Looking forward, after a quick look back….
With this year’s blueberry harvest imminent, now is a good time (the only time for a while) to write this little farm update.
This will be our sixth year as farmers, and the fourth blueberry harvest. For the past few weeks, as we’ve been preparing for this season, I notice it – something - definitely feels different than in previous years.
The most noticeable change is the lack of frenzied stress! This little bit of experience has taught me that things tend to roll along, get done and work out just fine. And, because I have seen this for myself many times now, it’s getting easier to relax a bit.
And, equally significant, we have the luxury now of being able to enjoy the benefit of many of our previous efforts. Most of the what we deemed necessary are built now, with just some routine maintenance or occasional ‘tweaking’ required. This is really important, and is as we hoped it would be. With a lot of the ‘must do’ heavy stuff behind us, we can start to more fully enjoy this lifestyle. Not that there won’t always be projects or new ideas to explore!!
Some of the most notable farm accomplishments to date are: a truly cold dedicated Cold Room, deer fencing around the property, bird netting for the blueberry field that goes up faster and better every season, an implement shed where a decayed old barn was buried beneath the blackberries, a truly great irrigation system and food growing in the market garden and leaving via sales from the farm gate.
And, I have to say, this year, right now, the blueberry field is as weed-free as it has ever been, ever!
Not that there aren’t weeds out there still, but they are much much fewer. Considerable effort has been devoted to this task since day one, and there was a time, last summer actually, when I almost gave up. I seriously was about to let the blueberries fend for themselves among the sorrel and the buttercup. But, we persevered, and are glad we did. As the berry bushes get taller, they will do their part to shade out weeds. Even their leaves are creating a bit of a mulch layer in the fall. Anyway, it feels like a major accomplishment just now.
We are proud to be certified organic, since 2013. Our decision to be a certified farm is continually validated through our customer feedback. It is our experience that the availability of locally grown organic food is becoming more important to more people all the time. It is definitely not a fad.
It is hard to explain what it feels like to witness the transformation of this property into a farm.
A sapling is planted and before you know it, the birds are using it as a lookout. Scatter some fireweed seed and now there’s copious flowers for the bees to enjoy. Pull a weed out and smell the fresh earth clinging to the roots and see the soil alive with insects of all descriptions. These are all gifts that make it pretty special to be right here, right now.