We're in the midst of a truly beautiful winter, and I am especially grateful to find myself in a setting that is peaceful and expansive, and to be carefully planning for the future of the farm.
We are working on a number of areas that will help us to produce, sell, and continue to build our project during the coming season, and of course beyond:
- vegetable crop plans
- preparing for organic certification
- procuring a farm vehicle
- farmers market spots
This lightly shoveled area between the dairy barn and the small pole barn seems ideal for the site of a greenhouse (really a small high tunnel) that will be used for seedling propagation and for growing a small number of plants in the ground: it is very close to water and electricity sources (not mixed!), it is flat, and it receives a terrific amount of sunlight. It is also close to the house, which will be great as we worry about tiny plants on frigid March evenings.
While vegetables will not be grown in this area, we are thinking about a high tunnel, for eventual winter growing, a bit past the greenhouse area, because it is one of the few flat, sunny spots around, and the annual/perennial fields are far from winter water sources. With luck, work on this could begin later in the year.
I've been walking on our perimeter trail a whole lot (photo above), and especially with the snow cover it allows me to see how active animals are in the area. Conclusion: very. There are footprints all over the place (deer, rabbits, quail, unidentified others) and a lot of deer poop on the trail, and while I am tempted to plant a compact and diverse 1/2 acre of annuals without deer protection, I am also very nervous. So part of our holistic farm planning includes figuring out a sensible and manageable electric fence system, for this season at least, and also realizing that it won't be perfect. Other aspects of this whole farm plan I will share at a later time (when they are changing less!), but they include planting large and small trees for firewood, protein, timber, and fruit, maintaining habitat for a diverse crew of animals, bugs, and microbes, and creating beautiful spots for meditation, contemplation, yoga, etc.
This spot is naturally very beautiful, especially now with combinations of gold, white, and brown/green under vivid blue skies. A bench or two in the right place, once the weather is warm, will be amazing.
Thanks for reading!