January 25, 2007

As of sometime this afternoon, circumstances have gone from “oh, good, we’re getting that rain we need” to “uh-oh.” I’ve spent part of my day calling other local farms to see about the possibility of purchasing or trading for some of their crops…unfortunately, nothing in the way of row crops can be counted upon to grow during 10 solid days of rain. Except for maybe mustard greens, and there is only so much of that anyone can take.

The first farm pointed out that while they’d like to help me, they are going to have to RENT A CANOE to even get to their fields……yeah. So, my CSA program is about to get interesting, but we can only do our best and the rest “is what it is”.
But, just because it’s raining, the work doesn’t go away. It just changes. All those receipts that never were scanned for taxes….done. Next I attempt to get through my seven different record keeping methods to figure out what our farm income was last year, and contemplate how there needs, perhaps, to be a better system. Tomorrow afternoon, I have stacks of dirty pots waiting in the greenhouse. Speaking of which, the cold/wet weather is wreaking havoc with that. I just started my tomato seeds in flats, and on sunny days, the 70+ temperatures in there get the job done for germination. I didn’t anticipate this streak of weather, and so nothing is happening in the greenhouse that needs to; it is waaaaay too cold. I had to send away for 2 gigantic heat mats, which I was lucky enough to find on eBay for $50 less than it would have cost me to buy them from my favorite farm supply store. That amounted to money I didn’t really want to spend, but it’s a pittance when compared to the financial loss that would result from no seedlings to transplant in April and May. This needs to be our best year ever, with lots of vegetables and flowers ready to go, on time, for the anticipated summer sales.
In my spare time I’m reading Barbara Kingsolver’s entirely worthy book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” It details the challenge the author and her family set for themselves of trying to go an entire year ONLY eating what they could grow themselves or purchase locally. My perusals, as well as some recent conversations, got me to thinking about something. If you take grocery stores out of the picture, eating what’s available in season amounts to an absolute glut of some fruit or vegetable. The glut lasts anywhere from 3-15 weeks, and then that item is gone from the garden or orchard, not to be seen for another whole year. For example, the peaches we wait for all year? By mid-August I can hardly stand the sight of them. And then by October I miss them again.
We in the USA have become quite spoiled by the variety and bounty constantly available in stores (even when the variety and bounty tastes like cardboard on account of it having been picked extra-green and shipped across the planet). Shoot, before I started doing this, I don’t think I was even really aware that there were seasons when things didn’t grow. I’m still trying to perceive when a lot of these plants want to be grown in this area…most of the books don’t tell (and if they do tell, you find out later that those instructions applied to growing in Minnesota); it’s just the long road of learning.

Leave a Reply