Paul’s Organic Farm was born out of a life long passion for fish and plants. When I was 16, my dad bought me my first aquarium. I set up the 100-gallon tank with salt water. That was over 40 years ago, when maintaining marine fish and invertebrates was primarily relegated to public aquariums.
By the time I graduated from high school, my bedroom was filled with aquariums of all sizes and dimensions. I used to charge the neighbors 25 cents a piece to feed the piranhas. At the University of Miami, where I attended my first year of college, I spent my weekends scuba diving in the Florida Keys, where I continually collected, studied and released different species of fish and invertebrates. I was known all over campus; my massive dorm room aquarium was visible to all passer-bys.
The following year, I transferred to Emory University in Atlanta where my fledgling interest in plants began to grow: I studied plant physiology and mycology, and conducted my own experiments.
Over the years, both these interests flourished as I pursued a career in commercial real estate. The original farm property, some 30 acres, was bought in 1979, sight unseen. The pond was excavated in ’84, and the fill used for the base of the 3200 foot driveway. The house was constructed in ’89, and the gardens grew. Every year there was another project, each seemingly larger than the previous year. The decks, the trellises, the stone walkways leading to the island bridges…
One year, I planted a couple of hardy kiwi vines that soon took off and completely covered a trellis shading my deck. The fruit that came years later from those vines was delicious: just like their tropical cousin, but twice as sweet! After some research, I realized that my soil and climate were ideal for this fruit, so I ordered several different varieties, and placed them under the “Kiwi Patch Pergola” you see today.
The trees came next. First the plumcots, then the plums, the apricots, and on down the hill, every year another 5 or 6 trees. In 2012, the blueberry field was prepped and planted. In 2013, the Raspberries and blackberries took root. The irrigation system, originally constructed for the massive flower and vegetable gardens, was expanded to include the trees, kiwis, and berries.
The only thing then missing was the greenhouse, so in the fall of 2013 the greenhouse/aquaponic facility was constructed: a state of the art R&D facility more akin to a laboratory. Not only capable of propagating, cultivating and growing plants and vines, but also capable of growing up to 4,000 pounds of fish to fertigate every plant and vine on the entire property.
But there was a problem: keeping the fish warm during the long, cold Buffalo winters was an expensive proposition. So, last summer, a 50 kilowatt wind mill capable of producing enough electricity to energize the entire farm, was erected adjacent the blueberry patch.
The time has now come to share our knowledge and the fruits of our labor with our neighbors and friends. We invite you to come and experience the adventures of Paul’s Organic Farm.
At Paul’s Organic Farm, You Can: