Monday, February 16, 2009

Long Hiatus - New Season Approaches

Hi everyone,  This is a long overdue blog post and our new season is about to begin. Lots of good information to read this winter with the proliferation of blogs and web journals.  One blog I have really enjoyed this winter is Jon Katz's Bedlam Farm Journal.  We've read many of his books this winter.  Since we also own an energetic border collie with a mind of her own, our Zoey, his stories about his farm and dogs are always interesting to us.  Still catching up on many other good books also. Lots going on in the background to prepare for the new season.  For example, we've just picked up a glass front fridge, also called a merchandiser, which will hold farm products for sale. We also picked up a commercial ice machine so anyone traveling a long distance can have ice for their coolers in hot weather.  Folks can just come by and get what they need, even if we are not around and there will be a drop box for invoices and payments.   Looking forward to trying lots of new varieties in 2009, especially for things like herbs, kale and salad greens.  We had a -5 degree night a few weeks back and some very high winds last weekend.   We'll be planting more red raspberries and another batch of fruit trees.   Many of our current fruit trees are 3-4 years old and we're expecting our first market sized yields in 2009.  With the help of WVU, we now have an organic management plan ready for our fruit tree management.   We'll be putting in our first polyculture plot which is an approach now "pioneered" by Ohio State University.  This "new idea" actually dates to the 1860's if you can believe it, and is documented in a book entitled "Ten Acres Enough".  It combines high, mid, and low plantings to reduce pest pressure.  Its looks to be a busy year all around in Hampshire County in 2009 including construction of a new river bridge for Rt 50, a new CVS store, a new hospital and many other activities.   Romney was chosen as an On Trac community for the WV Main Street program which should eventually lead to some upgrades around town.  We'll begin posting every few weeks again, then get back to our weekly postings as the market season begins in May.   As you of course already know, both the country and economy are going through spasms of change.  Efforts to prop up a consumer and oil based economy will likely fail.  It will have to be replaced with something new, and it will happen in fits and starts over time.  Some people are embracing it, and some are not; some are fighting it.  The best at accommodating this change are those that adapt, produce and create new solutions, because the change is what creates opportunity.  With much less credit available, families will have to go back to a cash economy, living withing their means.   Which is pretty much the same as it has always been in mostly rural areas.   The "backward" rural folks with no mortgage, no consumer debt, no car payment, and a beautiful fully stocked food pantry are looking pretty progressive right about now.   If credit does expand again, say in 10-15 years, the rural folks can then go back to being "backward" once again.  Thanks for all your emails and inquiries over the past few months.  Its very very humbling to know our little farm blog is read around the world. Looking forward to 2009 and we'll keep you posted as best we can.   Our lambing season probably begins next week.