Spring is just around the bend

by Common Hands

We can feel spring in the air as the ground is rapidly casting of its latest layer of somewhat expected snow. hopefully this will be the last and we get a good jump start on getting crops in the ground under row cover.

Activity has started at the farm and we are starting to sharpen up the old tools for yet another season. two weeks ago we fired up the heated greenhouse for the first time and every day since has been spent by a number of different people planting the first crops for the upcoming season. I love the spring times spent in the greenhouse. it feels like may inside and I am always joined by good friends and neighbors who have been offering their time.

Good friends of the farm such as Sebastian, Chenier, and Rob have spent a lot of patient time with me dropping one seed at a time into their holes in the germination trays.

In between we have spent a bunch of time drilling mushroom logs from which we will propagate shitake and oyster mushrooms throughout the upcoming season. Rob Schroeppel is our farm go to guy for all things electrical, plumbing, excavation, driveway repair, landscaping, and even helps me out by hunting down a good oak tree somewhere that the forest has to be thinned. two weeks ago we headed out into the forest through the snow in his monster diesel pickup truck and we brought down a good mid sized tree. what an amazing few seconds when a treethat stretches up into the forest canopy, lets go of its decade of reaching for the clouds and comes crashing down changing the entire lanscape and skyline in an instant. in that instant I knew that it was the right one and it was ready to give itself over. and what a rush chainsaws can be! such a manly occasion.

Our brand new stone wash building is finally completed, minus the roof which is going to come in the next few weeks. this is a real temple to beauty and all that is wholesome on the farm. it serves as a symbol of bringing beauty and meaning to all that you do. check out more photos on our facebook page!

We are excited to be planting our first salads and microgreens in our greenhouse and low tunnel. it was fun to spend the snowstorm tilling beds and planting spinach and mesclun salad. I cant wait to be eating some in a couple of weeks. I am also excited to throw row cover over our cilantro which miraculously made it through the winter. as well as our spring scallions which also overwintered beautifully. the other day I pulled up the first giant salsify root and cooked it. It was so amazing and buttery. It might be my new favorite root vegetable!

so something is still around from the farm to eat, but its scarce. I even used my last garlic this week. thank god for the thousands of promising little sprouts which line the tables of the greenhouse.

Eric is back! and our new apprentices Andrea and Caroline arrive in the next couple of days! as well as Seamus who will be interning with us for the next month. check out his blog http://organicfarmeronabike.wordpress.com. we just met the land lord for the new house they will be living in on prospect street and got the keys. the landlord himself was a farmer for 15 years! he said he will be by to check out how we do.

Eric and I bought some food for ourselves and the apprentice house today at the farmers market in Hudson. I have missed the market so much. it was so wonderful to stock up on nuts, coffee and granola from Tierra Farm, bacon from Sparrowbush farm, eggs from Pigasso Farm, root vegetables and spinach from Blue Star Farm. and my favorite breads from Berkshire Mtn Bakery. Being a farmer who sets up a stand all year and treasures every dollar and exchange that happens while I am there, it felt so good to leave $100 in the hands of all the hard working people who make it there to be a fresh direct consumer who gives the farmer all the money they deserve for their hard work. I am filled with so much love for my strong community of farming friends who keep the food coming, and support us so much with their encouragement as we have grown our farm from the ground up over a period of a couple of years. I love their produce like I love mine because I know the love that made it grow.

Our season to date is filled with so much beauty and positivity and support, as well as opportunity and serendipity. We feel like some force is guiding the farm into being and every time we reach a crisis we work through it to create a solution, or even an opportunity. Currently we have a very strong pressure to generate the funds to pay for our use of the land, and meet our equipment payments, otherwise our production could become temporarily suspended which would not be good. We urge everyone who is considdering buying a share, and we know there are many such people, to go ahead and sign up as soon as you can. Every dollar counts hugely towards our goal right now, and if all the people who have expressed interest in a share for this year sign up in the next couple of weeks we will be pretty close to our goal. \

So we urge you to do all you can to support us this spring and try our new model of CSA, where you can switch out what you want so you can tailor your share to your dietary desires/needs. if you live upstate you can also pickup any of 4 days a week. your signing up could be the signup that meets our target so we can move forward into april without these crucial financial woes that threaten us.

We are so excited to be producing food again this year for the communities that we bring food to. Food is what brings people together it is the currency of love for ones land base, and the outcome of a season of nurture. They say you are what you eat, or that food becomes you, and its true, we want to become a culture much like that of the farm. We want to feed on love, land and the outcome of nurture.