Our seed order is in. Everything from eggplant to watermelon to kale has been ordered and (mostly) received. In a great feat of concentration our 2012 Organic System Plan has been sent in to the Montana certifying entity, and the planting plan for 2012 is on the verge of completion. To cap it all, our taxes are done.
We’ve already done a lot of paperwork this winter, and January has been a fantastic month of reading and skiing. Margaret and I spend most of our time during these down months on a ginormous puzzle or with a nose in a book. We visited some friends at Puzzle Peace Farm in Bostic, North Carolina over New Year’s, and I was exhausted just thinking about year-round farming seasons and 52-week markets: We work hard in the summer, and having time off is a blessing. As the season creeps closer and closer, the farm shares begin to roll in and our pantry is relieved of more and more jars. While the dogs and goats are restless, we’re feeling relaxed.
And yet, of course, the farm is always on the mind. A year ago we were scrambling to figure out whether or not we’d be able to pull through our first season. We were applying to accept SNAP benefits, registering as an official business, and exploring the farm for the first time. This year I feel confident not only that we will pull through a season on our own, but that we can do it well. As of two weeks ago the bees were still alive and well. We’ve begun to sprout roughly 400 asparagus seeds, which will be a challenge to fit in our greenhouse before they’re transplanted in the spring. The goats are fat and happy and one is (fingers crossed) growing a couple little goats inside.
We recently had a conversation with Leslie Klein of Good Egg Farm here in Montana. She started one of the first CSAs in the country right here in the Mission Valley, and Pommes de Terre Acres–the land we lease–became a part of that project. We like to say that farms build community, but the truth is that our starting this farm was only possible because of the community already here. This month we’re remembering Jane Kile, the woman who named Pommes de Terre Acres and who cared for it for 26 years. The attention and love that has gone into the management of this land and the animals on it is inspiring, to say the least. This farm has a history of its own, and the greatest accomplishment we can hope for is to honor it in the coming years.
Thanks to all of you who have been following us during our first season. It has been a real pleasure to write for NYFC. For more information about our farm, our Farm Shares, and our farm blog, visit our website www. countyrailfarm.com.