March is here! It’s time to kick into gear, planting and prepping for the busy season. We are planning to proceed with the same system as last year – online store opening in May for pre-orders, as little or as much as you like, for pick up at the farm Fridays and at Covent Garden Market on Saturdays. We will also have a regular market stand at Covent, 8am-1pm, starting in May.
We will have seedlings for sale again this year – edible flowers and herbs, tough to find natural dye plants like Japanese Indigo, madder root and weld, as well as hybrid tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and peppers.
I feel grateful for the slow season changes on the farm – I’m not quite ready for full speed ahead (my body or my mind), but I’m ready to start the engine. Jess started back at the farm this week, a couple days a week. We will seed quick crops in the unheated hoop houses, work in the cosy greenhouse, and do some construction projects. I try to improve a system each year on the farm – this year we are upgrading the wash area with a new salad washing tub and machine for spin-drying.
It’s also childcare juggling season – figuring out a new way to snatch a moment to sit at the computer (it’s 5:30am), finish the weaving project (exciting in the beginning but now a chore), and fetch all the jars and bags and boxes we need for the season.
Buttons and Suzy were both scheduled to foal this fall, but now we are waiting on just one…Buttons lost her foal in February, a little early, born in its intact sac. It was sad but we are grateful we have another little one to look forward to. Sonny, a gelding that worked here for many years has come back to Orchard Hill. He will be working with Buttons and with the young stallion, Joey in the spring. This will be the first year that Joey is out in the fields, and he’s doing really well in training.
Ken is proceeding with more research trials with EFAO (Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario) and Living Labs, looking at the techniques and benefits related to larger scale organic no-till. If you drive by the farm, you can see some of the cover crop demonstrations labelled.
I hope you’re all healthy and warm, and you have someone to hug.