Blue Pike Farm Open House

Submitted by johnmcgovern on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 09:45.
05/05/2007 - 10:00
05/05/2007 - 14:00

Greetings from Blue Pike Farm.

There is much to do in the St. Clair / Superior neighborhood on Saturday
May 5th.

First, there is the Blue Pike Farm Open House. We are holding our Spring
'07' open house on Saturday morning from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. at
the farm on E. 72nd St. in Cleveland. We are on the West side of the
street about 1/2 South of I-90 (the Shoreway & E.72nd St exit) on E.
72nd St. We are the only farm on the street. I've attached a flier for
your information. Feel free to pass it on to others interested in local
and fresh food.

Coffee (maybe Mexican Coffee, 'cause it's Cinco De Mayo) from Phoenix
Coffee and pastry from Sweet Mosaic for the early birds.

Organic fertilization experts  from Good Nature Lawn Care, Ag-Renu and
Numus will be on the farm to discuss fertility programs for organic
growers.Good Nature provides much of the organic fertilizers we use at
Blue Pike Farm and have developed a fertilization plan for the farm.
See for yourself how it is working out.

John McCumber, regional sales rep for Ag-Renu and Numussoil amendments
will be here to discuss your backyard growing issues. He will have a
selection of his Organic Certified products packaged for the home
grower. This season John and I will be conducting a series of vegetable
field trials on 4 beds to compare his products against a control group.

You will have the opportunity for leisurely self directed walking tour
of the farm. This event will be held rain or shine. We also have Kale,
Collards Carrots and Dandelion greens free for the picking. Bring your
favorite harvesting tool and a bag to hold your harvest. First come,
first served. When they're gone, they're gone

For you backyard growers Jim Patterson of H-W Farms will have started
vegetable and herb transplants for sale along with Pea & Bean and
Mycorrizal root inoculants. Here's the list of transplants he'll have
for sale:

      A     B     C     D
2      TOMATOES                 Number of flats
3     Beef stake                 
4      Cherokee     Purple           
5      Brandy Wine                 
6      Goliath                 
7      Big Beef                 
8      First Lady                 
9      Celebrity                 
10      Mt. Fresh                 
11      German Johnson                 
13      Cherry Tomatoes                 
14      Sweet olive                 
15      Sun Gold                 
16      Jolly                 
17      Juliet                 
18      PEPPERS                 
19      Cal Wonder                 
20      Golden Bell                 
21      Cal Wonder orange                 
22      Fat N Sassy                 
23      Big Bertha                 
24      Red knight                 
25      Valencia orange                 
26      Purple Beauty                 
27      Sweet Banana                 
28      Super Chili                 
29      Paprika Supreme                 
30      Hungarian Semi Hot                 
34      Cauliflower     Snow Crown           
35      Broccoli     Packman           
37      HERBS                 
38      Basil                 
39      Cilantro                 
40      Parsley                 

We will have information about some new farmers markets that are
starting Cleveland this summer in a neighborhood near you.

There is also a walking tour at Dike 14 for you early birds
(  and Wonder City Farms is
having an ''Asphalt Garden' workshop at their new location at E. 55th
and St. Clair. Asphalt Gardening is the latest craze in urban
agriculture: turning parking lots and empty blacktop into thriving
gardens and green spaces. Garden located be tween E. 53rd and E. 55th
Streets and south of St. Clair. It is next to the Goodrich-Gannett
neighborhood center at 1368 E. 55th Street.


Blue Pike Farm
E. 72nd
Cleveland, OH
United States
Brandywine Tomato 2.jpg26.09 KB
CherokeePurple02.jpg28.54 KB
germanjohnsontomato2.jpg49.08 KB

Always looking for unusual plants and gardening ideas

Thank you for posting this event! This is my kind of Saturday morning!
I can't wait to see Blue Pike Farm tomorrow! I had never heard of Blue Pike Farm before, but I am very excited about learning about organic gardening, picking some fresh greens and buying some organic plants.

I did a little research to see what some of these tomatoes are like. I will have to buy some Cherokee Purple. The description I found said they take 100 days to mature, they have been cultivated for at least 100 years and it is beleived that the Cherokee grew them. If I am successful in growing them I will use the tomatoes in a recipe from the native American cookbook my husband gave me for Christmas.

Cherokee Purple


German Johnson

good growth bad business


I hope you will write about your experiences at Blue Pike Farm. It was nice to run into you there yesterday. I was impressed with Carl's entrepreneurial spirit. He looked for space to plant, found this parcel and then approached the owner of the adjacent building (Even Cut Abrasives Company) and asked if he could lease the land for farming (that is if soil tests showed no contaminants). It is cool to see his rows of plants and his hoop house (purchased with the assistance of a Neighborhood Connections grant from the Cleveland Foundation) and composting in progress. I was pleased that there was fair trade Chiapas coffee from Phoenix Coffee and Tea and pastry from Sweet Mosaic.

There was also a vendor there selling environmentally safe lawn and garden products. The gentleman from St Gabriel Labratories gave samples of spray on solutions for  pests and plants you may want to remove from your garden.

I met Elle Adams,  OSU Extension Urban Gardening Program Coordinator who said that there are 163 community gardens in Cleveland, an exciting thought.

Here's what really caught my eye, though; at the back of the garden were heaped a large number of familiar kalamata olive barrels like the one I had retrieved with my son, Mickey last summer from Sidari's in Little Italy for free and with instructions from Shaker Lakes Nature Center and help from Martha and Mick, had made into at rain barrel. I know that the rain barrel idea is catching on because for two years not Shaker Lakes Nature Center's rain barrel workshop has been sold out. I was standing nearby when a young man asked Carl about the barrels. Carl explained that he adds the hardware and sells the barrels for $75. The next question: and how much are they without the hardware fittings? Carl sells them for $50. I suggested to the guy that he could get a free barrel from Sidari's, but Carl interjected that he had made a deal with Sidari's, and that since he picks them up every few days from there he has removed this possibility from the public (of a free barrel for your own low cost rain harvesting initiative). My good feelings waned, and I moved on to the next stop on my garden tour. I discussed with the rain barrel seeker that there surely are other purveyors of kalamata olives in food grade barrels in Northeast Ohio and we will have to seek them out, but I was truly disappointed that with his welcome into the neighborhood of Cleveland, Mr. Blue Pike Farm turned out to be a thief. $10 for moving them and retrieving them for sale would be reasonable -- $50 is highway robbery. So if you know of other purveyors of olives in Northeast Ohio, it seems it is time for us to expand beyond Sidari's and Carl at Blue Pike. I hope that we can find another route, because urban farmers in Cleveland while they can and should be encouraged to harvest rainwater for their gardens should not and will not be able to afford to pay Carl $50-$75 for a barrel that only 6 months ago was free.

Thank you for posting the background info

Thank you for posting this background info on Blue Pike Farm. On Saturday I was just taking in the sublime visual effects of being on a farm - complete with a red tractor -- in what I used think looked like a dmz. I did not get a chance to talk to Carl or find out how this place came about. I was very impressed with Blue Lake Farm, until I read what you posted about the rain barrels. I saw the pile of them off in the corner on Saturday and I wondered what was being done with them. I hope Carl is reinvesting that huge profit he is making on the rain barrels into the Farm or projects that benefit the community. On Sunday morning I found out that one of my friends has known Carl for a long time. She said she knew him as a free lance photographer. She had only positive things to say about him. Hopefully his  rain barrel monopoly is just a poorly thought out mistep.

I plan to post some photos and a few thoughts later. I will be looking for other sources for rain barrels too.

Sidaris Olive Barrels

Has Sidaris maintained their relationship with Carl since this was originally written?  How's that deal going for them?  Are the value-added barrels selling at that price?  Can Carl actually market and sell all the barrels fast enough at $50 apiece? If so, you have to respect his business sense, sort of like P.T. Barnum's, irritating as it is that a source of free barrels has disappeared.  Or are the barrels piling up or being disposed of by Sidaris again? I would think Sidaris would be interested in knowing that their discarded barrels are a potential source of revenue for themselves and that they are missing out on a revenue stream.  I suspect that there isn't sufficient demand for the barrels to make either Sidaris or Carl very much money under the current economic circumstances.  Anyone know anything more current on the state of this situation?