had minimal SAP members the main focus now is trying to sell and move all the thousands of pounds of potatoes that will be harvested out of the ground. To start with, I have been offering my items through Nashville Grown and I am seeing a steady increase with our largest order to date yet today!

If you patron a restaurant now and then in Nashville, these are the ones that have purchased either Potatoes, Garlic, Cucumbers, or Snap Beans from our farm thus far. Funny how we have not been out to eat since I think it was back in 2007 in Nashville, so I was completely out of the current trendy restaurant loop. It has been fun learning about all these new restaurants. I am even thinking we might give EiO and the Hive a try since “everything is organic”.

360 Bistro
EiO & The Hive
Richland Country Club
Lockeland Table
The Treehouse Restaurant
Urban Cowboy
Old School Farm Restaurant
Two Ten Jack
Miel Restaurant
Catbird Seat
Rolf & Daughters

So now…how do you as a reader get in on these fantastic potatoes that are being harvested! Not to mention our Garlic and eventual Dry Beans.

1. On Farm Pick Up At the Rocket on weekends (noon on Fridays -Dark on Sunday night)

2. I am going to start off trying Thursday Nashville In Town Deliveries. As long as you live somewhere in any of the local Nashville neighborhoods (Examples…Green Hills, Belmont Neighborhood, Belle Meade, Whitland Neighborhood, West Meade, Belmont/Waverly, Forest Hills, Around the Warner Parks, Oak Hill, Richland Park, or anywhere in between our farm and Nashville town) I will be willing to do a door drop off. A minimum order of 5 lbs of potatoes (mix and match) will have to be placed to get the front door special delivery. As all items offered are storage crops, you will not have to be home. I will just leave them at your from door. Easy as that!

We have around 20 varieties of potatoes to choose from. Here is a link to the varieties and great descriptions. Genuine SeedtoGather Seal TM Potatoes, Garlic, & Dry Beans.

We have an order page if you would like to place your order on line. Order your Storage Crops Now Here.

You can also just send an e-mail letting me know what you would like. Be sure to let me know your address, if you are placing a Nashville In Town Order.

Also, if you want to get a small group together to come out and do a “YOU Dig Potato” then that might be a possibility. Just send me a note if you are interested in this option.

A good big change for the farm is that we finally are going to incorporate cattle to the fields.  Bells Bend Grassfed (Loran), is going to custom graze about 5 Steers here.  We have been working on our fencing & water systems and the cattle should be here sometime this week or next.  Can't wait to see the cattle grazing and manuring our fields and compost!

The last note of happenings is that I have had the out of the blue opportunity to do some personal cooking again for R.S. Lipman (part time, mainly on weekends). It arose and I thought I would give it a try. My first day was on June 30th and I think this was the longest time that I had been away from Eastenn Dutch since he was born and he will be 3 in August. I will say though, it is quite fun being back cooking in someone else’s kitchen other than my own.

Hope you will try some of our Storage Crops and until next time happy eatings! 


Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 5/9/2017 1:05am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Genuine Potato, Dry Bean, & Garlic [SAP] Guided Tidbits for Participating Members\2nd of the Guided Tidbits

Dearest [SAP] Members,

I think that the time has come where all is going to aline to finally bring forth Farm Visit #2. By looking at the moon signs and the weather there is going to be a good opportunity this up and coming weekend and start of the week. We are in for some rains on Friday, but after that day it is clear and beautiful.

For all the dates listed below, you can chose to come out for any 3 hour time block during the day anywhere from 8am till 6pm. Just know that we will break for lunch sometime around midday, so try not to show up anywhere from 11:30-1:00. Please just send me a quick e-mail saying what date and the approximate time you are shooting for, so we can know when to expect you.

Sunday May 14th
Monday May 15th
Tuesday May 16th

At the Hands On Farm Visit #2, you will get to see the beautiful plot of potatoes, flax, and dry beans. It is this visual change from visit to visit of the natural surroundings and the vegetable growing plot that really helps one’s seasonal time clock bear witness to the seasonal cycles. I know not everyone got to make it out for the Farm Visit #1, but those of you who did, it will feel like a different world out here. We have left early spring and have entered full blown green, thick, and lush mid spring. The forest canopy is full, the fields have sheathed away there brown in exchange for green, and the plot of dirt has transformed into a vibrant spot that now has different textures & species of green potatoes, flax, & beans. Upon arrival I would recommend everyone just taking visual notes of how each potato plant variety has it’s own unique look, very subtle but it is noticeable, especially when you have 22 varieties to compare. You will fall in love with the thick Flax rows of green.

I had taken some current pictures of the plot that I thought about including, but with second thought I think it would be much more exciting for you to see it for your ownselves in person. This will allow you to try to make a mental picture of what you think the plot will look like.

At this Farm visit #2 you will get to plant some dry beans and you will get to see all the different varieties of dry bean seeds that will be growing for harvest. As it has continued to be so wet, I had an opportunity on this past Wednesday the 3rd to work in the field and get a lot of the dry beans planted. Like we always say, you have to make hay when the sun is shining and that day was a last minute go. I knew more rains were coming that very night, and the field was just right for doings. I got a round of cultivating done, got the first row of Austrian Crescent Heirloom Fingerlings hilled, and planted dry beans. As we were already a little behind schedule because of the rains, I made the decision to go ahead and get the majority of beans in the ground. Remember that part of the point of them being there is to be a companion to the potatoes, so I did not want their planting to get to far behind that of the potatoes, as they need to be growing at the same time for at least part of each's life cycle. I have saved 3 sections, so you will still get to have the hands on experience of planting the beans.

You will also be collecting compost from our compost pile to apply to the planted bean rows. The big task at hand will be hilling the potatoes. If you have never got to hill potatoes then it is a treat in itself. It is physical and it is very rewarding to finish a whole row and look back at your work. The soil will really be nice when we are doing the hilling, so the task will be pleasant even though it is physical. There is a magical transformation of our soils from late winter/early spring freshly turned to mid spring/early summer soil.

For the 2nd of the Guided Tidbit series, this one will focus primarily on Beans & Roots.

Bean Family: Fabaceae

The members of this family have traditionally been called legumes. Botanically the term legume denotes a simple dry fruit in the form of a pod that develops from a single carpel and usually dehisces, or splits, at maturity into 2 halves called valves, with the seed attached to the edge of one of the valves. If you are wondering about what a carpel is, this is one of the two inner parts of a flower and it is the female ovule bearing appendages, the other being the male reproductive stamen. Within the Carpel is the Pistil which consist of the ovary, style, & stigma. I feel like most of the time when people talk about the female part of a flower they talk about the Pistil, as not much mention is given to the term Carpel.

Most of the 40 species used in the human diet are annual PULSES, which are legumes harvested primarily for their protein rich dry seed. Instead of calling what you are growing Dry Beans technically they could be called Pulses. One might get some confused expressions if you talked about the Pulses you were growing, but hey, then you would be able to pass on the fun new vocabulary word.

Legume flowers have blossoms with an irregular shape that is often described as resembling a butterfly. The flower consist of 5 petals: 1 large oval banner or standard, 2 elongated prow shaped keel petals that are fused together, and 2 wing petals.
Of course the bean plants will be of just baby size, not any flowers yet, but I bet my pea plants will still be blooming when you all are here, so you can have a look at those to see what has been described.

Most often the petal color is white, but may also be many other beautiful shades of pastels, ranging from deep toilet, purple, pink, and salmon to shades of red.

The genus species of the Fabaceae family that you will be growing are:

Phaseolus vulgaris which includes snap beans, commons beans, green beans, & shell beans

Phaseolus lunatus which includes lima bean & butter bean

Vigna unguiculata which includes cowpeas


Well here we are again, another historic past with South America. Lima beans are among the oldest documented New World vegetables, traceable back to at least 5,000 B.C. in Peru. According to reports from Spaniards who first occupied Peru, lima beans were only eaten by the Incas and other Indian elite. The rest of society consumed common beans. Small-seeded varieties of the lima were also known in Mexico during pre-Columbian times, yet there is not much evidence that lima beans had spread northward to American Indians beyond the Southwest until introduced by European settlers. Mottled forms are known to have grown in Florida around old Indian sites, but may have been introduced through early contact with the Spanish. The Spanish and Portuguese were largely responsible for disseminating the lima bean to other parts of the world. Our English word for it, which refers to the Peruvian capital of Lima, more or less confirms the South American origin of the seed first studied by European botanists. Some of the old German herbals called it Mondbohne or “moon bean” in reference to the quarter-moon shape of the seed pod. The moon still figures in the species name lunatus, “moon-shaped.”

Green & Shell Beans also originated in South America, but the cowpea has a history that started in Africa. It has the highest tolerance for heat and dry sandy soils, hence why one hears of the cowpea being grown so readily in the South.

Where are Dry Beans Grown in the States Currently

When you have bought dry beans in the past at the grocery, if USA grown, they more than likely came form North Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska, or Minnesota. These states are the top producers of dry beans in the USA. The worst parts of conventionally grown beans, is that on average, large mono crop fields have to have 3 sprayings of pesticides and/or fungicides and lots of water and lots of chemical fertilizers. After hearing that, aren’t you happy to have the opportunity to grow your own Genuine SeedtoGather Seal Dry Beans…good for you, good for the environment, beautiful, and unique!


All legume roots form nodles, or lumpy growths, along the roots. This happens because of the symbiotic relationship between rhizobia bacteria and legume roots. The roots provide nutrition to the rhizobia bacteria and as the bacterias are being feed they convert nitrogen gas into a solid forms of nitrogen (an example of a solid form of nitrogen is a protein) in the nodules. That is why you have probably heard that legumes are nitrogen fixers…take nitrogen from the air and hold onto it for the plant’s use.

When the plant is grazed, mowed, or dies, the nitrogen becomes available to other plants. Or when consumed by us humans in the form of the dried fruit of the dry bean we are eating the nitrogen in its solid form of protein.

Legumes also help to bring oxygen into the soil. Clover is a wonderful perennial legume that can help bring oxygen into an oxygen deprived area. This could be a compacted area, a waterlogged area, or a heavy clay area. I always want to laugh when yard care landscapers always want to ride a yard of clover. We love clover for not just its leguminous properties, but also because of it’s blooming flowers that bees adore!

The Roots of Dry Beans form a taproot when young. Then before a young bean plant begins to mature, it produces a profuse number of roots in the top 10 inches of the soil, and the taproot grows to a depth of up to 24 inches. By the time the pods are forming beans, the taproot has increases its depth to 3 feet. The roots ramify the soil in a two foot radius around the plant. If you can just try to picture this description while you are out in the field working with the beans then you will be amazed! it has been said that a mere Lima Bean plant can ramify 200 cubic feet of soil, with a majority of the roots growing and feeding in the top two feet.

I love the fact that there is 1400 lbs of Nitrogen over every square foot of soil in the air. Basically, this retracts any need for any chemical nitrogen fertilizers. If the soil has a good store of beneficial bacteria, then the whole chemical Nitrogen fertilizer industry is a mere non necessary money making scheme that the masses have bought into and have believed every since the first World War.

In listening to a lecture once from Hugh Lovel, I wrote down a point that has stuck with me for a while, and it was in relation to Nitrogen. From a Biodynamic perspective, natural nitrogen through the atmosphere makes people more intelligent and sensory. So by eating organic & biodymaic foods we are eating foods that have been produced through natural nitrogen. If one eats conventional food then the body is taking in chemical man/made based nitrogen and therefore dulls the brain and the senses.


Roots Demystified by Robert Kourik

The Organic Seed Grower A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production by John Navazio

Mother Earth News Organic Gardening Heirloom Bean Varieties by William Woys Weaver

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 4/29/2017 3:17am by Allison Mills Neal or Matthew Neal.

Arugula’s Star Farm Tiding #7 / 17th week 

One knows its potato planting time here on the farm if you can spot at least 4 different types of wild spring forest plants in bloom, by walking in certain special spots of the forest and along spring feed branches and creeks. I am not familiar with the correct names of all of the particular flowers, but I know them by sight and season. This years showing was quite spectacular. 

We did indeed get 10 x 220’ long rows of organic seed potatoes planted the first weekend of April. One row had already been planted on March 24 and the last row got scooted to April 5th. 12 total rows all in all. The potato seed was placed in the ground and covered in the time in which the moon was within an earth element / Root sign constellation, which is what Roots prefer. There was one experimental row that was planted within a water element / leaf sign, which is second best for Roots and I thought really could be considered an equal to our dear potatoes as they are really enlarged stems and not true roots. I think though it goes back to the notion that they develop under ground, which is indeed ROOT like.

There was also 6 x 220’ long rows of organic flax seed planted. Each row of potatoes will have a flax row & a bean row next to it. This particular companion intercropping arrangement is based on the notion that Flax improves Flavor and Growth of Potatoes & Protects the Potato Plants from the Potato Bug & Blister Beetle. The Beans help protect the Potato from the Potato Beetle & the Potatoes help protect the beans from the Mexican Bean Beetle. Even though we use more space & have end products like the flax that we do not profit from, I find that it is worth it to help ensure a good crop of Excellent Taste & Wonderful Quality! We know you will think so too!

Despite our lower number of actual [SAP] members, along with some help from our new [SAP] intern Sam and a few good farming friends, it turned out to be a meaningful & fun weekend. The children in particular had a god mix of hands on learning and good nature exploration. I certainly know that Eastenn Dutch loved all of the farm guests and had the best of times! Since the planting, all the varieties of Potato Stems are emerging from the dirt and good thick bands of Flax has germinated and is thriving! I love seeing the potato stems as they first make their first big push into the light of day.

We are not all planting around here on the farm, we also have to keep ourselves stocked with firewood, as our winter heat & cooking comes from 100% wood power.  A beautiful and very tall Chestnut Oak was killed in a lightning storm last fall, so Matthew thought it was a good time for climbing!  Eastenn Dutch is already learning the ropes. 



In order to help increase interest and participation in our [SAP], both spring/summer [SAP] & summer/fall [SAP], I have decided to not require participation in 3 out of the 4 Hands On Farm Visits. Now when you as a customer sign up for our [SAP] all Hands On Farm Visits will be optional, except for the Harvest Day Visit, which is the last visit in the sequence. Harvest Day will be “Barrels of Fun” for everyone in the family! Like I always like to say, “ It is not only FUN for the whole family it is FOOD for the whole family.” There will also be lots of dates to choose from for the Farm Visit Harvest Days, so that can give you or your family quite a bit of flexibility. Therefore, if you become a [SAP] member you will get to decide how much hands on entertainment & education you want to take from the program, it can either be full on or to just come out for the Harvest Date, or anywhere in between. Cost of the [SAP] will vary depending on the amount of crop shares chosen & how many Hands On Farm Visits a family or an individual participates in.

Please take a look at the New spring/summer [SAP] SIGN UP FORM

Here are the Possible spring/summer [SAP] 4th Hands ON Farm Visit harvest dates: See how Many options you now have!

Friday June 30th, Saturday July 1st, Sunday July 2nd Friday July 7th, Saturday July 8th, Sunday July 9th, Monday July 10th, Tuesday July 11th Friday July 14th, Saturday July 15th, Sunday July 16th Tuesday July 18th, Wednesday July 19th, Thursday July 20th



2017 Genuine Potato, Dry Bean, Snap Bean & Garlic Storage Crop Varieties…more varieties than you could ever imagine & the best selection in town!

We are also going to offer Genuine SeedtoGatherTM Seal Storage Crop Orders for the 2017 season. What this means is that you do not have to participate in the [SAP] to purchase Potatoes, Dry Beans, Roots & Garlic.

We will have a form on the website that will allow for you to make a pre-order & here is a link to it right here Online Order Form for Genuine Storage Crops.

When crops of Potatoes, Dry Beans, & Garlic are harvested in June & July you will have the opportunity to pick your order up on certain (handful to choose from) On Farm pick up Dates or at In Town Nashville Drop Off Dates. We will do both weekday and weekend dates, to make sure that at least one of the pick ups can work for you. Specific sites still to be determined, but will make it fairly central, Ex...Elmington Park off of West End, Percy Warner Park, and/or Richland Park Farmer's Market & would be willing to make specific neighborhood drop offs in Nashville, and even in Columbia or Franklin if enough people from a certain neighborhood ordered.

So, if you live in a particular neighborhood/street, then the more people you can get to order that live in your neighborhood/street, the better the chances that I will deliver directly to your neighborhood/street.

Same goes for a specific school/homeschool group or business/office/shop.  I would drop off orders in a school parking lot/homeschool meet up, or at a certain business/office/shop,  if enough people ordered.

If you would like to head up a school/homeschool, neighborhood/street, or business/office/shop group order then please just pass along this info and contact me at or 931 682 3314 to let me know what you are working on. I will have a section in the On Line order form that will let one specify if they are hoping to be part of a certain school, neighborhood/street, office/business/shop drop off.  This allows you to not have to do any organizing other than spreading the word, as individuals will still place their own orders. 

Once harvest start, we will probably be making drop off runs every other week, which will give you plenty of date options to pick up.

Your Total Amount Due will be at pick-up, but we do ask that one sends a $10.00 deposit that goes towards your total amount due. This deposit ensures that you are truly committed to picking up your ordered storage crops and it keeps us from selling your pre-ordered crops to other venues. If there was the oddity of a total crop failure, your $10.00 deposit would be refunded! Also, once you make a $10.00 deposit, you can make as many orders as you would like through the 2017 harvest season. For example, you might pre-order 15 lbs of early season potatoes and then after you have picked these up, you might decide to order more late season potatoes, to be picked up at a later date. Then you might decide to order Root Crops & More Dry Beans in the Fall. The point to be taken is that you only have to send one $10.00 deposit, and this will allow you to order as many times as you would like. When you place an order you will be added to a list that will be kept updated on when pick-up dates will be.

You will also get an e-mail confirmation a couple days after you place you order and again once we receive your deposit check.

Come late summer to early Fall, you will also be able to order Genuine Storage Crops of Roots...12 different varieties of Beets, Carrots, Turnips, & Rutabagas, & more Dry Beans, and Garlic. These will be added to this On Line Order Form come sometime in early summer.


Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 4/24/2017 10:56pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Dear [SAP] members,

As we were quite fortunate with Farm Visit #1, (which was one of the most important, as the potato chits always need to get in the ground early),  our Farm Visit #2 continues to bump heads with clouds, rain drops, and super wet soils!  We had over 4 inches of rain fall here over the weekend and had the quick scare of the remembrance of the 2010 Flood on Saturday early morning.  I was awoken by Matthew telling me that "he was off to move the chicken coop and that the waters were starting to swell the banks, we could be in for another flood."  This is by no means a pleasant way to be awoken.  The only crop that would have been effected by a flood is the Garlic, as it is down in the lower part of a field closer to the creek.  The rains stopped just in time that morning to give the water in the creek enough time to reside before the rains started up again in the afternoon.  

As you can imagine, the soils are saturated and more rains are forecasted starting this Thursday through the weekend.  With this much saturation it will be near impossible to get into the fields for anything for a little while...spreading compost, hilling, or planting beans.  So until further notice, all current Farm Visit #2 dates are going to have to be postponed till dates in May.  

At least this allows one to see how doing field work as a grower, is not always as specific and clear cut as other business pursuits or activities that do not have to work in the harmony of the weather and by all means shows the reality that growing your own food is not as easy as strolling into a grocery store, no matter what the weather, to buy potatoes, dry beans, and garlic!  As a farmer, every week has to be looked at as not only a list of what the farmer wants and needs to do, but also what nature wants and needs to do.   

I think there is only a couple of potato varieties, out of the 22, that have not shown their bright green stem sprouts yet, so this is great folks!  It is the Swedish Peanut/Almond and the Reddales, from what I can tell from the perimeter, and funny enough these are two varieties that I planted by myself.  I think this has to do a little with the the sprouting of these two particular varieties when they were put into the ground (the eyes had very little sprout growth) and that I think my method of planting might get the potatoes just a little deeper than your all's planting.   Soon there will be lots and lots of hilling & cultivating to be done.  When it dries out we not only will be planting the last 3 rows of beans, but more than likely the large task of hilling all the potatoes will upon us. 

I will try to send out some new Farm Visit #2 dates for the month of May here in the next week or so.  




Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 4/20/2017 12:01am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Good Thursday morning to you.

This is a quick weather update note for the up and coming [SAP] member Hands ON Farm Visit #2.

Great news is that we got a total of 1.1 inches of rain here on Monday and Tuesday combined, with the big our down on Monday afternoon. We were working in our compost and cleaning out the chicken coop when we had to take cover in the barn. If you never have got to watch a rain storm from within a barn, I would highly recommend it. It seems like the opportunity arises for us maybe a couple times a year, but the chances are slim, even for us and we live here.

By looking at the weather, there is lots of rain forecasted for Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd. A 100 % chance on Saturday. With this type of forecast, I am going to cancel this Saturday the 22nd as an option for Farm Visit #2. I do not think that anyone was planning on this date anyways, as I had not heard from anyone yet, but I thought I would let you know in case you were in contemplation.

I also wanted to let you know that here in the next few days I plan on sending out a general Farm Tiding Mailing List e-mail revealing the new format of [SAP] options. This e-mail will talk about how members can now choose anywhere from 4 to 1 Hands ON Farm Visit Days, instead of the programs initial required 3 visits out of the 4 offered. If any of you would like to change your number of Farm Visits to a lesser more watered down amount then please let me know, as I would not want anyone to feel overwhelmed with your current commitment of 3 to 4 visits. If you change your numbers of visits then this will affect your total membership cost, and you would be owed a little bit of money.

As we are speaking about [SAP] cost, please remember to pay total amount due sometime before the end of the season, if you have not already. Payment could have been easily overlooked or forgotten about, as we do not send out any sort of billing reminders. I thought this could serve as the friendly reminder. If you have not payed and need to be reminded what you owe, then please let me know. Thanks

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 4/16/2017 1:22am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Good day to you all, 

Well since you were here last, the top surface of the fields have dried out a bit and are seeking some good rain moisture, in which I hope they get this week.  The first row of planted Heirloom Austrian Crescent Fingerlings have came up very consistently and nicely and it appears that the following 11 rows are just about to break through the surface.  You all will be quite pleased when you show up for Farm Visit #2 and get to see all the potato green stems nicely growing in their rows.  

Also, the first 2 rows of Flax that was planted Saturday April 1st have germinated nicely in much thickness, as they got the good rain falls on Monday the 3rd.  The 4 other Flax rows that I planted on April 4th have not had a good pounding rain yet and therefore have not really sprouted yet, but they should with the coming rains this week!  

On Saturday afternoon,  Eastenn Dutch and I got the Biodynamic 500 Horn Manure Prep and Barrel Compost Sprayed over the planted Potatoes and Flax again.  We had already done one round on the Flax rows and Bean rows, back a few weeks ago.  The whole area has had all the spring Biodynamic sprays that it needs. 

We hope that all members will be able to make the Hands On Farm Visit #2, as there were a few for Farm Visit #1 that did not get to make it.  


Farm Visit #2 will evolve mainly around planting beans.  There could also be a little bit of hilling and cultivating, if you end up choosing one of the later dates in April.  There will be 9 varieties of beans that will be going into the ground and you will be working on getting 110 to 220 row ft of a particular variety planted.  About all the beans that have been selected are Heirloom and we have quite a beautiful and diverse line up.  You will get to see all the varieties, even though you will only be working with one and of course when it comes to harvest time you will get to mix and match what varieties you want to gather and take home for your signed up share qty. Members will even have the option to add on and purchase more Dry Beans than what you initially signed up for if desired.  This will be the same for the Potatoes and Garlic too! 

Along with mineral spreading, you will also be working with compost spreading Farm Visit #2.  

Here are the possible Farm Visit #2 dates for you to pick from, and of course the weather will have to be monitored and looked at as each date gets closer.  I will keep you updated according to which date you choose. I am going to try to do the initial soil prep work in the area of the row, so if it is a little wet you will still be able to get the beans planted.   It mainly just cannot be down pouring when the beans are being planted, nor can the grounds be so saturated from a very recent down pour.  Our feet on the wet soil will cause to much compaction and also because it is hard to cover seed with dirt that is extremely wet.  The rows where the beans are going to be planted have not been turned since the initial turn in back on Friday March 17th.  So it has been at rest for a month.


At some point closer to time please just try to let me know which date and time block you or your family are shooting for.

Saturday April 22nd (9-12noon, 10am-1pm, 3-6pm) 

Wednesday April 26th  (1pm-4pm, 2-5pm, 3-6pm)

Sunday April 30th (8-11am, 9-12noon, 10am-1pm, 2:30-5:30pm, 3-6pm)

Thanks and will be seeing you soon!


Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 3/31/2017 12:48am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #6 / Week 13


Doing a little practice run before the big weekend, by planting some Heirloom Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings.  Eastenn Dutch wanted to teak his planting skills, so he could be my special assistant for the weekend.  

Looking like all 320 pounds of potatoes will be going into the ground this weekend on April 1st and April 2nd.  It is still not to late to SIGN UP for the [SAP].  Suppose to be a Beautiful weekend & what a way to spend a marvelous spring weekend and only 3 hours of it at that!

Here soon we will be announcing some new [SAP] options, if the 4 Hands On Farm Visits just did not work for you or your family.  Then we will also be sharing how you as a customer can just purchase the Bulk Genuine Storage Crops of Potatoes, Dry Beans, & Garlic. 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


Posted 3/27/2017 4:18am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Here we are in the week leading up to the First Hands On Farm Visit.  

First off, sometime by this Thursday the 30th, please send a quick e-mail confirming what date and what time slot you are planning for your Farm Visit #1.  

Saturday April 1st (8 am - 11 am) (10 am - 1 pm) (4 pm - 7 pm)

Sunday April 2nd (8 am - 11 am)

Along with this letter, you should have also received the 1st Guided Tidbit series e-mail letter, which is the pre Hands On Farm Visit Educational mailing that is part of the [SAP].   

As I have just looked at the weather, it looks like we have some high chances of heavy rainfalls on Monday evening and then again on Thursday afternoon and into the night.  If the rains on Thursday night do come, then I think Friday the 31st will be way to wet to get into the field. So at this point, Saturday April 1st and Sunday April 2nd are the two options remaining.

I took measures yesterday to get the 12 specific potato rows ready for planting, that would accommodate slightly wet soils, but it seems by forecast we might be saturated.  I am going to be optimistic that the grounds dry up enough by Saturday the 1st, and the day will be a great one! 


For this first Hands On Farm Visit you will be spreading rock minerals, compost, & wood ash in a specific potato row.  As we water dampen the rock minerals they are not dusty, but the ash is, and it cannot be dampened.  Because of the ash, I would have a cloth bandana to wrap around your lower face if it is incredibly windy.  If one is moving and the wind is right I find it not to be a bother, but you can decide.  

You will be laying off rows, and preparing them for the planting of potatoes. 

You will be weighing, sorting, and cutting potato seed in preparation for the seed to be planted.

You will actually be planting the potato seeds.  

Flax is pending on whether I can get the soil worked fine enough to plant flax seed.

You will get to be apart of the spraying of B 500 (Biodynamic Horn manure) & Biodynamic Barrel Compost over top of the soil after completion of potato planting.  

If you have your own tools, then please bring hoes and trowels.   

If you marked that you did not have tools, then we will supply you with what you need.

Please bring water bottles & we can accommodate refills as we have filtered spring water.  

It looks like the weather is going to be very pleasant temperature wise, so you will need to just dress accordingly.  Comfortable outdoor old clothing at this time of year works great.  You will be down in the dirt when you plant, so take that into consideration.  

Well that is about all I can think to pass along.  If you have any questions then please pass them along.



Looking forward to the experience!



Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


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