Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reflecting back

During the winter time things slow down on the farm.  Vegetables don't grow as fast.  It's colder outside and the days are shorter.  So, it's a time to reflect back on the year and to think ahead for the coming new year.

As I reflect back on the year, two things come to my mind.  The wetness and warmth of the year.  Those two things played the biggest part in the garden.  It was warm earlier than usual.  It snowed the first day of March and then was in the 70s for the rest of the month.  The early warmth meant that the bugs appeared sooner than usual.  Then it rained and rained and rained.  It has been one of the wettest on record here in Alabama.  You might think that tons of rain is good for vegetables.  Well think again.  They like moderation.  Tomatoes succumbed to disease early on thanks to the rain.  Rain brings on disease quicker.  It was a horrible watermelon year.  If a watermelon gets to much rain right before it is ripe it will explode.  The rain will also wash all the flavor out.  So the spring and summer pass and you start thinking how great the fall will be.  Then it starts raining again and again.  So the soil is to wet and the fall vegetables are late getting going.  

Things are looking up now.  Everything is doing well.  But let's not just think back on the year and commiserate about how bad it was.  Some things did well.  The Music garlic, cannellini beans, flowers, and potatoes were standouts.  This has been the 2nd year for the farm.  We are steadily making improvements.

Winter time is a great time for working on projects.  We will be putting up a greenhouse and getting all the infrastructure ready for laying hens come March.  Seed catalogs also start coming in the mail.  It's always exciting to get new catalogs.  I love pouring over them.

As I look ahead to next year I see the farm growing by leaps and bounds.  It has come a long way since I moved back in 2005.  As each year passes by the soil gets better, the vegetables become more consistent, and income for the farm grows.  

And last but not least.  I am very thankful for my family, whom I would not be able to do any of this and to a new member of the farm, my girlfriend, Elizabeth Sanfelippo.  Elizabeth has been instrumental in helping the farm grow.  One of the biggest things she has done is implementing a email list.  Through the email list people are able to buy vegetables and or flowers when available.