Wow, yeah, so January is done. That went fast, I feel like I spent it bundled under layers of thermals and sweaters!
Our sowing schedule, seed order and field plan are done for the 2014 season. Obviously got to it pretty late this year with the move and all. I like to get it done as soon as possible so we don't miss out on any special varieties. Sometimes certain seeds sell out or end being on back order if you don't get to them first.
A big surprise to me was the shortage on Winterbor Kale seed! Seems like there was crop failure last season that has led to the shortage. Luckily, we have enough seed from last year to carry us over for the spring. By the fall the new seed crop will be harvested and if needed we'll get new seed then.
Thinking about how one crop failure can affect our seed supply and in turn our food supply is pretty interesting. Even as a farmer I can get jaded and think that these seeds will always be available no matter what, and kind of forget the fact that the seed suppliers don't just pull them out of the ether, but have to produce them themselves as well.
I'm very excited about our field plan. I spent some time wandering around the farm with contractor flags and a measuring wheel trying to figure out how our veggie fields will be laid out in the spring. It was a challenge requiring much patience to push a measuring wheel through several inches of snow in single digit weather! I kept wishing we had last winter's weather this year!
The new farm should give us enough space to do a true "bio-extensive" rotation for our vegetables. Something I'm glad to talk to anyone about if you have more interest in it. Briefly, it means we can grow lots more cover crops and have a lot less weeds to deal with.
During January I have also spent many hours trying to find our next team of draft horses. I've decided to "upgrade" to Belgians and find our Haflingers, Rockie and Rosie a new home. Belgians are true draft horses, not ponies, and can do a lot more work in less time than the draft ponies.
Our ponies could handle the work load, but they needed frequent rests to "blow" and catch their breath. With larger horses those rests will become less frequent. Hey, go big or get out, isn't that what they say about farming? Ha.
If you are anyone you know is interested in our Haflingers, let us know.
For this year we are excited to have Brittany, a former apprentice, on full time as our assistant farmer! Aside from helping us with all things Flying Plow, Brittany will also be running her own medicinal and culinary herb business, growing, selling, and drying herbs.
Coming up for this month is greenhouse construction and the sowing of our first seeds. We're also taking applications for apprentices, email us if you're interested. And, we still have spots available for the 2014 CSA, thank you to everyone who has already signed up.