Rain, lots of rain; I may have to take a rowboat out to the chickens! Rain, busy replenishing the ground water lost in the drought. It’s delicious out here early this morning, sitting on the porch with the rain blowing a fine mist onto my skin.
I love this time of the year; the transition between summer and fall. It’s a time of new beginnings, back to school: that brand new box of crayons, all those amazing new colors filled with potential and possibility. What will I paint next?
All my life, I’ve thought of fall as the time of a new year. I later discovered that I was following the path of my ancient Celtic ancestors. Fall is the beginning of the resting time, time for the seeds of new thoughts and ideas to be planted, ideas that will be birthed in the spring.
The blog is sporting a new look today to reflect a new focus for us. We were unable to feed ourselves from the farm this year, due to the extreme heat and drought—most of what we were able to grow went to our CSA customers and even that was very thin at times. Most weeks we supplemented with added value products. We have decided that CSA is not for us. We’ve spent too many sleepless nights worried about how we were going to give our customers value for their investment. Even though our customers knew up front that they were sharing in the risks as well as the bounty, we felt that we were falling short personally.
So, although Jason and I have both been forced to find full-time employment off farm to pay the bills, we are still moving forward with work to make this little farm sustainable. The only thing that has changed is we are focusing on feeding ourselves and the farm first, and then any surplus will go out to the community in some form.
For the next few months, Jason is focusing on rebuilding the soil in the gardens; adding all the manure and compost we’ve been working on all season so that the beds will be ready for planting early in the spring. I am planning on working on the hedgerow, using hugelkultur to make those areas more drought-proof. Both of us are working on projects to make the house more livable. (That area has been on hold the entire growing season!) And, both of us are busy learning new skills in the kitchen; things like making our own yogurt and cheese and learning how to pickle and ferment produce.
We’ll be sharing some of these newly found skills and our journey to sustainability in a more informal, personal way and we invite you to ride along with us!