I hope that you are enjoying working with the new Harvie platform this year - it's a dream come true for us, especially after last year...ahem. If you need help please reach out to us through email or review the instructions that were sent to you. But don't call me because I'm still learning what to do from this end. Morgan or the fine folks at Harvie will assist you.
This is the busiest time of the year and I thought that I would share with you my last 72 hours or so and give you a sense of life here on the farm.
By Wednesday night I have already worked 40+ hours and squeezed in a little time to get my butt kicked at jujitsu class. I'm a white belt with no stripes.
Thursday: Up at 5, out the door - morning chores - feeding Bob the Llama, chickens and getting the dogs out to the yard. We have 2 herding dogs that are on a 2 acre invisible fence in the front yard and Murphy our other dog likes to help me get them from the barn and then she proceeds to jump on them as they come out of their crates. The rest of their day is about chasing barn swallows, barking at the mail man and trying to intimidate Bob. He's not impressed. The Amish greenhouse builders arrive by 7 and are busy pulling new plastic over house #3 and giving house #2 a long needed makeover with new walls and doors. House 2 will soon have screens so we can grow arugula, Napa cabbage, bok choi, and radishes all year without having to deal with flea beetles. I am very excited about this. I make a run to the produce growers supply store and pick up some things the guys need to finish the project. back at the farm and I'm organizing the harvest for CSA and the 2 farmer's markets. The farm store needs fresh greens, eggs and strawberries. The berries are looking sad now. Too much rain and heat after a cold spring. A Workshare shows up to clean lettuce - thanks Ruth! I get busy working on plumbing in the barn so we can have automated water to fill up the wash tanks for the roots and greens. The kids come out to see what I'm up to and my father in law is cleaning the scallions. 4 Awesome wobrkshares show up around 5:30 and help clean and organize the CSA boxes for delivery. They have all been here for 2, 3 and 4 years and we couldn't run the farm without them.
Get the pups back in their crates. Walk inside from the barn at about 9pm. Early. I feel like a slacker.
Friday: Scramble to help the Amish guys get the huge piece of plastic over the house #2 before the wind picks up. We got it done. Take 10 minutes to check out the ground hog situation. They have eaten a full third of the pea crop. I try not to think about how angry that makes me as I line one up. The dogs now have a fresh breakfast. Jump on the cultivating tractor to clean up the corn, cabbage, kale and potatoes before pulling out the water gun reel and start a 4 hour cycle. Harvest cucumbers for CSA and pull the seedlings out of the germination chamber. One variety of lettuce is having poor germination. I make notes in the seeding binder for my father in law. At 11 am I load the van with produce and head to the Kennett Square farmers market. It's a slow day. I eat a meatball sub on the way home and listen to the Joe Rogan podcast. Michael Pollan is his guest. Great show. I get back to the farm at 10pm. Unload the leftover produce. Put the dogs away, and clean some bins on the dock. Count the money, take inventory. Walk out of the barn at 11:30pm. Shower and bed.
Saturday: Up at 5. Feed Bob and the chickens. Load the van for the Mt Pleasant Farmer's Market and then the DC CSA. Drive to DC. Help the ladies who work for me there unload and set up the market stand. Then I run around DC doing CSA deliveries.Talk to our super CSA hosts. They like the new system. One even does a weekly Saturday potluck at her house based around our produce. She's a rock star! One of these days I will fulfill my promise to her and show up with a Bob or some other farm animal and let it loose in her backyard during the party. Back to the market by 1pm to breakdown. Go have lunch with an old Peace Corps buddy. Back to the farm by 5. Unload, clean bins, park the van. Time to plant. My super wife and 7 year old daughter help me plant 600 pepper plants while I drive the tractor and play Sturgill Simpson on the bluetooth speaker. We finish and they head in for dinner. I watch Murphy our water dog kill a ground hog near the peas and then take it down the herding dogs for show and share. My chest swells with pride. I drink a pint of Big Hill Cider from the tap in the barn. Then I drink another. It was a long week and I still have work to do. The sun sets. I hook up the disc to the tractor and head out to fields 1 and 2. The neighbor just sprayed cow manure on the fields and it must be worked in to get the nutrients for the fall planting of broccoli, kale, winter squash and radishes. Five acres disced nicely and I finish up there around 11pm. Check the greenhouses for rabbits. None. Head to the barn. Count the money, put boxes away, dogs in crates, shut the barn doors and make it in the house around 12:30. A 19+ hour day. Feels good. Got a lot done.
Sunday: Sleep in till 7. Horrible I know. The rain is coming - have to get the beans seeded and some weeds mowed down around the farm. Hook up the tiller to the tractor, till 2 beds then push the seeder up and down for bush beans. Starting to sprinkle. Hook up the mower to the tractor. Mow the edge of field 5, between the berries and the long swale out by the fruit trees. It's pouring when I finish at noon. Hot shower. Lunch with the kids and now here I sit, with you.