Let the craziness begin!
Each season brings it’s own challenges in farming. This season, unfortunately, is no different. Probably the worst way to start a farm is starting it in the spring but that’s our current situation. Purchasing the property over winter left a lot of uncertainty with the lay of the land that we are only figuring out now. Water is pooling in areas that it wasn’t when we looked at the land in the fall, delivery trucks won’t deliver for (a very real) fear of getting stuck because it’s been such a cold and wet spring, and moving our equipment to our growing field is impossible by truck because our road back there is a disaster.
Luckily the previous owner of the property hasn’t taken all his equipment with him and between a 4-wheeler and the old (partially) broke down tractor that’s here we have been slowly (with a few minor smoky adjustments) moving our equipment to the back field where normal vehicles can’t go.
I’m not certain if the change in land size wasn’t apparent to us initially or if our excitement of moving to a permanent location was fogging up our brains but it definitely feels extra stressful moving from a one-acre plot to something that (although we are not growing on most of it) is two hundred acres. Getting something from one place to another is going to be a very big challenge for us this year. My only solace is in the fact that we have gone through the pains of starting up a farm before. Our first year starting up was an enormous challenge both mentally and physically. In all honesty, I wasn’t prepared for it. It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. And, all cards on the table, it kind of feels the same way now on certain days – others not so much. But we’ve already gone through it and survived. We had great support from our farm-ily members (and still do), we fought, we cried, we worked, we laughed, and we got it done. We are already making some of the same mistakes we swore we would never make again and fixing some of the others. The amount of ‘mistake making’ in farming is laughable. But if nothing else, this career teaches patience and humility.
The good news is that all of our soil amendments (compost, lime, chicken manure) have been successfully delivered despite being so far away from the field that needs them. But they are here. That’s what counts. The greenhouse is also looking pretty stellar and is filling up very fast. It will soon be time to bump our seedling sale pots out into the brave new world and fill those spaces with more of our own starts.
We have been very busy tilling (for the last time EVER) to get our growing area prepped. And boy oh boy do I wish I wasn’t so lazy over winter because we are also building raised beds for our vegetables. 100 beds, 3x100 feet long, by hand. Yes, it is as horrible as it sounds. But after this we will have our beds permanently in place and never till or disturb them again.
While all that is happening we have our wash station being designed which I am very excited about. This has been my dream baby for a very long time. I have spent 3 years washing greens outside until the third week of November and I will have it no more. This indoor wash station will also have a 3 unit storage for our cool, cold, and dry produce.
Our other big infrastructure task is our irrigation pond. We hope to have construction on that going very soon so all our little seedlings can thrive when they get planted.
So needless to say, we have a lot going on. Did I mention that Chris also works full time off the farm? It’s going to be a wild season…
'Til next time!
Jennie, Chris, and Winnie the farm pup