Andalusia Farms primary objective is to research new methods for extending yields. Our areas of research include:

 

Straw Bale Gardening

Creating beds and gardening with straw bales is a great way to create a self sufficient organic garden almost anywhere and any size.

 

Multi-Season Gardening

In New England and other cold regions of the country, a summer garden in a small space does not feed a family. We are researching a number of techniques- including growing under plastic, double-covering, crop rotations, and many others to increase the number of crops grown during a period of time and extend into colder times during the year. While the cold is a limiting factor, the angle of the sun ultimately defines the limits of our research.

 

Coldhouse Growing

Coldhouse growing is part of the growing trend to extend seasons. Although built differently, a well-insulated coldhouse can eliminate or reduce frost in the ground and keep temperatures well above outside temperatures. This technique extends seasons and puts crops in the ideal growing environment for high yields.

 

Vertical Growing

Growing in small spaces requires a lot of finesse to get large yields. We are continuing to work on methods for using all the vertical space available, especially for vine crops. However, we are also looking at hanging pots and other methods to maximize the use of space in small gardens.

 

Making Soil 

As ecologically-based farming depends on no chemcial inputs and many urban gardens are built where there is no soil (parking lots, side lots with bricks and cinder, or contamination), the need to create new soil is very much a part of the growing process. It is divided into two categories: creating organic matter and creating nutrients. We also are working on self-contained methods, recycling materials, using green manures, so that the urban farmer does not need to “purchase” inputs.

 

Preservation  

While growing through at least three seasons is now possible, there is still the need to preserve vegetables grown in spring and summer for eating in winter. At the base of all our thinking is eating properly. Vegetables grown in the areas we live is essential to a balanced microbial environment in our digestive systems. Appropriate microbes in our systems- in the soil and in our stomachs- allows us to extract the proper vitamins and minerals to live healthy, disease-free lives. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to eat locally year-round. In cold climates, there are a lot of methods we are exploring including: canning, freezing, dry-storing, drying, vaccuum-sealing, and combinations of these. These methods also promote independence and resilience when the food trucks stop rolling over the Tappan Zee Bridge due to an ice storm  or Hurricane.

 

Chicken Care  

Here at Andalusia Farms we are home to a flock of laying bantam hens. This section will be the beginning of a video series explaning everything from how we feed our chickens here at Andalusia farms all the way to predator prevention, coop construction, winter care etc…