First Friday Art Show Opening and Coloring Book Launch

We’ll be hosting a soft opening of the upstairs gallery/event area at Moira Records.  The space will feature artist:

Harry Edwards –  Launching a new adult coloring book at the event.

Please plan to visit us and join the party – good art, good music, good food and good drinks.

When: This Friday, April 7th, 2017.  5 PM – 10 PM.

At: The Loft At Moira Records at Lazarus Juice Bar
112 West Orange Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603
(Across from the A-Plus gas station just west of Prince Street)

Facebook link:


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My role is to bring communities of characters out of hiding, intertwined and laughing, and introduce them to the rest of us, so that we might all laugh a little more. I’ve housed them in a coloring book and their message might be best conveyed by the introduction to the book.
— Imagine our poverty if every line wrapped itself around a circle or a square; If every sunrise turned the black night to a white day. These images laugh with us, remind us, that every shape has a role, ambiguous maybe, funny perhaps, yet nuanced, and vital to the whole. Here you’ll find community; friends inside and outside of the lines. Some are urgent to know you– and look again. You’ll find others quite shy. They know my lines, and they’ll swoon to know your colors. They lie, impatiently in repose, waiting for you to wake them from their blacks and whites, with your rainbows.

Please email inquiries to purchase coloring books or 18×24 prints to:

harry at my neighbors garden dot net


Harry’s traveling road show

It’s Ag Conference season, hot and heavy.  For me, that means miles and miles (~5000 miles in 8 weeks) of cold, snowy roads.  But, since I’ve decided to stay primarily with Airbnb hosts, it also means overnights in the warm homes of good people across the Midwest.  It’ll be a few very busy weeks of project design meetings with growers from Ohio to Minnesota who are expanding their operations to include greenhouses and high tunnels.

Whether you’re refurbishing an existing greenhouse, building a new greenhouse, or expanding your high tunnel operation, I’m at your service.  You can specify parts and pieces or whole greenhouse models to me, and I’ll make it happen.  Or we might discuss your business goals, and your management style, and your financing alternatives, and then we’ll budget, design and build a custom protected growing environment package together.  I have helped hundreds of growers create their ideal growing systems.  I hope to work with you to make your business plan a successful reality.

I’ll “bee” crisscrossing the Midwest for the next several weeks to visit these upcoming shows:

1/14-15/16    MFVGA    St. Cloud, MN
1/18-19/16    OPGMA    Sandusky, OH
1/19-21/16    IN Hort Conf.    Indianapolis, IN
1/24-26/16    WI FFVC    Wisconsin Dells, WI
1/28-29/16    IFVGA    Ankeny, IA
2/4-6/16    MOA    Springfield, MO
2/24-27/16    MOSES    LaCrosse, WI

Of course that also means that I’ll be driving between these cities.  So if you would like discuss your own plans with me in person, please call or email to schedule a meeting at one of these events, or a farm visit.  I’m looking forward to meeting you and working with you.

(The attached photo is from the MOSES conference last year.  I can’t wait for this one!)

Harry joins Rimol Greenhouse Systems

As many of you know, besides being a grower who uses greenhouses and high tunnels, I also sold them in NY and across Canada for the last 7 years or so. Last year I stopped selling and concentrated on farming, starting up new farms in NY and SK. But I’ve missed the frequent farm visits and the interactions with other growers that I enjoyed while I was doing sales.

After researching about a dozen greenhouse manufacturers, and interviewing with a few of them, I’ve decided to work with Rimol Greenhouse Systems whose manufacturing facility is in Hooksett, NH. (And they agreed to hire me as an agent;-) I have known Rimol structures for many years and have worked in them on several farms. They are very well constructed and the company’s tech support is excellent. I have also known some of the Rimol staff for several years, and even as competitors, their salesmen and management have always been friendly. I personally love that they have hired Clara Coleman (Eliot Coleman’s daughter) as their agronomy consultant. (You can read her blog at the Rimol website.) I also appreciate that they are a progressive company and have developed a turnkey solution for cannabis growers in states where it has been recently legalized.

I will be the midwest representative for Rimol, covering the area between Ohio and Kansas, and between Kentucky and North Dakota. ( Their announcement goes something like this…

“Harry Edwards has joined Rimol Greenhouse Systems as a sales and tech support rep in the midwestern region. Fittingly, Harry’s passion is growing local economies and he believes this is most effectively done by improving the profitability of the farmers who grow and sell locally”… (You can read more at:

My arrangement with Rimol will still allow enough flexibility in my schedule so that I can continue to farm and work as a farm consultant (especially during the summer). If you have a question about season extension, high tunnels or greenhouses, or are interested in discussing a new farming opportunity, please give me a call. I look forward to working with you.

Farm visit with Eliot Coleman

Like many growers these days, I’ve been searching for crops to grow in my high tunnel that will be profitable while giving the soil a break from the tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that I often grow there. And after battling last winter’s record low temperatures with all-too-frequent propane deliveries, I decided to take a closer look at growing winter greens in an unheated greenhouse.

The authority on this subject is Eliot Coleman, who is growing winter-hardy vegetables on the coast of Maine with little to no auxiliary heat. His book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, contains a tremendous amount of valuable information – the kind of information that fills the mind of a lifelong, fastidious student of his craft.

All of the crucial specifics of his techniques are in the book – varieties, spacing, planting dates, days to maturity, frost protection, and harvesting and packing tips. Still, I felt like I needed to see his farm in person and meet him.

So, in late September, I made a pilgrimage to Eliot Coleman’s farm. When I arrived, I was welcomed by an apprentice and several volunteers who were very friendly and invited me to explore the farm on my own. The farm was beautifully kept and the crops were healthy (impressive for any farm in late September!)

Of particular interest to me were his rolling greenhouses. Eliot co-designed these with Rimol, the greenhouse company that I will work with, beginning in October. He uses these greenhouses to protect a rotation of high value crops, alternating with cover crops when the structure moves to another paddock. It is a very clever system where the uncovered areas of ground within the rolling greenhouse’s range are used for staging crops that will be covered later in the season.

When I talked to Mr. Coleman, we spent a considerable amount of time discussing soil health and techniques to build soil and to rejuvenate damaged soils. Like many vegetable farmers, Eliot rotates his production fields, and rotates chickens and cover crops with his cash crops. He plants white clover and grasses in fallow paddocks (which average 2 acres), keeps them mowed between 3 and 8 inches tall, and moves his chicken tractors every day. Every fourth year, he crops the paddock.

Using this technique, he has very little weed pressure (grasses crowd other weeds out and chickens eat weed seeds). And I can also attest to very little pest pressure (the chickens eat the adult insects, larvae and their eggs), or disease pressure (besides the nutrient from the chicken manure, the clover adds nitrogen to the soil and decomposed grasses add significant organic matter). The brassicas had very little worm damage and the alliums had no thrip damage. Eliot also told me that over the last 12 years, they have increased their topsoil layer from 1.5″ to 4″ deep. He regularly plows in locally collected seaweed, shells from local fisheries and elemental minerals to fortify the soil for many years to come.

I left with the convictions that vegetable production can be profitable and restorative, especially when season extension techniques like row cover and high tunnels are employed. Winter greens in an unheated greenhouse are very possible anywhere, and they have great profit potential. And as Eliot reflected as I left, “If I can do it here on the coast of Maine, you can do it anywhere”.

Polyface visit and tour with Joel and Daniel Salatin

I recently took part in a Sustainable Food Conference at Polyface Farm in Swoope, VA. Joel Salatin, who is a world famous speaker on sustainable agricultural issues, and his son Daniel gave us a tour of their family farm. They explained their intense rotational grazing techniques for cattle, chickens, turkeys and pigs, and the science and philosophy that supports the techniques. I really appreciated that they shared their expertise so freely. “Open source” is one of their philosophies.

Most of the specifics of their techniques have been explained in the many books that Joel has authored. But he spent some time discussing their employee and subcontractor relationship structures, and I found that discussion inspirational. Polyface Farm is focussed on building brand. They’ve recognized that their brand is their biggest asset. And they don’t mind sharing control of the production aspects of the farm, as long as their stringent standards are met.

They also believe that entrepreneurship is the path to financial viability and personal satisfaction for every person. So, although they train several interns and apprentices each year, they have created many opportunities for potential employees to create their own business relationships with Polyface Farm.

For instance, Polyface has calculated the average time that it takes to move their herds of cattle from one field paddock to another (move the waterers, shade shelters, portable electric fencing and the cattle), and they contract that task annually to a subcontractor for a set fee per task. The subcontractor makes more money as they become more efficient at moving the cattle. They have a farm mechanic who rents a shop on their farm, and works on their equipment, but is also free to work on equipment from neighboring farms. Polyface gets billed for his services. Their egg pickers get paid by the dozen. Then they can go to another job. Their hours are flexible.

In my experience, I have seen many benefits of self-employment. It drives efficiency and innovation and responsiblilty. Many typical expenses become deductible. And it allows flexibility for a better quality of life. For the entrepreneur, it also provides an income structure with an unlimited upside growth potential.

When we look at your farm or business, which aspects could benefit from improvements in efficiency and reliability? Might those be tasks to subcontract to entrepreneurs? Self-determination is a great kitchen for ingenuity and motivation. As the owner, letting go could be the best way to move forward.

For more information, please visit the Polyface Farms website at:

Permaculture Design Certification, by Sowing Solutions

I recently completed the summer Permaculture Design Certification course, offered by Sowing Solutions at Sirius Eco Community in Shutesbury, MA. It was an intensive and practical program that was well balanced between technical and academic design considerations, and hands-on installation projects.

For me, the goal of this training was to learn tools to plan farms and gardens that are not only sustainable, but truly regenerative. On these farms, each successive year of production will result in soil that is more fertile than the previous year. In time, inputs will be greatly reduced or eliminated. This goal is not only necessary, but thanks to this design methodology, it is possible.

To learn this method, in addition to lectures and readings, we were given a design project; introduced to a client and their site. We were guided through the land usage design process; from goals articulation, through sector analysis and site assessment, to bubble diagraming alternatives to drafting the final design schematics. At each step, we learned to consider the guiding aspects of permaculture design: 1) Stack functions, 2) Create functional interconnections, 3) Optimize relative locations, and 4) Create redundancy. Essentially, we were taught to create self-perpetuating systems.

We learned techniques to Catch and store energy, Optimize edges, Leverage changes, Create feedback cycles, Use renewable resources, Observe and interact, and Design from patterns to details. It was a very practical course that was supported by a well developed curriculum, relevant field trips and personal coaching and mentoring.

Thank you to the incredible teaching team of Sowing Solutions – Kay Cafasso, Keith Zaltzberg, and Llani Davidson. I am grateful to you for opening my eyes to these systems of practical solutions. I highly recommend your course!

New Market Gardens in Northern Saskatchewan First Nation Communities

This past summer, after 3 years of working with the U of Saskatchewan, U of the Arctic, U of Alaska and the SK Ministry of Agriculture, funding was finally approved for several season extension projects in northern Saskatchewan First Nation communities. What began as a conversation about food sovereignty and the potential role of high tunnels to reliably grow long season crops for isolated northern communities has developed into at least 4 market gardens with one to four high tunnels each.

The Cree community of Cumberland House led the way and invested in its own farm before funding was approved. With the help of my friend and fellow market farmer Murray Gray, they are now in their third year of growing. I went up this summer to help them expand from six acres of crops and one high tunnel, to sixteen acres of crops with 4 high tunnels.

At Ile-a-La-Crosse, the only vegetables currently available were sold in town at a Hudson Bay Company store at outrageous prices. The closest full-sized grocery store is in Port Albert, 4.5 hours away. This summer we installed new high tunnels and planted about two acres of organic vegetables on a new market farm there. Strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, beans, peas, carrots, lettuces and herbs were among the first things planted. The crops will be sold at a farm stand and at a local market. Congratulations to young growers Jeremy, Cyrol, Brayden for their work to bring delicious fresh vegetables and real food security to their neighbors in Ile-a-La-Crosse.

Several other northern communities have already expressed interest in building market farms to supply their own towns, and also as an economic driver for their communities. With high tunnels and some practical farming knowledge, they can become profitable fruit and vegetable growers for mining communities that are even further north.

In areas where there are few prospects for jobs, teaching people to grow their own food not only ensures their food security, but improves their economic security and alleviates significant social stresses. I look forward to continuing to grow this market farm incubator program in this region, and hopefully others. Please let me know if you would like to become involved, or if you are interested in starting up a market farm of your own.

(And yes, the fishing was awesome!)

6/8/15 WJFF Connections – Radio interview

I was interviewed by Dick Riseling of WJFF Radio recently. His call-in radio show deals primarily with quality of life topics for residents in the Catskill communities of NY. Often they discuss entrepreneurial and employment opportunities related to sustainable energy and agriculture in the region. My discussion with Dick centered around using season extension farming techniques including greenhouses and high tunnels to significantly boost a farmer’s production and profitability. Here is a link to it.


Farm management and consulting services available

If you are interested in starting up or expanding an organic fruit and vegetable farm, I’d like to talk with you soon about your potential project for 2016.

After starting up my own farm, My Neighbor’s Garden, and running it for a few years, I began to comprehend that the demand for local, organic fruits and vegetables is growing far faster than I will ever be able to supply from my small farm.

Local food and sustainable growing practices are fundamentally important to me.  I believe they are critical to our own health, our own community’s health and the health of our environment.
So I’ve reached my branches out in an interesting new direction.  I’ve begun to grow new farms and train new farmers.  Organic fruits and vegetables can become the new normal.  We need more farms.

In 2014, I started up a new 5 acre organic vegetable farm in the Hudson Valley for a landowner who had been renting their land out for hay and corn production.  We took their gross farm income from ~$500 per acre to ~$24,000 per acre.  And now they have the infrastructure and procedures in place to bring ~75 tons of organic produce to their local markets each year.


As a new farm start-up specialist and farm manager, I work with landowners and new farmers to design and implement a farm and market plan that will achieve their goals.  This process may include anything from individual consultations, to creating a completely new farm with a landowner and managing that farm’s operations and developing its markets to profitability.

My own specialties are establishing productive growing systems, season extension techniques, and capturing locally profitable market opportunities.

When growers wish to enter the wholesale vegetable market, I have experience with both the USDA Organic Certification process and the GAP Certification process and can expedite that approval process.  I’m also familiar with wholesale grading and packing standards.

While I was interning on an Amish farm with 20 acres of certified organic vegetable production in Lancaster PA, I learned the value of efficient production techniques.  As a grower for Lancaster Farm Fresh, one of the most successful organic produce Co-ops in the Eastern US, I also learned the value of standardized procedures and cooperation among neighbors.  It’s a model I like to share.

In the off seasons, I was a traveling high tunnel technician and salesman.  I visited some of the most progressive and profitable farms in the Eastern US and all of Canada.  I’ve sat at kitchen tables and board room tables and have evaluated dozens of business plans for expansion opportunities.  We examined market opportunities and made plans to implement new techniques and infrastructure improvements to meet them.

Those are the experiences that I bring to the table.

My passion is expanding the daily accessibility of good, healthy food into all segments of our communities – from top end urban green markets and chefs to local CSAs to food pantries and processors.

If you share my passion, let’s work together to turn your property into a sustainable and profitable farm.  We are a part of the solution.

Of course you know, “The best time to plant a tree is…”