Friday, March 20, 2020

Prepping

Hmmm...it takes a coronavirus pandemic for me to take the time to write a blog post. As any of you who have children know, having young children (Emma's turning three in May) means you have no free time. Or actually, no time in general. Especially now as day cares are all closed. I'm not going to lie, I'm only able to write this post now because Emma is watching 'If I Were an Animal' on Netflix right beside me.

We knew life would change when we had a child, but I don't think Skyler and I were prepared for how frustrated we could be by the loss of 'productivity' in our lives. Essentially, I can't get anything done efficiently while Emma's in my care. And when you're a one-person market gardener, being efficient is the only way that the garden can be managed. So I am hiring part-time help this summer, mostly for harvest day, and Skyler's going to have to watch Emma during crucial garden task times. The trade off is that if one of us is watching Emma, the other person is running flat out to get as much done in their work time as possible. Sigh...I'm definitely feeling my age these days ;P

Last year I also caught some sort of flu for 3 weeks at the end of June, right when it was most crucial to get vegetables transplanted and beds direct seeded. Again, a reminder that I'm not 25 any more ;P So the transition to no-till vegetable growing continues to have a sense of urgency, and I'm very happy that I already have all my landscape fabric/mulch delivered to the farm, ready to be laid out on beds to prepare them for planting, as soon as the vegetable field is snow free, which is pretty much any day now.

And let's not forget the farm animals! We have had a great lambing season, with 27 lambs born to 18 ewes within about 4 weeks...a tight lambing period, which means our new Gotland ram knows what he's doing ;) This means our barn currently has 72 sheep in it, between the breeding ewes and ram, their new lambs, the non-breeding ewes (we don't breed them until they're over a year old) and ram lambs born later last year. At this time of year, Skyler and I get worried for our hay supply and watch the pasture fields obsessively for growth. Every fall, we stock more hay than we think we'll need, but we also ended up keeping more sheep in the barn than originally planned, so we're really hoping the pastures will be ready for grazing early this year, unlike last year! Is it too much to hope that as our world deals with the societal changes required by the coronavirus pandemic, we can have an ideal growing season to produce as much food locally as we can??? My fingers are crossed anyway...I could definitely use a really good vegetable and pasture year.

Anyway, I'm super thankful that despite what's happening outside the farm these days, we're ready to go for food production this year, with all of our seeds, soil block making supplies, row cover, etc already at the farm. Increasing local food production capacity may actually become a priority issue for society in the next little while, and we're ready!

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