The Circle Spins

The cycle of life begins! Spring is such an exciting time of year. I love watching the greenhouses fill up and last years cover crops of rye and clover sprout in the drying muddy fields as the snow slowly melts. The first veggies are now planted in the field! The farm opens on Saturday. Soon the farm will be bustling daily with people who also love to come here and watch the cycle of the growing season unfold.

The winter was a very active one for the Education Center here at the farm. In addition to the usual winter work we invested a lot of energy into leading the grassroots effort to get a GMO labeling bill passed in Vermont - and this past week we won! As soon as Governor Shumlin signs the bill Vermont will be the first State to have passed a ‘no strings attached’ GMO labeling bill. Call the Governor to urge him to pass H.112 quickly! 1-802-828-3339. With the effort nearly behind us we breathe in and gear up for a really great season on the farm doing the farm-based education we love doing.

In early April, I presented at the Upper Valley Farm to School workshop on school composting at Thetford Elementary School where we have a student-run 5 bin on-site composting program to collect food scraps and paper towels from the kitchen, cafeteria, and classrooms. Here are some pictures of the event. This system in now in its third full school year of nearly flawless composting. Last year was the first year we harvested compost and added it to the school gardens. A very exciting moment for us as that was the final completion of the food loop. Now we can keep the cycle spinning year after year!

On Wednesday this past week I visited Thetford Elementary to plant seeds with the K-2 classrooms. Each grade plants something that will go into their curriculum-tied Theme Beds and a little extra for the School Lunch Beds. They will care for the seeds until they are ready to be planted in the school gardens in early June. To mix things up on seed planting day each grade gets an observation activity focused on either seeds, soil, or pollinators and their flower matches. I also throw in a fun, themed coloring sheet. I’m not sure who loves it more, me, the teachers, or the kids.

Tours have begun on the farm. In mid-April I had students from Woodstock High looking for tips on how to manage their new vegetable greenhouse using organic methods and a group of Slow Food UNH students came for a tour focusing on what sustainability and slow food and what Cedar Circle Farm does to promote those concepts. THOSE are my favorite kinds of tours - young people who want to change the world through agriculture. Both tours left me feeling very inspired. Last week students from Hanover High made their annual Earth Day trip to the farm to learn a bit about our social mission, how we farm, and to provide some labor toward a variety of spring farm projects.

My calendar is filling up with springtime tours, classes, and a season full of events and festivals. You can download our full events calendar for your fridge. The farmstand opens on Saturday, April 26 and the crew here at the farm is getting excited to start the new season. We really have an amazing crew at Cedar Circle Farm with so many returning staff every year. I feel lucky to work with this great group!

I hope to see you on the farm soon! ~ Cat

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