The winter is typically a slow time on a produce farm. The air is cold, the ground frozen, and there are simply limited things that you can do. It’s a stark contrast to the busyness and long days of the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Winter is the time of year that planning for the upcoming season happens: which plants and more accurately which variety of the different plants will we grow this year? This, on the surface might seem like a simple answer, and maybe it would be for a more experienced farmer.
After years in dairy farming, livestock, and working with local growers, this year is my first year growing produce on my own at our Hometown Harvest Farm (yes, we’ve renamed Spring House Manor Farm as we continue to settle into our home). So I am taking a lot of time to do the research, and gain an understanding of the different varieties of plants available and what I’ve come to learn about what you, the Hometown Harvest customer, prefer. What minerals need to be in abundance in the soil for optimum health? What are the common pests, and how do you deal with them? How many seeds do you need to order? How close do you plant the plants? Do they need to be trellised? Covered? Do I pick a wider variety of crops, to spread my risk out, or do I pick a few number of varieties to simplify my plan? These are all the questions that I am exploring and learning about right now.