This Week at the Farm: 3 Things to Do During Winter Storm Harper
We were lucky enough to see bright blue skies and enjoy slightly warmer temperatures this week. But alas, Winter Storm Harper is on its way to the Northeast and it looks like we might get snowed in tomorrow.
Here’s a list of things that we think might be fun for you to do while you’re stuck at home:
- Curl up under a blanket on the couch and learn about regenerative agriculture (keep reading).
- Make this hearty winter veggie shepherd’s pie.
- Daydream about spring gardens, and start planning yours (see Michelle’s tips about cut flower gardens below).
Opening Day is just under 100 days away! For the foreseeable future, we’ll be working on hiring production, kitchen, farmstand, and greenhouse staff; mapping fields and ordering seeds; and getting excited about the upcoming season as CSA orders and summer camp registrations come in. The good news is we get to start farming again in a few short weeks!
In past newsletters, we’ve mentioned that we’re transitioning to a regenerative organic model over the next few years. But what does this mean exactly?
We’ll gradually move away from practices like tilling, which negatively impacts soil biodiversity and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The knowledge that regenerative farming practices can prevent this from happening, effectively draw down and store excess carbon, and reverse climate change is one of the main motivating factors for our transition.
Practices like organic no-till will rebuild the soil and restore biodiversity. In turn, this has a positive effect on the water and carbon cycles; a healthy soil is able to better retain water and also draw down and store more carbon. Another notable effect is that healthier soils produce more nutrient dense food.
In the process of changing the way we farm, we want to make sure we don’t lose productivity. We’ll transition our fields little by little as we figure out how to get the same productivity while moving away from tillage and agricultural inputs.
Interested in learning more? Check out these resources from Regeneration International.
Gardening Tips: Growing Cut Flowers
When snowstorms are in the forecast, some of us like to curl up with a good seed catalog and dream about the spring. Having beautiful flowers available for cutting is always a pleasure. And by cutting your flowers, you help encourage continuous blooms throughout the season as well. Even if you don’t have the garden space, there are many varieties that will grow just as well in deep containers. Michelle prefers to do both!
There are so many flowers that work well for cutting; some can last over a week in a vase! If you’re dreaming and designing your spring garden, consider some of the following flowers: Ageratum (tall blue planet or timeless mix), Eucalyptus, Dahlia, Zinnia, Calendula, Celosia, Cosmos, Gomphrena, Phlox, Salvia, Snapdragon, Nicotiana, Sunflowers and Verbena bonariensis. If you don’t have the space to start yours from seed, don’t worry… we’ll have you covered this spring!
- January 31 – Last day for early bird CSA & camp signups
- February 22 – CSA Day *stay tuned for details
- April 27 – Opening Day!