Farm Happenings at Broadfork Farm
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Farm Happenings for February 18, 2021

Posted on February 16th, 2021 by Janet Aardema

Today's photo is courtesy of the year 2011 and our 10th Farm Birthday! Ten years ago yesterday our farm business became legal, while Dan was building our first hoophouse, pictured above (which no longer exists...we re-worked our farm layout a few years later). We had a 3 year old child and a 1 year old child; Janet had a full-time office job, and Dan had a half-time office job, both with a long commute. It was a wild thing to take the first steps to making our dream a reality, but we are so glad we did. Ten years later we farm full time, year round, with 7 amazing employees (during the warm season), four active children, and an embracing community for whom we exist. The trials are real, the weather is getting more extreme, the stresses and joys create a roller coaster, and we know we are doing the right thing. Thank you for making this farm a reality!

Meanwhile, this February is doling out some weather! We lost power for three days starting Saturday, and so those days were dominated by trying to keep seedlings warm enough. We use propane heat in our greenhouse, but it requires electricity in order to turn on, and this time of year many newly-seeded trays need to be in an electrically-heated chamber in order to germinate. We're not sure yet how many trays of seeds we lost due to the storm. We re-seed as needed, but it puts a delay on the whole system. 

We hope all of you were able to stay warm enough and meet your basic needs! On our household front, it's easy enough to go without power for a while during cold weather. We empty our fridge and freezer into coolers and keep them outside. We prep many five-gallon buckets of water to use for toilet flushing (as we lose water out here in the country due to our dependence on the well pump). We have a woodstove to keep warm, and we have a campstove plus a covered porch to use for meal prep. We set up a 5 gallon jug of water on top of a dispenser at our kitchen sink for hand and dish-washing. Plus, our wood-fired bread oven keeps plenty of heat for days, so we always have an oven. It's really fine. (Summer time power outages are much harder!) We depend on our generator to keep the most important farm systems going, and this time of year our family can go a few days without the electrical grid without any problems. Everything just takes longer, but the candle-lit dinner memories are hopefully what our children will carry fondly. 

We're glad to have electricity and internet in order to get this Farm Share set in the computer for you this morning! Our mid-winter modest harvest continues. Thank you for enjoying what there is! It's not the time of year for a lot of diversity or abundance, but there's enough. 

Blessings on your meals, and we hope as many of you as possible are getting your vaccine shots! We are waiting for our turn. 

– Janet, Dan, & the winter Broadfork crew (Karen, Rachel, and the farm kids)
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