In honor of Mother's Day, I want to take the opportunity to thank our mothers for all their help. I also want to thank all the mothers who take the time to support our farm through their membership. A lot of members are mothers of young children who arrive each week with their little ones in tow. These visits are a wonderful way to show children where their food comes from and kids are some of our most enthusiastic champions of fresh food.
Welcome Cinnamon! We didn't intend to buy a rabbit when we set out on our trip to buy supplies in Lancaster, PA recently but we returned home from our pilgrimage to Nolts Produce Supplies with the truck piled high with irrigation hose, vegetable storage bins, harvesting baskets, row cover, wooden plant stakes and one very sweet bunny. We bought the bunny from a Mennonite girl who gave us a box with some wood shavings and a bag of food. She held the rabbit for a moment before placing him inside - a brief goodbye and happy blessing for a creature she had raised for 10 weeks. He was the last of his litter to depart their family farm. We promised to give him a good home!
The drive through the rural PA landscape was beautiful although there was noticeably less farmland than the last time I visited. I enjoyed hearing Pennsylvania Dutch being spoken at the counter at the supply store by an Amish man whose horse and buggy was parked outside. We also loved seeing children working alongside their parents in the fields, a lovely image of a simpler way of life. We ended our day at September Farm Cheese Shop for sandwiches and headed back home.
Welcome to the New Flock of Laying Hens! On Friday we picked up 10 tiny chicks at the New Egypt Agway. 5 Barred Rocks and 5 Rhode Island Reds. They are cheeping away in their brooder and seem to be getting along. We are very much looking forward to fresh eggs come October!
We are busy planting and taking advantage of the good stretches of weather while we can. The first share distribution is about a month away and the pace is beginning to pick up. We have onions, potatoes, peas, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage in the field as well as flowers and herbs. New this year, leeks!
All in all, things are going smoothly but there were a challenging few days last month while we were trying to find organic fertilizer. We purchased it last year from Purdue University but they will no longer sell directly to farmers. We were directed instead to find a distributor. Purchasing through a distributor was more expensive and came with additional logistics but it all worked out in the end. After the initial application of fertilizer came a couple of very windy days and an incredible amount of rain. I tried hard not to imagine actual dollars blowing away or washing off with the rain. In reality the fertilizer (organic chicken manure), had been tilled into the soil and is more than likely still "in the rows" right where it should be.
Taking the day away from the farm to pick up supplies gave us a bit of perspective. We were reminded that a simpler way of life certainly isn't easier but it's satisfying on a very fundamental level. Inner lights shine just a little brighter when people are doing work they enjoy and our team members absolutely exhibit this vibrancy. And while we have yet to prove a profit on paper, there is no amount of money that can buy that feeling. Now if we can just figure out a way to achieve both goals!
Thank you to Gravity Hill Farm for hosting us at their annual season kickoff event. We enjoyed the brick-oven pizza and the tour of your beautiful farm. Thank you to Virginia for all of her hard work over these past few months. Thank you also to Bruce for mowing and mowing the grass that grows at an impossible rate to keep up with this time of year.
A belated happy Mother’s Day to our mothers and all the mothers who read our little blog!