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Balancing Act

November 6, 2012

So many of the farmers in this area who are Producers for The Wild Ramp Market have full time jobs.  David Nichols is an Emergency Room physician at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Finding time to work in the garden is difficult, but he enjoyes it greatly.

The Nichols Farm was started in 1940 with 48 acres. When Interstate 64 cut through the area, they bisected the farm, taking 8 acres for the road right-of-way.  The pocket that remained between U.S. Route 60 and I-64 is fairly level and used for raising 4 horses and a pony (cared for primarily by David’s father) and a large vegetable garden. The land on the north side of the Interstate is hilly and used mostly for timber.

David also has 38 acres where he lives with much of it in orchards. He has planted apples, peaches and cherry and says it will be a few years before they start producing enough to share. He also has blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Prior to getting involved as a Producer for the Wild Ramp Market, David sold his vegetables in Charleston as well as to people who worked at the hospital. Now he tells everyone to buy his produce at the Wild Ramp.

Last year he had over 200 pounds of asparagus. His summer garden, much of it heirloom varieties, is cleared and he now has broccoli, turnips, mustard greens, kale and radishes still doing well. David is thinking about installing a high or several low tunnels to extend his growing season.

The Nichols Farm is not certified organic but uses those methods for all production. Believing that he would not want to grow anything he himself would not be willing to eat, David uses no chemical fertilizers  nor pesticides. David’s grandfather built a pond on the land from a spring and that provides all the water needs for the garden.  He feels the pollination of his plants has improved a lot since he started an apiary of honey bees 6 years ago. He wants to learn how to use more beneficial insects like praying mantis.

David believes that his desire to grow vegetables that offer good nutrition is very strongly connected with his medical profession. He has offered to give a talk on nutrition for the Wild Ramp. Watch for news.

David Nichols

Nichols Farm

304-654-2576

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2012 9:38 pm

    Wow! I never ceased to be amazed at what you have going there at Wild Ramp!

    • November 7, 2012 3:43 am

      Gunta, the crew here is made up of very passionate people who really want this market to be all it can be, Lots of new volunteers continually joining the team, bring new energy and lots of ideas and expertise.

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