At some point last week we started to get a minimum of 10 hours of daylight! That marks the end of the Persephone period and we'll start to see a dramatic change of pace all around us.
We've been busy with the usual farm chores of seeding, weeding, cleaning up, watering seedlings, keeping pests like mice and hungry birds in check, and bumping plants up from their seed trays into 6-packs. Yesterday I was very happy to spend time bumping baby parsley plants and was even happier to see that we had over 200 plants by the time I was done. I was also tickled this week to bump up our early tomatoes into 3" pots! Hopefully they will be ready to transplant into a hoop house next month! Fingers crossed.
It may sound strange but farming isn't just about growing, it's very much about building too! Good healthy soil has to be built up over time. Agriculture is hard on soil unless we make the effort to restore what the plants take from it. Knowledge has to be built up over time, we do this by reading, talking (listening!) to fellow farmers and through taking time to note what our experiences have taught us. This week what was most poignant was the building of community. Farming is nothing with our connections to others. It may seem counter-intuitive to spend time off the farm at this precious time of year unless you scope out and remember that helping friends and like-minded organizations helps build us all up. This week we took some shifts helping at the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District's Native Plant Sale. It was my first time helping and I'm so impressed at the planning and organization required to make it all go! As I was putting orders together I got to see the different types of plants offered and not only was I impressed, I was jealous! I wish I had ordered some...good thing the ordering process will start up again in early summer. It was Nate's first time helping too. It was especially exciting since he's officially the new BSWCD Board of Directors Chair. Along with his work with BSWCD, Nate's also been helping Marys River Grange plan their new water catchment system. It's not a stretch to see how it's all connected. Farming, stewarship, community, food, love.