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Saturday, January 25, 2014


Movie Night!!!

We are hosting a movie night at Commissary this Tuesday January 28th at 9pm. We are showing the documentary Food Fight by Chris Taylor on the big screen. The idea is to help spread the word about the farm and about the local food movement. This movie does a good job of educating and entertaining and it should be a fun night. I hope to see you all there!

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 

My dad told me yesterday that I need to write a blog post. "You missed last week," he said. Always looking out for me that one. I think what he really meant was that I at least need to post some pictures of Puddy. 
So, here are some musings on winter and what's been going on at the farm...

I say "at the farm" but really a lot of the work right now is being done at this computer wherever it and I happen to be. Currently we are in my dining room looking out the window at this...

We got 4+ inches of snow on Tuesday and here it is Saturday and it's still with us. 

Thursday I went out to check on the farm and found it blanketed in sparkling white snow.

Easy to spot the holes in the fence

The bees huddle themselves into a tight ball and shiver their flight muscles to keep warm

The Pond is frozen over

In the meantime, I'm mostly inside keeping warm and dreaming of spring. Dreaming does not a farm plan however so I'm also spending time analyzing harvest data from last year, going over notes from the Chefs and coming up with a crop plan and planting schedule for the year. I recently started using this garden planner from Seed Saver's Exchange which is pretty neat. I have input all of the crop data from the past 3 years and it helps me organize it visually. It also links the past years and helps me with rotation by flashing red at me if I try to plant something in a place it has been recently planted. The goal is to come up with a rotation scheme that allows me to move large areas of crop families around the farm and not to bring them back the same section of field for 3-5 years. Planting the same crops over and over in the same area leads to a build up of pests and disease and also depletes the soil of which ever nutrients that crop feeds on, hence the idea of rotating the crops. This is one of the most valuable tools at an organic farmer's disposal.  

Seed Saver's Exchange Garden Planner, Field A 2013

The garden planner program is a great tool but some things are just easier to see on paper. I have a stack of catalogues from which I can chose from hundreds of different varieties, a dozen or more for most crops. I also have reference materials that I am constantly referring to.
Cornucopia of Catalogues!

Pen and Paper Plans

Puddy Time

High 5!

And as an added bonus. Here are some quotes about winter. It's a time we all have a chance to read and write more so its no wonder some lovely things have been written about this restorative season.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” 

― Lewis CarrollAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 
― John SteinbeckTravels with Charley: In Search of America

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.” 
― Yoko Ono

“The problem with winter sports is that -- follow me closely here
 -- they generally take place in winter.” 
― Dave Barry

“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.” 
― Victor Hugo

“For me, it was almost like winter didn’t count. Summer was what mattered. 
My whole life was measured in summers.” 
― Jenny HanThe Summer I Turned Pretty

“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.” 
― Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ryThe Little Prince

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” 
― Carl Reiner

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
William Blake 

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."
Hal Borland 

"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus 

"I was never any good at remembering dates, but now I hardly have to. When the first bulb catalogs get delivered and the hens start laying again, that's all the notice I'll need to know that winter has passed."
Susan Orlean 

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