It is only with the snow coming down that I have stolen a moment to write this. Sometimes mother nature decides your day for you. As farmers, we are humbled by this time and time again. Funny enough, I take to heart a quote I saw on a super bowl ad (seriously)- “No farmer’s her own boss. She takes her orders from the sun and the moon, the wind and the snow.” It most certainly holds true for this farmer.
Some house keeping. First an apology for this, which I am sure will be a long-winded blog entry, much too belated. We have gotten so caught up by the excitement of our myriad of winter projects, that we have forgotten to share, and celebrate with you. Let us do that now. We want to thank you for the close of yet another wonderful season. The hardships of using only organic means to produce your veggies did indeed take its toll. But I think our only flaw would be to let that misfortune dwarf the success of the rest of the year. We loved getting to know you better, building your trust, and satisfying your taste buds, as our season progressed and the veggies came. It is only in sharing the harvest with you, that we feel our work complete.
Thank you, thank you for being our reciprocal for that, and for all the wonderful volunteers who came through for us on our most bleak days. Our customer appreciation dinner in October was a great success! So much good, local food, shared among friends. My mouth is already watering for the next one!
With the end of our vegetable season, we tested out a pilot idea of selling wreaths for Christmas. I for one enjoyed getting to know the woods a bit better while I scouted for the greenest boxwood and the most delectable holly. We hope you enjoyed the premier, and we felt it was rather a booming success. We hope that wreath production will become a staple of our business and hope we can adorn your doors in the coming winter.
Please visit the page labeled “Yurt”, on the far right of the menu bar, to see the sequence of the yurt raising in digital format. We must thank all the wonderful neighbors, customers and friends who came out and lent their humor, hands and expertise to get us through. Cricket, Bob Copper, and I spent far too long building the round platform for the yurt. We were amazed and dazzled by the speed in which the rest of the structure went up. One weekend in December and we had a yurt! Still slightly window-less, and in need of some finishing interior paint details. The structure is better than we had hoped- very cozy and bright inside, with enough funky charm to fit in with the atmosphere of the farm. Come down for lunch sometime, and you may find us lounging in our Mongolian-style bungalow tucked quietly into the woods.
While you’re here, you can come check in on our new feathered friends. We had an animal of some kind get into our new laying hens, who were timed perfectly to start laying in the spring. Unfortunately we lost all 30 chicks when they were only 3 months old. Oh it was heart-wrenching! As I said, mother nature has a way of humbling us. I might add, that the beauty of this winter, albeit cold, is proof enough of that. Needless to say, we were down and out a few chicks. So, what else could we do but order new ones! We had 50 new little girls arrive in February right for the coldest and snowiest weather and we hope that they will start producing sometime in July. Until then, we may have a shortage of eggs, but we will do our best to support our returning egg customers. We are so sorry for the inconvenience! Also- we have ordered a flock of turkeys to arrive in July. Stay tuned please!
The last item I have to discuss is the erection of our hoop house. We did not foresee this unusually cold weather, and thus I went a little crazy in the greenhouse. We like to get a head-start with our spring crops by starting them early in the greenhouse and moving them into the field as soon as possible under row-cover. I made the crop plan this year, and call me ambitious, but it became abundantly clear that we had out-grown the greenhouse attached to the barn (there are seeds growing out of every visible vertical and horizontal space, not to mention sprouting in plastic baggies. I’m pretty sure they will start climbing up the walls soon and you might find me at the bottom of a tangle of roots). Arthur and Carol had apparently seen this coming, and had plans in the works for building a hoop-house. We got the big steel hoops from a neighbor and loyal member, ordered some plastic, Cricket worked his magic in the wood-workshop, and voila! A hoop house! It is unheated, but has big doors on each end, to help with air-flow and temperature regulation. The idea is to move the sprouts out of the greenhouse at the first sign of true leaves, and into the hoop-house, where they will get used to the outside temperatures, and harden themselves before we plant them into the warm ground. This will allow us to grow more intensively in our cultivated area, only about 2 acres of which we use to produce for all of you! This is very exciting and I hope we can all reap the benefits in the coming season. Hopefully this will help us more fluidly move crops along from one season to the next.
Please come to one of our three volunteer days- see menu tab “Events” above for more information. We would love to have you by! We can’t wait to see how everyone faired these curious winter months, and if you are a new customer we would love to get to know you better. We think its pretty cool to be a part of your community, and we hope we can provide a valuable service.