Hello again, Randall Beans Family and Chefs! We’re back in Tennessee at our small little organic farm affectionately known as the Open Spigot. The growing season was kind to us and allowed us to grow a few species of heirloom been species, including the beautiful Dragon’s Tongue. In this update we want to let you know about our plans for the warmer season, building a new barn, and spreading the lessons of organic farming.
Working on the Farm
During this trip we met extensively with Brad, our head farmer, to come up with a master plan. The organic species of beans we want to grow have to be rotated every three years, so we are expanding our farm crops to include sunflowers, fruit trees, and any unique organic heirloom crops we can make room for. Our plan includes looking to rejuvenate the soil with new vegetables which we’ll sell to the local farmer’s market.
Here’s some big news: the old farmhouse will be torn down this month to make room for expansion. We are removing all the debris from the property and will auction off the personal items. As far as building a new place for the farmers to live, we’re debating between two different lodge designs. We really like the look and feel of local barns in the Miller’s Cove area. We’ll ask our friendly local contractor Marty- who happens to be Brad’s brother-in-law- about building a unique and beautiful barn, custom made for Open Spigot.
Clearing the Land
After working all summer and into the fall, the Open Spigot farmland is finally clear enough to ride our horses Ginger and Ben up to the top of the adjacent hill and take pictures of the property. The land was cleared away mostly by hand and chainsaw, involving killing off the majority of the poison ivy overgrowth. We’re looking to grow a local strain of grapes called ***** where the old ivy vines were growing.
We also have two beautiful old apple trees on the property which is a species you can only find in the Miller’s Cove area. We want to graft the tree and grow new plants in a small orchard. The local hills are also home to a wild flowering tree called the Sourwood, which produces pollen used in the making of coveted Sourwoof Honey. Growing these trees on our property will help the local bee keepers and honey makers increase their capacity.
Odds and Ends
We’re in a resting and planning period but looking forward to the new planting season once things warm up. This is a great time of the year, as the soil is given a chance to heal, till, and get ready for the next planting. Our farmers have noted the ground still needs to be dried after this extensive rainy season.
While the farm is in a rest and relaxation period, we designed a new sign for Open Spigot Farm. It was designed and hand-crafted by a local metal artist, with brilliant reliefs of horses and the farm. We also commissioned a cool groundbreaking shovel custom made for the farm, with special etchings of the farmland and our animals. Another fun project was cutting a cedar tree down near the farm and using the lumber to fashion horse stand for Ginger and Ben.
I also want to take a second to recommend trying the food and experience at The Tea Room in Miller’s Cove. The tidy little farmhouse-turned-B&B is owned by Lynn and Charlotte, whom we bought the Open Spigot land from. Their kitchen offers chicken salad, bean salad, and potato salad. It’s located on West Miller’s Cove road and is the oldest farmhouse in the local area.
We hope you’ve had as much fun following our adventures as we’ve had living them this first year. We’ll continue to share stories and photos of the farm growing and expanding in exciting new ways as we build and work on our organic farming.