Farm Tour: Clay Bottom
On a recent Thursday evening, the Community Sustainability Project Board of Directors enjoyed a tour of Clay Bottom Farm located at 340 Hackett Road Goshen. Farmers Ben Hartman and Rachel Hershberger have been selling produce at the Goshen Farmers Market since 2001. Ben and Rachel have made it their goal to reduce their carbon footprint and to sell their produce as close to home as possible. In fact, Clay Bottom Farm sells ALL their produce within 1.5 miles of their home!
Ben Hartman is the author of two books; The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables. His books detail how to reduce waste and increase efficiencies which was evident as we toured their farm. The farm is neat,the tools are well-organized, and farming is completed within a 40 hour work week. Ben and Rachel also have two staff members to help with the farm work.
Clay Bottom is currently farming one acre of land with half of their production being done in a greenhouse. Their self-regulating greenhouse ensures the optimum temperature. The peak of the greenhouse can change as needed to ventilate as well as and adjusts the side curtains automatically. Their greenhouse is typically 28 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months.
Besides selling at the Goshen Farmers Market, Clay Bottom Farm also sells to the local co-op, Maple City Market, as well as 5-6 restaurants in Goshen. When you shop their market booth you are getting the freshest produce! They harvest 5-6 hours before each market.
Here are a few of things you will find at their booth: Baby Greens, Salad Mix, Spinach, Arugula, Bok Choi, Pea Shoots, Microgreens, Carrots, Turnips, Radishes, Beets, Green Onions, Head Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Herbs, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Squash, and Sweet Potatoes.