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Bend, Oregon: Full Rotation Farms, a successful urban farming operation created a year ago

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 16:33
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For eight months last year, Curtis worked six days a week, he said, and during peak season, he worked 12-hour days for six straight weeks.

By Ronnie Wilde
The Bulletin
Apr 4, 2017


Though there are other urban farmers in the region, what makes Curtis’ approach unique is that he does not own the land he uses. He farms in other people’s yards. With the blessing of participating homeowners, Curtis cultivates lawns, gardens and unused land and turns those spaces into productive food-producing plots. In 2016, he utilized three yards on the Westside of Bend, and was feeding 13 Full Rotation Farms member families by April 15. By June, he was in peak season, and continued to supply vegetables through December.

“On those 1-degree days, the veggies survived because I used a special cloth and greenhouse materials,” said Curtis. When the snowpack became too thick, he stopped harvesting. “But in spring, some of those vegetables will still be OK,” he said.

“This has been a big ordeal,” said Jason Friedman, owner of Center for Life Chiropractic and Wellness in Bend and a Full Rotation Farms member. “Benjamin and I have been friends for a long time. He spoke to me about urban farming awhile ago, and he really decided to go for it. I’m very proud of him, because besides the physical burden, he also had to learn about major farmer juggling, like rotating crops and dealing with the weather.

“It’s like he got a master’s degree in organic farming in one season,” Friedman added.

Read the complete article here.

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