The original "Old Farm Boy", Jacob Kramer, was my great grandfather. He started Echo Lake Farm Produce Co. with my Grandpa. The business lives on today.......... Check them out at www.echoforeggs.com.
Second Generation of Food Suppliers. Here is my Grandpa, Paul. He and my dad, and uncle Jeff continued to build up Echo Lake Farm Produce. After he was a farm boy, he was a "fly boy". He loved to fly and take pictures overlooking our family's home and farm in South Eastern Wisconsin.
The next generation farm boy, Jason. Always innovating, always striving to learn from the past, combining the old-fashioned organic ways with new ideas and technologies of the future, to bring forth the most efficient farm possible. Jason Beam is a Soil Block Agriculture Consultant and Certified Compost Technician and Certified Compost Tea Technician.
I was drawn to Organic Gardening after my mother gave me an autographed copy of Seeds of Change by Kenny Ausebel. After that I knew I just had to get my hands in the soil and grow things and preserve heirloom seeds.
We grew up on an old abandoned dairy farm in Wisconsin. My grandpa rented out the fields to farmers. They grew corn, soybeans, and alfalfa, fertilized with eggshells from my grandpa's egg breaking business. But, we were not encouraged to farm. Yet, I didn't take to college, cities, or a commute. I had a calling that I didn't understand, until that book.
After I graduated from the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, I moved up to Northern New Mexico to become an organic farm apprentice. My mentor was a shiatsu master and a garlic farmer. Farming at 8300 feet in the Rocky Mountains will teach you a lot about growing! It's not like it comes easy, so if you can grow food up there, you can grow it anywhere!
We created the 151st Organic Farm in New Mexico in 1999. The Spanish village that I lived in was inhabited since the mid 1500's. They had lost a lot of their traditions and seeds. So, when I was told that "tomatoes won't grow here anymore", I just knew I had to bring them back. I searched for seeds that would survive naturally in this climate. My master would not allow any plastic to be used on her farm, so it was all done according to the seed and the season. After we harvested bushels of red, ripe tomatoes in late summer, the natives were reinvigorated about gardening and seed saving, again. And, I was hooked on farming!
Finding a place of my own to garden was my next task, and to that end we found a little outpost in Alpine, Oregon. Nestled in the foothills of the Willamette Valley, the Rodale Institute had studied our climate to find it was almost the same as most of the southern U.S. Now we're cookin', (vegetables, that is)! We like to call it A Bun Dance Farm, growing everything from arugula to zucchini. My partner and I raise fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, bees, chickens and Angora rabbits for fiber. My vision is creating a botanical research garden for food, fiber, "farmaceuticals", fuel, and fun!
I have been producing and studying soil block gardening since 2001. I find it fascinating and productive. My idea for PottingBlocks.com came from my need to educate Americans on this innovative technique. (Europeans have used blockers for many decades.) I would call them Potting Blocks to avoid confusion with the building block material (soil blocks), and to appeal to the American potting culture, so popular today.
By educating people on the soil block, they learn about the vitality and necessity of living soil. All Organic Growers know the importance of healthy soil, but not all gardeners do. PottingBlocks.com makes an environmental impact as well. By using this system you can move one step closer to what I like to call a "petroleum-free farm", versus the "gigantic pile of dilapidated plastic pots farm". And, they're just so much fun! I am relentless on my pursuit of education and dissemination of blockers. Our farm is also a Potting Blocks Research Farm, experimenting with countless ways to efficiently use soil blocks to reduce our dependency on plastic. We are also saving and breeding heirloom, drought-tolerant organic vegetable seeds.
So, "Pot On", and "get on board the Block".
Happy and Healthy Growing,
The Potting Blocks Team
Our Story Continues...
Since the launching of our website in 2008, we've been assisting gardeners and farmers all over the world to choose appropriate soil block supplies, start healthy seedlings, transplant into the field and harvest bounty. Our motto has become: "Your Success Is That All Counts." We know "The Customer is Always Right", and we deliver the highest quality service on the planet!
Our operation is growing! We strive to bring you the highest quality garden and farm products that will not break down at a time of need. It is of utmost importance to us that all of you learn how to garden easily, efficiently and successfully with soil block makers, so that you may grow a large percentage of your family's food needs with nutrient dense produce. We believe that nutrition found in your garden produce is a source of preventative medicine and healing of many common problems of body and mind. Grocery store food is not what it used to be. You have to rely on yourself to provide your body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and the life force with your own garden produce. We call it, "nutrition intervention".
Buying through us is easy. There are real strong people behind this website who are concerned with your happiness and success. You have helped us succeed by buying our soil block makers and supplies. We will continue to serve you to the best of our ability, taking NOTHING for granted, and delivering QUALITY products and SPEEDY service with Free Live Consultations 24/7, Lifetime Gardening Help, and advancing the art and science of soil block farming far beyond what anyone can imagine is possible. We treat all of you as how we'd LOVE to be treated. We are privileged to SERVE YOU!
Thank you for your support.
The Potting Blocks Team
Circa mid 1940's. My grandpa next to his first commercial truck. He sold eggs, chickens and rabbits until he discovered the egg separation business. He sold millions and millions of egg whites and egg yolks, separately, to bakers and food giants like McDonalds, Kraft, Hellman's, and bakeries all across the country. I strive to be as innovative as my grandpa, Paul. Thanks Grandpa for all your hard work and clever traits, keeping us out in the country, and making food for millions!