2005. Every year it seems that Groundhog Day
is the turning point in both the weather and my desire to
put seeds in the soil. This year the weather had a different
idea, but the seeds have found their way to the soil just
As we finalize plans for the coming season, we are struggling
to balance maximum profit from our small acreage with maintaining
our sanity. This year we are focusing on increasing our presence
at farmers markets. This will include our eggs, numerous greens,
and hopefully a great variety of flowers. Hopefully, transplants
will help us hold our own at the early markets, and the tomatoes
won’t be far behind.
One problem that we face marketing is that we can’t
be certified organic. The year before we moved here, the farmer
who had been haying our field applied synthetic fertilizer.
So now our chickens and pigs could be certified as long as
they remain in the hoop house or barn on a bed of our hay,
but the second we move them out onto that same grass while
it is growing they can no longer be considered organic. We
are exploring the Farmer’s Pledge and Certified Naturally
Grown as alternatives, though it would be nice to be able
to capitalize on the cache which organic has attained before
it is completely destroyed by the corporate interests.
Even though it is now the second week of March, the ground
is still covered with a blanket of snow. As soon as the ground
thaws I hope to plant a cover crop of oats and peas to hold
the soil through the spring rains. I think its important to
make a firmer commitment with our neighbor regarding the tractor
work, even if it requires more money up front. Knowing that
the help will be there when we need it will be a great asset
in planning the season.
In the greenhouse our early brassicas have broken free of
their seed coats and are growing nicely. Our first planting
of peas, also in the greenhouse, are just pushing out of the
ground. This year we are growing three colors of cauliflower,
four varieties of broccoli, several budding greens and three
kales. Last fall we harvested some of our soybeans as edamame;
they were fantastic, so this year we plan on planting them
intentionally for that purpose. One thing is sure: No matter
what the ledger says, we will eat very well this year.