Welcome to Mayetta Farms

Hi, all-

Welcome to Mayetta Farms, located in urban New England, but named after a tiny town in Kansas with a population of just over 300 people. My grandfather used to be one of those people, and he was a farmer. When I was younger, he was responsible for watching my brother and I, while my parents worked, so I spent many a days and nights on his farm, caring for cattle and playing in the creek and hayfields with my brother.

Fast forward to my late twenties. My wife and I moved to New England and bought a house, and for the first time ever, we owned land. Not much. Okay, so it’s just a backyard, but it’s ours. Nostalgic for the years in Mayetta, I decided I wanted to plant a garden, but I didn’t retain much farming know-how from my younger years, so I just planted a few things and started reading books and watching videos.

We started falling in love with it. Each year became a mission to grow bigger, better, and more efficient, within the confines of our yard. Over the course of a few years, I built four large raised beds and purchased several planters. I built a compost bin and started composting all of our food scraps. We started collecting rain water. We bought a colony of bees…and then another. We bought 64 shiitake mushroom logs and learned how to care for them. We bought an incubator and a hutch, and learned how to hatch and care for quail.

The list goes on, and this is only the beginning. Mayetta Farms is a work in progress, with ultimate goal being a larger scale farm on a bigger piece of land. Until then, we are working with what we have, to learn what we can about farming. In urban farming, we have come to understand that there is plenty to learn, even in a small space like ours. On a micro-farm, there is no choice – the farmer must learn to be efficient and creative with their space and resources, because both are limited. We believe that learning to be good efficient micro-farmers, will help us to be successful on a larger scale when that time comes.

So, here we are. We have a page. We thought a website would be a good idea for a few reasons. First, we get asked a lot of questions, and end up answering many of the same ones repeatedly. If we had these answers written down on a blog post, we could simply send people the link, saving ourselves a lot of time. Second, this seems a good way of documenting our journey, so that we can look back later and reminisce. The third (and least selfish) reason for starting this page, is to teach others (and for them to teach us, in the feedback we receive). Perhaps you only have a small space and are looking to for inspiration on how to make the most of it. Or, maybe you just like to read about neat little things, like how to harvest and purify beeswax.

Whatever brings you here, thanks for reading, and stay tuned. We have more to talk about in these coming years, than you can imagine!

-Mayetta Farms

How to Build a Simple Compost Bin

How to build a simple compost bin:

Get some 2×4 studs and cut 4 pieces to 3 feet long. These are your corner posts.

Get some cedar boards from Home Depot/Lowe’s. Get 8 boards that are 8 feet long and cut all of them in half to make 16 boards that are each 4 feet long. These are your sides.

Connect your 4 studs by screwing in cedar boards around the bottom of them. So you’ll have 4 studs running vertically as corner posts and 4 cedar boards forming a square around the bottom of the corner posts.

Do the same thing around the top of the studs – 4 cedar boards forming a square around the top.

Notice in the photo that there are gaps between the side boards. This is for ventilation. So, attach your remaining side boards spaced out, leaving gaps. There is no need to be precise with the spacing (just eyeball it), but if you line the boards up with each other as you go, you can make sure your squares are straight.

Once all of your side boards are on, simply staple some chicken wire around the inside of the walls. This keeps the compost in, but allows air to circulate.

Now it’s ready! You can either buy some more boards to make a lid, like I did, or just throw a tarp over it! I find 3 feet to be a good height for removing finished compost, but some folks like to make one side a bit lower for better accessibility. It’s up to you, but hopefully this gives you some guidance.

One last tip — if you prefer something a bit smaller, consider getting 6 foot cedar boards instead of 8 foot. Cut them in half, and this will make your compost bin 3×3 feet, instead of 4×4 feet.

Hope this helps!

-Mayetta Farms