It is that time of year when the end is in sight. The end of short lazy days and long luxurious nights. The end of nails that grow past your fingers and aren't caked with dirt. The end of storing up energy, sleeping in, healing. It is almost time to burst forth with new life. Each spring the plants, the seeds, the farm and the farmer all sprout from their winter hibernation and we hit the ground running. Now is when we see the starting line in the distance. We start our warm-ups, stretch and mentally prepare for the marathon that awaits.
Here is just a peak at what I've been up to this winter...
The beginning of this winter was quite mild and I was harvesting field crops into January with little protection. After a few arctic blasts late January and early February the field crops are done, save a few carrots still in the ground for spring. The hoop house is doing its job too. I am still harvesting rainbow chard, spinach, mizuna, yukina, arugula and choi from inside.
|Winter harvest, carrots and choi here.|
|Winter delivery of roots, greens and brussel sprouts|
|Radishes grown in the greenhouse|
|Snow outside the hoop house|
|Puddy and spinach, the chard is under an|
extra layer of protection for warmth
|Asparagus- old stalks cut and removed and a fresh layer of compost added|
It's the right time of year for me to get out and promote the farm. This is from the Charles County Legislative Breakfast. It was a chance to connect with our local government representatives, let them know who we are, what we do, and ask questions. It was also a nice opportunity to meet other local farmers and agriculture groups.
I will be attending a few more events this spring. Check them out on our webpage
|Each farm or organization got a section of table. We were the only|
natural veggie producer present.
PlanningOf course all of the cold/windy/rainy/snowy days in the winter looked like this (maybe a bit messier)....
We have had a bit of everything this winter. Just a few weeks ago I could nearly have worn shorts. Now the wind chill is -3F. We have had severe wind and 8" of snow. Here is how we have fared...
|A windy day blew over our fence|
|The greenhouse stays warm surrounded by a|
thick blanket of snow
|Winter wonder in February|
|Luckily the solar panels are the first thing to melt the snow|
Perhaps my favorite farm related thing this winter was attending the PASA Conference. PASA is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. They put on an incredible conference that people come from all over the country to attend. This year's theme was Nature as Mentor. You can check out the line up here.
I attended workshops on Cover Crops, No-Till Gardening, Agroecology (complete with science experiments!), Blueberries, Food as Medicine and heard an incredibly moving key note address by Frances Moore Lappe. She is the author of the now famous 'Diet for a Small Planet' and founder of the Small Planet Institute. Surrounded by other like-minded farmer, scientists, specialists, research, and information I left the conference stoked and ready for a new season.
|Tillage vs. No-Till soil experiment. Check out Ray Archuleta|
of the NRCS (Video)
And here are some words of wisdom from PASA to get you through the end of this winter too...
|a reminder of why farms matter|