Creekside Farms Uses Innovative Methods for Year-Round Crops
David Clough, a veteran, relocated to Sistersville in 2014. Since then, he has built his own 78 acre sanctuary complete with bison, sheep, pot-bellied pigs, horses, mules, bees, and plenty of crops to keep himself busy.
The farm, located off Adonis Ridge Road, has both a high tunnel and a greenhouse. He is able to start planting in the high tunnel around February, allowing a longer growing season. Clough uses hydroponics to grow his produce in the greenhouse, meaning there is no soil needed for growth.
Rather than soil, pipes circulate water mixed with the nutrients the plants need for a healthy growth. This water is pumped to each plant growing in the greenhouse. These plants sit in buckets filled with perlite that holds the plants in place during growing.
“It’s easier to control. I don’t have to worry about weeds. It gets exactly what it needs to, and here I don’t have to worry about whether it rains or doesn’t rain. I don’t have to worry about mother nature, so to speak,” Clough reports.
Because the water recirculates, Clough doesn’t lose water other than what the plants require to grow. He supplements the water by collecting rainwater, and on particularly dry years such as this one, he can pump water from a pond nearby on his property.
“When I first started out, I had a small system on my deck. I had maybe five or six buckets” he said.
“Out of this greenhouse, I can grow just as much as probably two of the high tunnels,” he reported, saying he has over 70 tomato plants per row. He also grows lettuce, spinach, radishes, and beets, among many other plants.
Clough participates in many programs, including FARMacy, where a doctor writes a prescription for vegetables for a patient. Clough supplies these vegetables to the patients.
He reported they have recently started delivering to seniors. “We also do one for the senior apartments in Sistersville, one for Wetzel County, and one for Middlebourne,” Clough said.
Clough has also been a part of the program which allows students to purchase $4 worth of vegetables at school. He also has a CSA, where customers prepay for vegetables at the beginning of the season and he delivers the vegetables each week.
Last year, Clough could be found at the Wetzel County Farmers Market each Thursday. This year, Clough says he is keeping busy with the FARMacy program and those who have subscribed to weekly produce.
You can learn more about Clough’s operation by visiting Creekside Farms on Facebook. Clough can be reached by calling (440)-876-3414.