Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Season is Under Way!

Well, I moved to the farm almost a week ago, but I've only been farming full time for the past two days since my last exam was on Tuesday... which means that I am officially done with my college career! Life has begun! I can't tell you how amazing it is to be living each day, doing what it is I love, on my own terms, at my own pace! This has already been such a great experience for me, but it has had no shortage of challenges!

Before I get into the craziness that has been my life as Farmer Claire for the past couple days I'll just say that the garlic continues to get bigger and more beautiful every day. It feels so good to see something growing as we get the season started. It's a reminder of all the wonderful things that lie ahead!

Before I begin, let me say that this is me being completely real about my learning curve in an attempt to keep things honest and open... I'm having a blast but I don't know everything. So this is as much a discovery process as it is a very familiar comfortable way of life for me...

Alright, so this week I realized that I needed to lime our soil heavily before Fred came to plow on Wednesday since we need to raise our pH by a full point! However, Wednesday morning arrived, and since I had been in Burlington the day before finishing up my exam and running errands I totally forgot to purchase the lime! So I frantically called Ben at 9:00am (who was still in Burlington) in an attempt to figure out how we could calculate the amount of lime to use... after consulting many books, our brains, and our soil test we decided that I only had a couple hours til Fred would arrive and it was more important to have some lime on than none at all (We've since figured it out and will apply the rest soon).

Instead of continuing to freak out I pulled myself together, picked up some lime from Central Supplies and spread fifteen 40 pound bags of lime over the first half acre. We know that's far less than we will need, but at least it was something. Our soil looked like a light snow had fallen on it...

Fred arrived that afternoon and did a fantastic job roughing up the ground. He went back over the area we limed with his plow and then turned over the new parcel I marked out behind the barn.

When Fred was done, my worst fears were reality... there were huge rocks everywhere. 
So today I spent the better part of my morning out there with a demolition bar, trying my darndest to get as many of the big ones moved as I could... but with it being so muddy and the ground being so uneven the tractor was no use. I had to give up... Hopefully after the rain lets up I'll be able to make a bigger dent in the boulders out there. For now I've decided to focus my energy on other things.

Like the plants! I think I've got about 40 trays seeded at the moment. 
I've been using a soil block maker which takes a bit longer than the plastic seed trays to set up, but it has a much smaller ecological footprint which is why I'm sticking with it! 

Those little seedling trays have taken up all the temporary space 
I had set up for them in the hoop house, so today Jake gave me some carpentry lessons as we constructed our first hoop house table out of the hemlock we got from the Howards! Soon the whole greenhouse will be full of those tables. I have to be honest, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I can't wait to make more!

Finally, before I head to bed I have to let you know that our t-shirts have arrived! We got them done at Green Mountain Imprints in Shelburne. 

They've got our farm logo on the front and a great line drawing of the barn and the hoop house that Jake designed for us (it may look very familiar as it has appeared on this blog once before) on the back.
These lovely shirts come in red, navy blue, chocolate brown, or a mossy-green color. They are printed on organic cotton and are $18.00. Shoot me an email if you'd like one!

1 comment:

VTPapp said...

Great t-shirts! Do you have a use for all the rocks you are digging up? I don't know if you want any outside help but my preschooler and I love playing in the dirt and could help out some if you would like and the timing is right. Let me know. I'd also take some rocks off your hands if you need to dispose of them.