Approaching Winter, Building for Spring
It’s mid December and tomorrow is the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. This is a time rich with symbolism and heavy with anticipation. Everything is dim and cold and in a state of semi-rest. The plants that remain are almost at a stand still as they hang on and wait for longer days so they can resume their growth. The farmers, too enjoy a bit more rest. We try to soak up as much peace and stillness as we can this time of year as we know that it won’t be long before the days get longer and our work faster paced. We’ll turn around and it will suddenly be April and our lives will be overflowing with work and our garden with vegetables.
Between the growing seasons we are making great strides on all non-growy things around the farm. Several useful farm structures are all in various stages of completion. Justin and my dad have both worked long hours to try and get our 12′ x 30′ greenhouse completed in time to put our spring transplants in it. Just another couple days worth of work and it will be ready to fill up with broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, and more.
The 12′ x 20′ walk-in cooler and large processing building are on their way to being ready for the Spring season. The concrete slab will have a large awning roof over it in another month or so. We will wash, trim, and package the produce here out of the rain and sun, and store the produce in the cooler to keep everything as fresh and crisp as when it came out of the ground.
The last project is a small 6′ x 10′ farm office in what used to be our tiny greenhouse. With this sturdy steel frame, we have half the work already done for us! Hopefully in another month or two we can office in here and our kitchen table can go back to it’s original use. Ah, that will be so nice!
Out in the field we have our overwintering cover crop coming up and feeding the soil. Most of what you see here is the cereal rye and oats but we also have clover, peas, and some native vetch. The clover, peas, and vetch actually help improve soil nutrition while all of them build up a good deal of biomass and will breakdown in the late spring/early summer into a wonderful layer of organic matter. They’ll release nutrients to our summer plants, feeding the peppers, squash, beans, and tomatoes you’ll receive several months down the road.
I hope everyone is excited that the Spring 2014 season will very soon be ready to accept sign ups. We’ll post the announcement here in the next few weeks when it’s all ready to go. Have a wonderful Christmas, and enjoy the turn of the year!