Last week I mused that farming starts when we begin to rototill our fields. Of course, there is way more going on before any dirt is rototilled. Sometimes farming happens the season before like garlic or berries or pruning.
Farming is a catch all term. What does it mean to farm? Is planning farming??? Is ordering seed farming??? Is ordering fertilizer farming??? Is buying fuel or doing maintenance on your equipment farming??? Or are all the activities needed to support farming their own category???
For whatever reason, it FEELS like farming when the rototiller begins to till the ground, everything else is a warmup. But if truth be told all the warmup stuff is really important to growing food. Planning goes a long way to having a successful season and certainly, growing healthy, organically grown food benefits from the planning.
One thing that is really outside my control is the weather. I am able to flex my schedule a little, but sometimes the weather can really throw you a tough pitch to hit! Every year I think the weather is going to be perfect. It is my nature to be optimistic. The weather will be perfect for some crops like cabbages or tomatoes or cucumbers or garlic :). With a plan our farm team can flex as needed with whatever weather pattern shows up.
Last week, the weather turned cold and the soil didn’t warm up, but the first few thousand lettuce plants are ready to go and for our farm it is time to plant peas. The lettuce plants are ready and need to get from the transplant tray to the soil to avoid being root bound. But if the weather is as predicted, getting the pea seeds and lettuce plants into the ground last Saturday will have been a good decision. And with the weather warming, planting peas last Saturday will allow the seeds to gather moisture and the warmth of the soil will help them germinate sooner.
Warm weather is really important to growing crops and for these old joints, the warm weather is definitely a plus!
The local season is well underway, and the bounty of our NW farmers will soon be a part of every delivery!
Thanks for supporting the Box of Good and it’s local network of farmers,
-Tristan & Joelle
Our team is finally “farming”! We have been out in the field, greenhouses, and in the barn preparing starts. But to me I think farming really starts with the first time a rototiller gets hooked up and turns the earth. That happened last week.
The first passes with the rototiller are shallow and designed to incorporate the cover crops and weeds. Once we have the organic matter broken down, we then use a spader. The spader is a European designed tool that mimics double digging and works the soil about 10 inches deep. After that we rototill and begin to shape the beds for planting, then we spread fertilizer, rototill again and then mark the beds for planting.
This year we have really expanded the vegetable production and are literally planning to grow tons more organically grown vegetables.
I love this season! It is absolutely crazy, but with the increasing day length and the weather warming it surprises me what we can accomplish! We have a passion for sourcing and delivering the freshest organic foods, but it feels like an honor to get to actually grow food for your family, too!
Last week, I asked Stephen if he would take on the greenhouses this season. He just turned 14 and has been working on the farm for about 14 years 😊. I told him it’s a big responsibility, but I know he’s ready. He said he’d take it on. I told him thank you and to take note that if he were to forget to water we could lose weeks of work and thousands of dollars in one afternoon. I smiled at him and headed off to my next project. Later that night, he shared with me that he had never thought about the importance of the greenhouse and how much responsibility it was. Of course, I will still pay attention to the greenhouse, but I’m proud of him. The magnitude of this responsibility was not lost on him and he was still willing to take it on. This season a lot of your vegetables are going to come through those greenhouses.
It is a privilege to serve your families with organically grown fruits and vegetables from our own Klesick Family Farm. Your Box of Good will become more and more local as our farm and our network of other local farmers begin to harvest the northwest bounty.