Growing Pains

After plowing down crops earlier this week I was feeling a little disgruntled. Last night I was out digging potatoes for an order after we got back from market and I had time to take stock.

The first year at the farm we put in a tiny little test garden just to see if we could get anything to grow. We had an old beat-up riding lawn mower that we were using to take down a 3 acre field of weeds that were taller than I was, a madoc and a hoe. We managed to do pretty good even though all of the hand labor nearly killed me.

The next year we got the tractor and put in more sutff, nearly a quarter of an acre. We also planted our first 45 apple trees. The potato patch grew. We worked and worked to get nearly 100 pounds of potatoes planted, lost the battle to the weeds and didn’t have much else do well. We did manage to get our Organic Exempt status and make it to our first farm market that year though and ended up quite happy!

Last year we added many more trees. We also pushed the vegetable garden up to nearly an acre. We lost the battle to plant the nearly 400 pounds of potatoes we ordered. We did have a good weather growing season and did pretty well. We made our first wholesale sales to Common Market and had a very good market season. Lots of growth and potential.

This year we managed to get an actual potato planter to solve that problem. Planted 550 pounds of potatoes too! The weather absolutely has been hideous, we had some equipment failures and the weeds took over. OK, so we did lose a crop or two that we were hoping for this summer, but we did have a good spring, we have potatoes, we have mellons doing well and we are hoping to be able to replant for a good fall. We have learned some important things about the crops we want to grow. We also have learned that we need to upgrade our weed management aresenal. Thankfully we have a strategy and probably enough income off the farm to get the necessary equipment. We might have lost a few battles this year, but we are making strong progress.

We are also starting to see into the future a little too. Next years major obstacle will be harvesting, washing and storing all of the bountiful crops!

Peace and Happiness!

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