It hasn't always felt like it, but truly spring is here. It's a cold one so far, but the signs of the season are definitely here (even if we are shivering a little too hard to enjoy noticing them at times).
Our apprentice crew arrived on April 1 and has jumped right in! We have three new, eager crew members this year (Alexandra, Jake, and Ben) who have joined our seasoned veteran (Ellen) and are hard at work all around the farm. Ellen has been getting all of our fields plowed, Jake has been making our planting beds, Ben has been spreading the fertilizer, and Alexandra has been sowing thousands of seeds in the greenhouse for spring planting later in the spring. In addition, there's plenty of work for all of us tending our perennial crops (blueberries, strawberries, etc), starting construction projects, and doing all of the other work that goes into getting this circus up and running again.
Zoe, Karen, and I, have been mostly occupied with making plans and then keeping our new crew busy with many tasks that are mostly new for all of them. There's a lot of learning around the farm in the early season, as people need to operate tractors, use tools, and figure out how to operate the many systems that we use to take our food on the journey from seed to harvest to your kitchen! Behind the scenes, Abbe continues to do all of our administrative work each week and Ken has returned to the workshop where he began getting the winter out of our trucks and tractors so they could get back to the fields.
We have the usual plans for this upcoming season: to grow 30 acres of vegetables and feed 700 families using sustainable techniques which leave our soil as good (or better) than we found it. And to use this work to train our apprentices in how to manage these techniques and develop their own. In addition, we have a few special projects in mind that we are hoping to get done - upgrading & maintaining our fieldhouses, purchasing a new root digger and root washer, and re-configuring many of our pasture fences to maximize our cows grazing here and at the Snyder Farm down the road. So, we have plenty to do, and are thankful for the people to help get this work done.
The question on everyone's mind right now, is whether the unusually cold spring will have any effect on our growing season. While we are sure it will, we never can be sure just how. Certainly things are behind where they were last year at this time, but anything can happen (and it usually does). In other words, welcome to being a CSA shareholder - Where your food is actually the result of a living, breathing farm, being worked by living, breathing people. We are excited for the opportunity to connect you to this life-affirming process and hope that you will enjoy being a part of it as much as we do.
We will be in touch with you periodically via email to keep you up-to-date with what's happening here at the farm (and any related events that might be of interest). We have also updated our calendar on our website so you can check out our plans for the coming season. And, if you are so inclined, you can also stay in touch by "liking" us on Facebook, and following us Instagram and Twitter where we post pictures of current activities around the farm. If you are a new shareholder, you will receive a Shareholder Handbook at the beginning of May to let you know what to expect for the coming season. We also encourage you to come and help out anytime on the farm - just send us an email and we'll tell you how to plug in. If you have any questions or concerns, in the meantime, feel free to reach out to us via email or phone.
We are looking forward to a great season to come and are glad you are joining us!!
Dan (for Karen, Zoe, Abbe, Ellen, Alexandra, Ben, and Jake)