Bay Branch Farm

a vegetable farm in lakewood and cleveland, oh | we grow food

Bay Branch Farm is Drenched!


It is a fitting end to a season that started with a rainy and cold spring. Last night we sat at our final market under our trusty, newly repaired (thanks Spink!) tent getting soaked by the driving rain and wind. We had made the commitment to sell at the LEAF Harvest Fest and had a number of pre-orders (pretty much everyone picked up too), so we decided, despite better judgment, to make the trek outdoors. The other guest vendors were right there with us until night fell and the gusts became too much to hold the tents down.

Below are a few pictures of the farm. Thankfully we harvested everything before the deluge and maybe we will have some beds continue to produce when it dries out a bit. You can see the standing water pooling everywhere in our already drenched plot. The mostly clay soil offers terrible drainage, which is why we are installing more raised beds. Raised beds come with a known up front investment and yield higher quality produce than our SPIN beds which we are constantly amending with compost, broad forking, tilling and picking rocks from. We build 4′ x 12′ x 8″ beds and fill them with a combination of Sweet Peat, compost, topsoil and sand. Total cost per bed is about $100 and labor is significantly less than digging into the soil. Plus our results have been better in the raised beds.

The farm as of 4:30 pm 10/19/11

We hardly used the drip irrigation we put in this year due to all the rain.


7 thoughts on “Bay Branch Farm is Drenched!

  1. You’re to be commended for honoring your commitment and showing up at the LEAD Harvest Fest despite your intuition the weather might be challenging.

    I regularly follow your blog and I’m always inspired by your efforts.

    We have had good experience with raised beds. We presently have about 80 of them in assorted shapes and sizes ( a lot depends on what wood is available at a discounted price each time we decide to add on.)

    Our soil mix includes vermiculite as recommended by Mel Bartholemew (Square Foot Gardening.)

    Wishing you continued success in your farming efforts.

    Mordechai Welt
    Gush Etzion,Israel

    Your photos are always great and lend a personal touch to your blog.

    • Thanks for your comment, Mordechai, and for following our successes and failures at farming on a micro scale. We learn a ton each season and hope this blog can help others avoid some of our mistakes and be inspired to start growing something themselves. You, too, are an inspiration. Thanks for your efforts!

  2. Thank you for coming to LEAF night all season and sticking it out with us 🙂

  3. The Noble Foundation has a great permanent raised bed system. I’m still trying to find the balance between that and SPIN.

    Just make sure to do them right, I made an impromptu bed when we moved the kiddie pool and didn’t have enough material to fill it to the top, ended up 2″ under water during a gullywasher one afternoon (though it did drain well).

    • Hi Scott,
      Thank you so much for sharing this link. There is a ton of information offered in this article/research that will help us in our next plot. Hope you are still forging ahead with your fall crops. We are busy with fall cleanup, garlic planting and planning layout for next season.

      • Moving along slowly, all that water split my first rotation of radishes and my carrots are at 60days and still miniature (even after pulling the radishes to give them more room). Mustard greens and lettuce varieties did well and am on third rotation with them, too bad my spinach has been very low yield to make a great salad mix.

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