The End of the Season
Welcome to the last week of our season! So much has happened - it's hard to wrap it all up with a few final thoughts. It's been a long journey - from a cold, wet, and muddy spring (building, seeding in the greenhouse, putting our first transplants into the soil), through a hot dry summer (a blur of planting, greenhouse seeding, transplanting, harvesting, washing, packing, and trying to keep on top of the endless to-do list), into a beautiful warm fall (slowing down, reflecting, bed prepping, planning for next season). While we had our share of failures (squash and cucumbers seeds eaten by mice; spring crops failing to thrive in cold wet soil; tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants not producing abundantly; salad greens going to seed in the summer heat; weeds overcoming us), the overwhelming feeling at the end of it all is that we did well. A year ago, we had an empty field. Now we have three hoophouses, a packhouse, a cold storage room, an almost-completed farm store, and 80 100ft raised beds that have born multiple plantings of vegetables this season. We grew a LOT of produce this year, and were really happy with so much of it, including our mixed greens, spring onions, carrots, beets, lettuce, peas, beans, onions, and garlic - topping it all off with a beautiful broccoli and cauliflower harvest at the end of the season. We've reunited with the joys of our chosen profession - the close connection to nature, the diversity of tasks and challenges, the taste of that first freshly-ripened veggie, the satisfaction of a completed job, the opportunity to build and create, the chance to meet so many fantastic people in our community, and the pleasure of having our little one close by, getting to see her learn and grow every day. Overall we come out of our first season at our new farm with a sense of renewal and hope. We've seen what we're capable of, we've seen what our community is capable of, and we've learned so very much. It's been an amazing first season, an incredible adventure, and leaves us excited to see what the future has in store.
I've said it before, but I can never say it enough. Your support this season is what made this farm possible! Seeing your sign-ups trickle into our email account was a boost of hope and energy in the spring. Your financial support gave us the money to buy seeds, compost, potting soil, drip tape, insect netting, and other supplies necessary to our operation. Knowing you supported us and were coming every week or every other week to get your veggies kept us accountable, kept us going when we were tired, and kept us striving to give you the best veggies we could offer. I hope you know that your conscious choice to support us - a small, local farm - makes a big impact. We really hope you enjoyed the veggies and connecting directly with a farm. We certainly loved being your farmers.
This season was about building infrastructure and testing ourselves and our soil. Next season is about improving systems to grow more consistent produce. We know we need to work on amending the soil with more compost, suppressing weeds, and simply growing more bed feet of our most popular crops. We'll be looking to hire a full-time employee, because Alex and I were only just able to keep up this year. We'll be operating our Farm Share again and opening it up to more members. Our farm store will be up and running as well, and our packhouse will be much more organized! We'll also be at the Strathroy Farmers' Market again, with more produce every week. We'd like to run some Farm-to-Community events, like a seeding sale in the spring, another garlic harvest event, a member appreciation event and perhaps an open house. As always, we welcome any feedback or ideas that you have. You'll also be first to know when our Farm Shares open up again, so you can secure your spot for next year. We hope you'll be able to join us again!
We still have some veggies growing in that field of ours! So even though our shares are done, we'd like to help you to keep on eating fresh and local veggies as long as possible. We'll be emailing out a list of veggies for as long as we have it, and you can order them to come pick up on Thursdays or Saturdays at the usual time. For the next few weeks we'll still have: spinach, lettuce, mixed greens, cabbage, garlic, kale (better for cooking now than eating raw, as it gets a bit tough), turnips, watermelon radish, and spring onions.
So Long for Now
We hope you have a happy, restful, and snowy-in-a-pretty-way-but-not-too-cold-and-yucky winter. We'll be hibernating, and planning, and waiting for spring. Thanks for a great season.
Kim and Alex - and baby Rosemary.