My morning landscape is back to being a farmscape. Around 7 a.m., the cows drift over to this area of pasture, right across a trenched pond from me (behind that goldenrod hedge!), and then drift away out of sight in an hour or two. They’ve pretty well grazed that whole slope by now, so I guess this is just their wandering, miss-nothing routine! It is what I wake up to right now…
Last month, this month, the seasons march on. It looks farily snowbound, but this could all melt off in a single unseasonably warm day. Like last winter. (Browse through last January if you’ve forgotten the completely odd DOUBLE melt-off we had back then…). There’s never a dull moment with our thoroughly modern weather!
A third trip to the new farm, with more tiny farming conversation and checking things out. The weather: beautiful once again. The view in the pic: a perfectly south-facing slope (when you’re thinking about growing, pictures of promising farmland never fail to excite!). The benefits of a gentle SFS are well-known, and they’re particularly precious in a climate like ours, with harsh, snow-bound winters and a relatively short summer growing season. A slope facing south receives sunlight much more directly than flat land, so the snowpack is much lighter during winter, and more quickly melted off in spring. Then, the soil warms up more quickly, and gravity does its thing, providing better drainage, allowing the ground to dry out more quickly. All around, this simple incline could provide a couple of weeks of spring headstart, compared to flat land right beside. How well this actually pans out will be fun to see!
Spent the day at Tara & Michael’s farm, my second visit, and a beautiful day it was. I took the time to walk around alone, checking out the fields for veggie garden locations. It was a great feeling, deeply exciting, to look out over new farmland, and start to apply all of the things I’ve learned from six seasons of tiny farming in one place to another. The field in the pic has about two acres of fairly flat land that looks good. There’s also a south-facing slope that looks perfect for a small, early spring garden to take advantage of the faster post-snow drainage and quicker soil warming that a southern incline provides. I checked for twitchgrasss (nope!), and signs of other invasive weeds (it’s all hay that’s grown out to mainly grass). From a couple of samples, the soil seems like a clayey loam, similar to what I’ve been working, but it’ll be easier to see when it’s plowed up. Looks good so far, clean and ready for tiny farming action! Nothing like a fresh challenge to force you to review your thoughts and experiences, and discover conclusions you may not even know you’d come to. At least, that’s how it feels for me. Change is in the air! It’s excellent!!
A cool road trip today, to visit Tara & Michael’s farm, about 40 minutes from here. They moved onto the farm in the middle of last winter, and spent the summer gazing at their fields of hay while dreaming about…gardens of veggies! We had an energetic, intense conversation about ways to start a small-scale, hand-tended market garden from scratch. Cool! (If you look REAAAALLLY closely, you can maybe just make out Raechelle, way in the distance, taking a walk with T&M’s youngest son…) And what about Friday harvest, for the last farmers’ market of the season? Well, we did some root crops yesterday, and Libby and Lynn finished things off today, on their own—a first, me not actually being there for a harvest! The Tiny Farm Experience…expands!!! :)