Some photos and notes from the past three months on the farm.
2013 was a productive but challenging year for the farm and we were more than ready for the winter break. We decided to make some changes for 2014 by discontinuing both our farm share program and growing cut flowers for wholesale, and to focus our efforts on growing vegetables for our Saturday farmers’ market. As we are continuing to develop our farm infrastructure we have to face the fact that we have limited time and are not quite ready to expand to the fullest, and instead of pushing ourselves to the limit as we have for the past three years, we have decided to try to maintain our sanity by having fewer commitments. We want to continue farming for as long as we are able-bodied and not burn out mid-season each year, so sometimes it is necessary to make these difficult choices and have faith that what we are able to do is enough.
Since we were going to be away from the farm travelling during much of November and December I didn’t put a lot of effort into the winter plantings, so we had what we had, which was not a lot. Most of what I planted was eaten by deer and voles, and other plantings did not survive the super-frigid temperatures of this record-setting cold winter. In the end I was glad I had not planted more that would have inevitably been lost. The kale and spinach were the performers in the tunnel, but I lost my plantings of beets and broccoli, and the chard bed was unimpressive. There is plenty of room for improvement in the coming year.
We attended the Virginia Associate for Biological Farming (VABF) conference in January which was truly a wonderful experience. It was inspiring to hear what other farmers are doing in our state and beyond, and so nice to spend time with folks who practice farming with similar intentions and methods. We don’t get away often as we are tied to the farm from February through October and it was a real highlight of the year to rekindle our passion for farming and get ready mentally for beginning a new season. It makes me so happy to have found this profession.
Seeds have been started, and another year of vegetable farming commences.