Farm chores as the year comes to an end

StrawberriesDecember 30, 2015

First chore … look at the website! Wow, only two blog posts last year, that is pathetic. Why have the blog on the front page of our website when it never gets blogged. Time for some new year resolutions … more time in front of the computer instead of being distracted by all the physical tasks always present on the farm? I’ll try to update the blog at least monthly.

This eerily balmy warm weather is causing unusual things to happen on the farm. Chickweed, a notorious winter weed, is growing to heights usually reached in late February or March. Luckily Isaiah noticed the problem in the strawberry patch, so we hired a crew of our children, other locals, and some cousins to weed around each plant. We did see a couple of blooms, but nothing too serious yet. Now we do need a little bit of colder weather to hold them back from flowering, that would be bad.

Strawberries are a risky crop for small organic farmers. They are the first fruit to be ripe in the spring, so they are easy to sell if you can overcome all the obstacles that tend to crop up during the journey. First, they have to be planted in a timely way in the fall; after the field has been prepared, laid with plastic and cover cropped with white clover in the paths, always with the weather as a wild card. Then there is the winter to get through, hopefully with only a minor chickweed issue. Then spring is the real hurdle, when there is a threat of early bloom and late frost, resulting in less fruit. Remay on at night to protect the blossoms from forst, remay off during the day so that the flowers can be pollinated. Hopefully we’ll be able to deal with that when it comes!

Farmers are a stubborn breed. We just won’t give up, no matter how many hurdles we have to overcome. In this coming new year, we are determined to give it our all (again, like we do every year) to bring you awesome food from the farm. We will also strive to take care or ourselves, our kids, our crew, our animals, and the land we are blessed to steward for many more prosperous years to come!

All the best for 2016!