We are thrilled to announce that we have found an Assistant Farm Manager who will help us grow our program this year! Virginia comes to us from Howell Living History Farm in Titusville, NJ and will be an outstanding addition to our team. As their Sustainable Farming Intern, she assisted with daily chores very much as farmers did in 1890-1920, that means using oxen for draft power. Howell's blog, The Furrow, has beautiful photos and tales of the old ways. We will be sitting down together for our first planning meeting this weekend. Full steam ahead!
On Sunday, Kevin attended the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Conference. He attended sessions on Crop Planning/Scheduling and Organic Pest Management among others. This year, event organizers have made some conference handouts available online, some of which may be relevant for backyard gardeners. If you have a backyard garden, be sure to check out the resources for Organic Pest Management.
Speaking of pest management, we have a rather large colony of little brown bats roosting in our barn. Our challenge continues to be how to get them out. On one hand they help by eating insects which should help keep our mosquito population down but they seem to prefer to hunt in the woods closer to the pond in general. They would be welcome aside from the fact that their droppings on the barn floor pose a risk. We've thought about giving up and coexisting by putting up a layer of plastic sheeting beneath the rafters but we're open to other humane suggestions.
We are in the process of planning for the Spring planting and are working on our seed order. There have been a lot of headlines in the news lately about GMOs, Genetically Modified Organisms. We realize there are 2 sides to this important debate but wanted to take the opportunity to inform our members that we do not use genetically modified seeds. We order our seeds from Johnnys who do not sell genetically modified seed. See their Safe Seed Pledge.