Growing The Growers Filming Trip 2010

Diary with pictures of our trip to the USA and England to meet with people that have successfully encouraged more people to garden and farm organically

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Abingdon Organics - Anthony & Laurel Flaccavento's farm

If you haven't bothered to follow the link to Anthony Flaccavento's 2004 Leadership for a Changing World award and bio do it HERE.  I have just been back talking to my 'friend' google trying to find out the name of his farm and thought that I should give you another reference to this quite amazing man click here for more info about Anthony.

The farm he runs with his wife Laurel is called Abingdon Organics and the information on the Abingdon Farmer's Market website goes as follows:
. . .  Among the first certified organic vendors at the Abingdon Farmers Market, they have now been selling nearly two dozen types of vegetables and fruits for the past five years. Specialties of Abingdon Organics include over a dozen types of heirloom tomatoes, old world Italian sauce tomatoes, colorful squashes and peppers, and extra sweet strawberries, cantaloupes and watermelons. They also sell through Appalachian Harvest.
Mike made the initial contact via email and Anthony was happy to have us come and film at the farm providing we turned up early and realised that he and Laurel are busy people! We were getting good vibes and were not disappointed. Our gut feeling was that this pair were seriously involved in farming and farming in a world that needs a lot more farmers.

So here is my picture of Anthony taken on his farm early in the morning. He is mik'ed up, ready for filming an interview, yet relaxed and enthusiastic about talking with us - what a warm, intelligent human being. 

He will probably kill me for saying this but when we told him that we had just come from 4 Season Farm he exclaimed "Eliot Coleman! that man ruined my life!"  Well we wouldn't have put it that way but when the world realises that you can eat tomatoes in Maine in June and salads the year round in very cold climates then I guess the concept of year round growing takes on a whole new meaning. What we didn't remember to tell Anthony at the time was that Eliot was equally staggered at Allsun Farm when he heard that we could grow 12 months of the year using plastic and never were able to take a snow covered winter off.

So here  is Abingdon Organics, starting at the gate.

A small, diverse, productive mixed farm.

No sign of Anthony or  Laurel but we know we are at the right place.

A view from the top of the farm. 

And another view face on. 

Inside the polytunnels.

. . .  and double click this image to get a close up of
 the water droplets on the garlic scapes.
It doesn't matter whether it is Virginia, Maine or Gundaroo
garlic just has a complete handle on what day of the year it is!

We have this saying around the farm
"take one risk and learn one new thing every day"
Well today I learnt that you could store floating row cover by plaiting it. 

. . .  and of course tools. 
This time in an barn not a poly tunnel
but the same old favourites were there.

When we arrived Laurel was busy moving her sheep. 
What a great opportunity to film sheep being cell grazed in electric mesh
fencing. Fred has all of this on video (watch this space!)

We loved meeting the Flaccoventos - three cheers for small scale organic farmers!

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