I was chatting with a friend last week about Lazy Heron's new barn cats, and told him they were part of the project of "adding life" to the farm. As we come out of winter in the coming months, its our goal to enliven this landscape with harmonious interactions of plants, animals, and microorganisms: the pasture feeds the horses, the horses feed the soil microbes (via the compost pile), the microbes feed the vegetables, and the vegetables feed you - with any waste going to the four feeder pigs we will be getting this spring [if you're interested in half a hog for your freezer, stay tuned...] That's just one of the many cycles, recognized and unrecognized, that its my responsibility as a farmer to help coordinate.
Speaking of life, part of January has been devoted to addressing the farm's human living spaces, which I more or less neglected in the fall while rushing to prepare for plants and animals. I've been getting an outdoor kitchen set up, where the farm crew will share meals. Amazing what you learn about plumbing, electricity, and propane when you move onto a farm that has absolutely no infrastructure on it!
Installing wood stove Onions emerging in greenhouse
One of the advantages of farming with draft horses (living tractors, if you will) is they don't make tire ruts when you are on wet winter/early spring soil. I've picked up a ton of lime and will be spreading it on one of our plots in the next few days, with Kate, Sunny, and a tandem disc harrow following to work it in. This plot was plowed in the fall, so its in a workable condition, and even has some growth coming through I want to take out before it gets too established. Then comes compost, bed-shaping, and around the time of the next newsletter, we will be thinking about putting in some cool season crops.
The thing with Community Supported Agriculture of course is the farm's life is made possible through the community. I'd like to close out the newsletter by thanking everyone in Norwood, Stanly County, and the greater area who has reached out with enthusiasm, shared us with friends, or has already bought a CSA share - those early purchases go a long way in bridging the gap between the scarcity of winter and summer farmers market income. Looking forward to meeting more of you and hoping we can make this farm a little part of your life too.
Thank you ~ Holt