Well, look who it used to be!
It’s pretty difficult to believe that my last post was in March, but when I think about all that happened this season I suppose that it makes sense. I wanted to stop in to update everyone. I’ll ask you to pardon my lack of finesse in this post. I’m dog tired and a bit emotionally worn thin.
Right now I’ve been focusing on winding down CSA. It’s been a rough year this time around. So much so that I’ve been contemplating whether I want to farm vegetable crops anymore. This season we’ve had nearly no rain. I lost a farmhand mid-season, again. Deer and groundhogs took up residence in my field, completely destroying successions of beans, swiss chard, okra and doing a coup de grace on our already failing heirloom tomatoes. We got approximately half of the yields we hoped for. It has been incredibly disheartening and I have not felt quite as much like a failure as I have this time around.
However, we still have a few weeks left before the frost rolls through so we’re working on getting all of our fall and winter crops ready and doing a fall cultivation and amendment so that we’ll be in better shape for next spring, whatever we end up deciding to grow.
After three seasons of repeated staffing problems and frustration over being able to manage it all with only one part-time farmhand, I’m ready to scale back significantly and have already begun to do so. Recently, I passed on a few of my beloved rabbits to another farmer, keeping just two of my older ones to help eat field scraps and make fertilizer for the garden. I’ve downsized to two beehives, as it’s all I can handle to manage for now. It’s my hope to improve our goat’s milk soap operation this fall, and if you’d like to see that happen you can pre-order soaps or pledge at our Barnraiser page. In the next season or two, I’ll likely be shifting away from vegetable crops and focusing more on herbs for our soaps and some flowers. I don’t anticipate ever having larger acreage or scaling up so this seems like the most sensible choice for now. The motto for the future is “do more with what you have”.
We’ll also be having one more farm-to table dinner here at the farm this year and one workshop to end all workshops until next year. One of my most popular events is Homesteading Bootcamp, which we’ll have an autumn version of later in October. You can click on the links in this paragraph to find out more and to sign up!
In a nutshell, that’s where I am at the moment. I’ll be checking in again soon. I’ve got a lot on my mind that I hope to share with you all.
Oh, and HAPPY AUTUMN!