Local, organic agriculture. Environmental education.

Winter Work

barndoorsDSC05294.gifOnce again it is Winter. There is no time to book a flight to Florida. Even though the ground is hard and frozen, there is plenty of work to do.  There are slightly longer days of sunshine and many plans to be made and lists to be checked. Time to brew a little extra organically fair traded, shade grown grown coffee from a local roaster so as to hunker down for some busy indoor desk time.
The seed catalogs are piling up. The 2014 events calendar is taking shape with a long list of workshops, programs and special events. Each growing field and school farm garden are examined as the farmers and teachers plan where to place which crops and how many seeds and transplants to expect cultivation and growth.  For instance,in one growing bed, if spinach grows in four rows at 100 feet from March until June, then tomatoes grow and ripen until October in the same 100 feet, then is there time to grow some quick-to-germinate radish in the same bed from October to November?  These internal conversations with spreadsheets and recent field history, along with knowledge and yields about what grew well the year before, keep a farmer very busy.  Plus how much compost does one need to make, turn and amend to the beds?  I gathered some vegetable trimmings from a new restaurant at the four corners, the Corner Stop, in hopes that we can make some nutrient rich organic matter, which by June could feed some beds and help grow greens and salad mix for the same restaurant.  A similar cycle of conscientious compost gathering already happens at Circe’s Grotto, the Coffee Corner and Red Eye Roasters in Hingham and potentially at many a south shore food joint.  Even though compost happens, there needs to be lots of organizational planning and lifting in order to see the finished product and the worms come to fruition.
The animals still need shelter, food and water. Many garden signs need repair. The tractors ought to be tinkered with in the machine shop. There is the exciting 10 week Summer camp program brochure to assemble.  Essays and illustrations need to be written for the annual Consider This! contest.  Now is a great time to schedule a Spring field trip to the farm.  There is also plenty of terrific, informative farm literature with which to cozy up on the couch and indulge. And how about time for sitting around the table for a slow cooked meal, staring at pieces of a puzzle and just taking in the season with family and friends?  Work to do in any season, with Winter no different, except a new year to do it all well.

© 2014, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm

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