BellCast: Winter Urban Farming Blues - S3E5

January 21st, 2018 · 1 hr 26 mins

About this Episode

In this episode, Micheal Bell returns to the Small Scale Life Podcast to discuss progress at Half Acre Farm. There have been a few changes and improvements since our interview in October 2017!  Michael and I discuss urban farming in cold weather and high winds, and we will discuss the effect on his crops and his plan moving forward.  We discuss some future projects and building soil using Regenerative Agriculture techniques discussed in a recent seminar by Gabe Brown.  We also discuss the NFL games last weekend including the Minneapolis Miracle.

As a programming note, this is the first episode of the BellCast: a monthly podcast on Small Scale Life focused on the ups and downs of urban farming on Michael’s Half Acre Farm.  Michael has been farming at this location since purchasing the land in 2016, and he sells produce locally to friends, colleagues and others.


In this podcast, Michael Bell and I discussed the following:

Minneapolis Miracle and Football Games

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Patriots Super Bowl and Dynasties


Who is Michael Bell?
Half Acre Farm - Humble Beginnings
2000 square feet to 15,000 square
30 inch wide garden beds that are 25 feet long

Urban Farming 

Winter Conditions: Wind Storm and Cold Weather this Year
Crops:  Damage and Destruction
Low Tunnels: Success or Failure?
Long Term Weather Outlook in Texas
Bouncing Back: Planting New Crops
5 Tomato Varieties
50 Large Cherry
25 Super Sweet 100's
10 Glacier (will blossom in 38 degree F temps)
25 Black Cherry Tomatoes - they get big!
Aggressive pruning and blight control - how to control blight
Selecting crops based on vegetable and profit potential
Customer Service and Sales
Breaking Bad News
Getting New Customers - Developing the "Waiting List"
Grocery Store Clients
Instagram connecting People and Customers
Eating Real Food - Michael's Salad Mix creates a Unique Taste which Sells Itself

Regenerative Agriculture

Rebuilding Soil using Regenerative Agriculture Techniques - Gabe Brown
Rancher and Soil Expert from North Dakota
Regenerated Soil in 3 or 4 Years on His Ranch
Five Laws to Regenerate Soil
Urban Farm
Backyard Gardens
Micheal's West Texas Project
Tom's Central Wisconsin Project

Philosophy and Continuous Learning

Time waits for no one
Getting things figured out; having a successful life
Why Michael and I REALLY do chores

Farm Expansion and Logistics

Greenhouse Purchased!  How to transport?
Future Greenhouses of Half Acre Farm
Keeping the Greenhouses Warm
Putting It All Together

Key topics discussed and next steps