It begins again.
Yes it's that time of the year round here, where it all begins again. This week flats will be filled with our soil mix so the planting in the greenhouse can begin. After years of experience I do not rush planting around here. The Tomatoes will be planted late this week, then come Peppers, and Eggplant. All this is timed so the plants will be just the right size to transplant in the field in early April. Then the cold watch really starts.
Last night it hit 25F here. That's not good for all the Almond blossoms in the county. Sure does make me glad that I'm not a tree farmer, with my whole season hinging on one bad night or day. Last year the cold was brutal. Covering up crops with Agribon, uncovering, covering again. In all there were at least three nights of frost alarms going off and Lisa and I jumping out of bed in the middle of the night to cover plants up. Maybe this year will be different, maybe the same. Life of a Farmer, you just never know what might happen with the weather. My crop insurance is diversification, I have many different crops and if I lose one it's not the end of the year, just a bump in the road. With all my experience I know there will be bumps but I also know that I and the Farm will be just fine.
I wonder what this years bumps will be? Weather? Fuel prices? Marketplace? Economy? It's just to much to ponder so I go about my days, do my best, and practice Gratitude for it all. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
I'm excited about the coming year. I have a few new crop niche's I'm going to fill and they really should add to the crop mix, and bottom line round here. I just can't help myself, I can't just rest on my laurels and not tweek anything. I'm encouraged with still building momentum in the Local Food Movement, and with fuel prices going up that only grows. Farm to School food is growing also, making room in the Marketplace for Farms to expand or new Farms to start up. The last few years I have seen quite a few new Farms pop up. It can be really tough the first few years, then of course comes the danger of burnout. Usually 4-6 years in is the time where a Farm/ Farmer really figures it out they will be faced with the fact of working their ass off for a really small income but a rich way of life. It's not easy to reach this point, but it usually happens. Some Farmers give it up and others keep going. It's my hope that consumers keep learning the real cost of their food, and Farmers can keep Farming and actually make a decent living. It's that or one day all our food will be imported, processed,and virtually lifeless.
So here's to good food, all those that eat it, and grow it, be it vegetable or animal.