At Roebuck Farm we offer Custom Training + get to meet inspired + energetic people from all over the world. The exchange is fantastic, we are very grateful for all they contribute + are excited about paying them a visit in their own home towns one day
Where are you from + what have you been up to?
I am from Madrid, Spain. I hold a degree in Psychology and I have worked in that field for a few years. However, my passion for plants obligated me to leave my full time psychology job and focus on gardening. I´ve been growing vegetables for the last ten years. In 2011 I decided to begin my own enterprise, making vegetable gardens for families in the outskirts of Madrid, and taking care of them. This experience helped me a lot in understanding how different plants grow, how different varieties or cultivars perform, different bed preparation techniques, and other usefull aspects of growing food.
What brought you to Roebuck Farm?
In 2017 I realised that making vegetables gardens for other people was not as interesting as could be focusing on a single garden. I found that market gardening would be a good answer. I wanted to create my own market garden and make a living from growing food. One day, doing some research in Internet I watched a video from Curtis Stone in Roebuck Farm. I saw then the beautiful tidiness of the beds, the healthy looking of the greens, some interesting hand tools and the way that Jodi ¨dances¨ with the rake shaping his beds. That was enough for me to understand that spending time in Roebuck Farm could be a usefull investment in my education.
What has been most valuable during your stay here?
First thing that comes to my mind and that I really found instructive in Roebuck Farm is ergonomics. In my own experience, farmers or gardeners are not always thinking in this important aspect of their daily activities, and thats why so many people in this field ends with long term injuries. How to use your body in a clever way, avoiding harmful positions, and how to take advantage of your hard work using motion to build health. Jodi´s practical lessons on ergonomics are of high value. Second, tools. I have used in the farm several tools that allow the small grower to speed up his production in order to be more competitive. Jang seeder, Tilther or the Quick greens harvester are some examples. It was very interesting to experiment with this and other tools, and now I feel more capable of deciding which of them will fit into my own future production. Third, the ¨high value crops" potential. Greens, microgreens, some kinds of roots, cucumbers... for the small grower is of high value understanding profitability in order to making a good living. In the farm I could move forward in this features and learn some useful maths. Something I didnt expect to learn was grazing, mainly because I thought that grazing was the same everywhere... big mistake. I came across this regenerative grazing and discovered how much can be done with a good understanding of the animals, the grasses, the soil, the manure... How herbivors can be managed in a kind and soil regenerative way is also an important takeaway from the farm. One thing I really enjoyed was the amazing library of the farm. I feel I learned a lot from my night readings. A perfect complement to the practice. Finally, but not less important, one must mention that Jodi, Tanya and their nice daughters are such an hospitable family that I really felt like home during this internship.
My next step is developing my own market garden. I want to feed people while building fertility. Direct marketing to restaurants and other customers is my first thought. I dont have the place yet, but I think I have the knowledge and the passion to start right now. I really enjoy writing too, so I would like to use this tool in a practical way. Now is time to work.