It's fully winter in our little city, and this weekend my robot phone tells me it's supposed to dip well below zero while we're huddled in our beds. I don't feel too chilled - Laura and I have been sitting down for a few hours each week and parallel playing on our computers to tick away at our schemes for the upcoming season, and there's no part of my week that's more satisfying!
winter has had it's ups and downs already. the farm truck has been in the shop for more visits than we'd prefer. the roof to our coolbot blew off in a particularly aggressive snowstorm. it's been dark. but many muffins have been baked. we've vacationed and staycationed. Mabel is finally catching on to the idea of the morning snooze. we've made friends at the dog park. we've ordered all of our seeds from Fedco and Johnnys Seeds, and more from our friends at Small State Seeds. we inventoried the seed we managed to save from our plants this past season, and our bounty was encouraging. we engaged in a NOFA/RI sponsored mentorship w farmer and soil-health enthusiast, Derek of Brix Bounty Farm, and we came out of it with a very fully developed action plan to bring our soil nutrients up to their ideal levels. our practices are more and more reflecting our values as farmers and as stewards of the land, and that feels good.
we've made charts. we've made lists. we've set up meetings, and left many voicemails. we're zooming in on what makes sense for us, where we are in our evolution. winter is the time when Sidewalk Ends is more Business than Farm, and it's a funny hat for each of us to wear, but it pays off. we're adding an East Side pickup for our CSA at the Temple Beth-El this season. we're well on our way to getting our veggies into some new and new-to-us restaurants in Providence. we're dreaming of piglets. we're scheming with some Brown students to build chicken tractors for meat birds. we said goodbye to our old layers and are cleaning out the coop for new ladies in the spring.
we're thinking hard about our labor force and what shapes it will take in each phase of the season. soliciting workshares for all sorts of tasks. welcoming friends with plans of being in our world for stretches of time. Laura has dreamed up a week long immersive farming camp for young women of Providence, and we're reaching into all the corners of our networks to try to make it happen (please let us know if you have experiences to share with organizing a camp/grant writing/logistical wizardry!).
though the sentiments may be clichéd, we mean it when we say that we can't wait to grow vegetables for you this season. we're sincere in our expressions of gratitude for your support. it couldn't be more true that we love being your farmers.
stay toasty and well fed... spring is just around the corner.