Spring is such a busy time on the farm, but what an amazing time it is. Spring means new life, new connections, new hope. Spring is the farmer’s muse.
In the Spring, specifically May, the greenhouse is our second home. The onions, leeks and celery we started back in March are now ready for hardening off in the hoop house (some are already there) and soon they’ll be in the ground. Transplanting is one of my favorite duties and I can’t wait to get started (ask me again in June and I’ll probably tell you a different story!).
Lately it has been feeling more like Summer than Spring around here. As I type, my thermometer reads 74 degrees. Jonathon and our first 2016 intern, Beth, have spent most of the day potting up (from little soil blocks to big soil blocks) peppers and tomatoes. As exciting as that is, the most exciting part of the day was bringing our new-to-us tractor home! Our first 2 seasons we either borrowed or rented a tractor, but this year we’re so happy to have our own. First up is mowing last year’s crop residues and then tilling that back into the soil, preparing the soil for bed prep.
This year we have been fortunate enough to hire 3 interns for the whole season – all of whom are women…farmHER power! Beth arrived last week, most recently living in Vermont after spending six weeks traveling and volunteering for the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe. She has been a big help! Next week we’ll welcome Paulina, who hails from San Francisco by way of Montréal, Québec. She just graduated from college and is ready to get her hands in the dirt again! And last but not least my friend Vanessa will arrive the first weekend of June from the Monterey Bay area in California. I met Vanessa while working in Oregon gaining my goat dairy experience earlier this year. We hit it off and when the opportunity arose to join us out here in North Dakota she snatched it! We’re thrilled to have the help as it is going to be a busy season.
We are roughly 7-8 weeks out from our first CSA delivery and have not yet met our member goal. If you’re thinking of signing up or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate! We’re thrilled with those who have committed thus far, but to get us to that first delivery in June we need more members!
And those who follow on our social media sites may be wondering what our baby goat count got to…in the matter of a few short weeks we welcomed 20 baby goats to the farm (Jonathon’s sisters’ goats included). Our kidding season ended about a week ago with the last set of twins, a doeling and a buckling, born to Mae, one of our first babies 2 years ago. It was an intense season for sure with all but 1 doe having triplets, but we’ve already sold 2 and have 4 more spoken for once they’re weaned. We’re planning to keep 2-4 does and sell the rest.
Sounds like a great season so far! I wish you all the best! If I were in ND I would absolutely be signing up.
Hello Hannah and Jonathan, I read about your farm through the opening of the Bismarck food co-op and was excited to know that you provide fresh and local produce to the co-op. I was wondering if you would share resources you used to help you design your greenhouse and hoop house(s) on the farm. This is an area of interest to me. I have been an gardener for 33 years in my own yard in Mandan, ND. I have been practicing gardening with no chemicals or pesticides. My goal is to lengthen my growing season by an additional month or two.