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Arugula's Star Farm Writng & Photos...Week 3

Posted 1/22/2018 3:25am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Snow Falls and Spring Calls
Another week with snowflakes falling, but instead of just flurries there was a substantial blanket of white.  By the end of the day on Tuesday I started realizing that "stockpiling" does not work when the steers cannot find the grass. They were trying their best to burrow their noses down through the snow to find what they could, but because of the accumulated 2 1/2 inches they were having lessened success by the minute.  Luckily, we remembered there was one dry round bale of good hay stored in the barn from a prior years hay mulch purchase that we were able to access to satisfy the steers hunger.  
Not only did the animal waters keep freezing, but Leipers Creek froze solid and we were able to enjoy sleding on the icy surface.  For those of you who received New Year's cards from us, you will notice that E.Dutch believed enough that his snow sled did indeed get to glide!  
A lot of firewood got chopped this week and we even started dropping the first out of 5 accessible dead oaks.  We are always sad to see such old large trees pass, while all at the same time thankful, as we yet have never had to chop down an alive tree for firewood. E. Dutch got some rope practice in and worked on his axing skills. By the end of the week, the weather suddenly broke and spring was calling. Who would have thought, what a nice reprieve!
Please remember that this coming weekend on Sunday the 28th from 1:30-4:30 is our first Ecosystem Exploration Family Farm Day. As you can see we have the fire ring ready and waiting a top the hill, all it needs now is a handful of forest visitors to help get the fire ring started.  We will have different saw tools for different age levels for the non required participating project.  
Finally I am pleased to announce that the ASF Farming Partner Information has been posted and the Application is available for interested candidates.  Here is a little synopsis of What exactly an Arugula's Star Farm Farming Partner is...and to read in Full Click Here. 

An individual that basically embodies a shared work interest, both physically & mentally in the 2018 growing season, and takes on the role of being a comprehensive small farmer alongside myself Allison (and my little 3 1/2 year old co partner E. Dutch, and my husband Matthew that acts as only a background systems & equipment counselor).  Just as any farmer has to see all parts of the farm through from start to finish, so will be the expectation of an Arugula's Star Farm Partner.  With this mentality, workloads often come in cycles and vary week to week, but there are consistencies within the variations.  

My goal for partnering with a couple of individuals will allow the farm to GROW & THRIVE within a well managed farming system.  By partnering, there should be a duality of benefits for all partners..., for example I get to continue mowing forward with my organic/biodymaic farm goals within the canopy of our farm property, while still getting to be a very hands on Mom, and then the farm partners gets an opportunity to farm without any financial investment or loss.  If there are partners, then production can continue on when I am needing to perform a few Mom duties here and there.  

Please pass on this opportunity to anyone you see fit. I am wanting to try to fill these 2 positions as soon as possible and hopefully by the end of February before snap and snow peas start to be planted.

In the Bean Department, things are already starting on an up note. I took on a small experiment for a portion of the Heirloom Carolina Red Pole Dry Beans this past fall and it seems to have been a success. In 2017, all dry beans that were sold to restaurants through Nashville Grown were sold in shell, but the goal moving forward in 2018 is to offer shelled dry beans.  The 50 lbs that was set aside to hull and offer shelled has been purchased through MEEL and by an up and coming specialty Tea Shop on 12th Ave. South.  MEEL is Nashville's local meal kit and marketplace provision doorstep delivery company. We want to see how the Heirloom Beans move and are hoping to form a good bean partnership moving forward.  To buy our beans through MEEL or to purchase a meel kit please visit  


Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


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