Notes and updates

And the beat goes on…  Though markets are done, and the fields have been put to bed, Sonya and I are still working on various farm-related projects as we drift towards the end of the year.  I spent some time last week getting the chickens ready for the winter.  Shortly after Thanksgiving, the gals and their coop came off of Field 2 and made the gradual move up past the greenhouse, into the yard, and over to this winter’s parking spot near our firepit.  Once the coop was situated, I turned my attention to some repairs.  The back door of the coop was badly warped, so I fashioned a new one out of boards left over from the construction of our veggie cooler.  I also fixed a few loose boards on other parts of the coop and attached pieces of plastic tarp around the door and front of the coop to keep the winter wind at bay.  The hens are hardy and seem to do fine over the winter, though I’d love to have a sturdier, warmer structure for them to over-winter in eventually.  Other outside projects either underway or on the agenda are breaking down the wash station, stacking and covering firewood, covering tractor implements and other equipment with tarps, and more.

Inside, Sonya’s been hard at work on the farm’s seed order for 2011.  This takes awhile as she contemplates what veggie varieties did well and which didn’t, what new varieties we’d like to try out, the availability of organic seed for those varieties, etc.  And it’s not just the veggies; she also has to run through the process for flowers, seed potatoes, and cover crop seed.  She’s also continuing her education through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s “Tilling the Soil of Opportunity” program.  This long series of classes is taking place right now up at MOFGA‘s headquarters in Unity.  Once a week, Son makes the long drive up there for guidance on the creation of a business plan for the farm and, along with the other participants, to “assess their resources, develop marketing strategies, understand financials, learn how and where to get funding for their businesses, and network with other farmers”.  So far, so good.  We’ve been working on class worksheets together here at the farm, and I’m trying to keep up with the class readings, too.

Back to the chickens for just a second and a shout-out and big “thank you” to our recent trio of chicken-sitters.  Sonya, Lydia, and I spent the end of last week down in the Boston area for a memorial service, and we are very grateful to Tuan, Pat, and Buffy for keeping an eye on the chickens while we were away.

Finally, after a long end-of-season/holiday season break, we want to get the farm potluck train rolling again.  Please join us on Thursday, January 13th from 5-8 PM right here at the farm for the 1st potluck of 2011!  Bring along a dish to share and come on over to meet and mingle with your friends, neighbors, and fellow CSAers.

This may well be my last post before Christmas, so from all of us to all of you, happy holidays!  May the season be filled with light and laughter, family and friends, good food and good deeds.

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