That time of the year is upon us when we can start transitioning from all of the planning and paperwork and start doing actual farming things. It is actually coming a little early this year, so much rejoicing is being had by all. Last year at this time we still had unmelted snow and ground out in the fields. This year we are completely thawed, just wet around the edges. I was able to get out on the tractor on Saturday and till out the top vegetable field! Last years potato field was another matter all-together, but thankfully Mama J, or trusty tractor, is a four-wheel drive beast that was able to claw her way back out again!
In all fairness, we are still in the paperwork phase. Friday, I got a call from NRCS with some additional programs they wanted to list for us, including one really cool one that involves planting forage grasses and wildflowers for pollinators. We got on line real quick and looked and it seems like it could take 30 or so pounds per acre of wildflower seeds to get things kicked off. We are hoping to find native species to plant so that they can reseed and help us manage seed costs down the road. I think we are going to shoot for one acre this year, split between our place and the leased land, and then go from there next year.
While it was absolutely grand to experience that first smell of newly turned earth for the year, there is one drawback to the early spring – I am feeling dreadfully behind. I have to keep reminding myself that this year’s fruit trees don’t arrive for another three weeks, and that last year we didn’t get our first serious vegetable planting done until half way through April. Still, with sunshine and daytime temps in the 50s, it sure does feel like peas, spring turnips, beets and spring greens should already have their little heads up greating the sun. Hopefully seed will start going in the ground today and I will be chasing rabbits and deer away from seedlings before you know it!