This Spring was absolutely unbelievable, coming out of a winter drastically warmer than usual into a mud season that was anything but. It was also the first year of our Spring CSA, designed specifically to work with the rainy, cool days of late March, April and early May. Instead, we went dry and hot all through March and much of April, with occasional late frosts that surprised the fully flowering fruit trees and eager asparagus spears all over the farm. Pests abounded, not having ever gone to sleep over the winter, and I irrigated my fields throughout March, April and May (once I finally started believing that I had to).
What went well? Actually, lots (thank goodness). This year has been a time for truly pulling as a team, literally and figuratively. On the draft power front, our work as teamsters has truly come into its own this year- I feel a solid connection with my first team, Randy and Besty, as we mow, plow, spread compost, harrow, etc. With Liz Coakley on the farm, we’ve got room for more working horses- more working teamsters and increased production! So we’re bringing on a second team made of the loveable and fully healed (!) Pet and Leo, a Percheron who we are borrowing from Kingbird Farm. Four years ago, gaining the hard skills and confidence to work the horses alone seemed a challenge; this year I am the main teamster on the farm and regular horse work is fabulous! And it is extremely rewarding to realize that Randy, Betsy and I actually trust each other enough that when I ask them to do something, they do it. Since such a big part of our plan for this farm includes these grass-eating, plow-pulling giants, any progress with them is an uplifting reflection on our journey to being a holistic operating farm.
Other high points for us include our Spring CSA, the first annual Asparaganza celebration, our orchard expansion and diversification in favor of cider varieties, and the growing sense of community all of these bring to the land. Thank you again to all of you who joined the Spring CSA and went through that Spring with us. Our CSA runs March-May, and is based on providing fresh vegetables, weekly, from our high tunnels, low tunnels and fields. We were certainly challenged by the weather shifts, but member feedback was positive, and here we are, planting our overwintering crops for next Spring’s members!
Asparaganza- May 5 this year, after a huge frost- was a huge and fun hit with games, informal tours, and delicious food! The vendors and entertainers rocked out all over the farm, and we hosted over 300 happy festival folks. More next year!