Molly Cole from Our Little Acre Farm
Tell me a little about your urban farm. What’s its name? Size?
“Our Little Acre Farm’ is about one acre and includes numerous raised beds, fruit trees, a chicken coop, and multiple bee hives.
What are you growing?
We grow numerous types of veggies and fruit, right now we are up to our ears in tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, artichokes, beans, peas, different types of lettuce and a ton of other veggies. We also do raspberries and blueberries as well as pumpkins, squash, peppers, and broccoli. We also have pear, peach, cherry and apricot trees on the property. We have tons of eggs from our 12 hens and have harvested over 100 pounds of honey this season so far with our two producing hives.
What kind of climate are you growing in?
We are in Spokane Valley, Wa. The pacific northwest. We are generally a bit drier than most of the state with hot summers and cold winters.
What initially got you interested in urban farming?
I grew up on a farm so have always had it in my blood. However it wasn’t until we bought our house which included a beehive which got me into the idea of bee keeping. It all cascaded from there.
Do you use any organic, permaculture, hydroponic, biodynamic, or other methods? Explain.
We use all of our own “organic” methods though not certified. We compost food waste, yard clippings and chicken manure. We also use wood chips around the property.
Do you use compost? Where do you get it and how does it help your plants?
We make our own compost and the plants really seem to thrive from it. The chickens also free range and really help keep the pests down and the ground fertile.
Do you have any urban livestock? Chickens? Bees?
We have 12 chickens and 4 hives here, two more at my secondary apiary. We hope to double that next year.
What do you do with the food you grow?
Our friends and family enjoy our harvests, I also sell honey and other various goods at farmers markets.
What is your greatest challenge in your farming endeavors?
Finding the time to keep up with it!
What do you enjoy the most about farming/growing food?
Teaching my son and the community about urban farming, especially the bee keeping. They really enjoy it and want to learn more.
Why do you think urban farming is important?
I want to be as self-dependent as possible, and through teaching to others I have found that a lot of people really have no idea here their food comes from or in a lot of cases, what they are even eating. I don’t want to rely on someone else to feed myself and my family. I know I am nowhere near being entirely self-sufficient but at least this is a step in the right direction.
Do you think this is a growing movement?
It is a proven fact that the urban gardening is a growing movement. And more and more people every day are keeping their own back yard flocks of chickens. The bee keeping world has experienced a tremendous lift in hobby beekeepers as well.
Is urban farming the future of agriculture?
I don’t know if it is in the immediate future, but I would really love to see people grow at least some of their own food.
Do you have any advice for someone that’s just getting started?
Take it one step at a time. Take a class, join some groups if you can, at the least maybe a Facebook group so you can see what is going on in your area. I have had a ton of questions answered on local Facebook groups, just by seeing what other people are having issues with. Obviously podcasts and books are also great ways to find out new information as well.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Support your local farmer whenever you can!