Winter on the Farm

Winter mushroom logs

It may be an unpopular position, but I for one am thrilled to see some snow on the ground!  I’m a born and bred New Englander who feels downright uncomfortable when a season just gets skipped over like it seemed Winter would on those 60-degree January days.  We’re counting on snow events like last week’s to recharge the depleted groundwater supplies after last summers’ drought.  There is also this neat thing that snow does as it’s falling from the clouds – it captures atmospheric nitrogen and holds onto it as it covers the ground like a winter mulch.  When the snow melts in the spring, that nitrogen seeps into the thawed soil and is available as a nutritional boost our first crops of the season!  Pretty cool.
I will admit that the spring-like days this winter have been put to good use here in South Lebanon: we spent a few days applying cow manure to our field in the hopes of coaxing some outstanding yields from our plants this year!  It’s hard to overstate what an asset our dairy neighbors are, enabling us to amass some serious piles of sh*t on any day of the week that suits us.  Some of this invaluable material goes right onto the field raw in the Fall, to decompose and sink in over the winter.  Lots of it goes into a big pile mixed in with leaves and woodchips to be turned by tractor and allowed to break down into compost over time.  That compost is also a highly valuable source of organic matter and nutrients for our soil.
On the less outdoorsy days lately, we have been choosing plant varieties, organizing our crop rotation, mapping our beds, and ordering seeds for the coming season.  It’s a task that never gets old from one season to the next.  We’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve, to keep things as exciting as they are delicious on the stand or in the box.  Between buying seeds and field amendments, crop supplies, Organic Certification renewal and all the normal bills that don’t only come seasonally, now is the time when expenses are highest and income is lowest.  We are sustained in a big way by our CSA members who put their trust in our skills as growers.  We understand that it is a big commitment on your part and are constantly impressed that there are people like you who care about the longevity of Sweet Acre Farm.
If you are thinking of joining either our box share program, or just want a CSA debit account at the farmer’s market, now would be the best time to join!
As always we are here for answering questions about specifics, or to deliver diatribes about all the benefits that small farms share with their communities and the larger environment, or to scare you into patronage with a detailed description of the demoralizing, dehumanized, environmentally degrading, wasteful, industrial, pathologically profit motivated, corporatized food system that dominates America’s gastronomical reality (if that’s your thang).  Just give us a call, drop a note, or a check with the appropriate CSA form found here.
Eat in good health!