Mice and Cookies

There is a children’s story called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie that shows if you try to do one thing, it leads to so many other things, and you never get the original thing done. That’s what it feels like on the farm sometimes. OK, a lot of times. If you go to plant some basil, you need to find the seedlings, but the seedling area is too dry so you go to turn on the irrigation, but you notice the hydrant is leaking, so you go to fix the hydrant and you can’t find the plumber’s tape in the tool room which is messy, so you start to clean up the tool room… and on and on, and at the end of the day the basil is not planted. Does anyone else experience this??

Ideally the tool room gets sorted out, the hydrant gets fixed, AND the basil gets planted. Each day is filled with roadblocks, challenges, diversions, emergencies, bottlenecks, and just plain frustrations. But, we’ve planted a LOT of basil (great for all you basil fans), learned plenty of lessons, and recognized that we’ve come a long way since this wonderful team of people got started.

We have been working to integrate tools that increase time and resource efficiency on the farm. Two examples of these tools are the multi-row Jang seeder and the quick-cut greens harvester. So far the farm team has positive feedback about how these tools help with getting jobs done faster. Please see the photos and captions below.

On the other hand, one roadblock we encountered was a broken manure spreader. Our goal is to add manure from a sheep farm down the road to long season crops planted in Fox and Grape fields. It is sandy soil, which is great for drainage, but we want to make sure to add lots of organic material (like manure and cover crops) to increase soil health, soil life, and fertility. David got two beds covered, when a piece of the spreader broke and went flying off. This in turn caused a metal bar to bend, and the spreader stopped spreading. Later, David was at the feed mill, talking to a farmer who needed to sell more beef about a potential buyer. This farmer suggested a person who could bend the bar, and it worked! David and Sean put the spreader back together, and the manure spreading continued! This event highlighted how much we all need each other. This farm depends on our community so much.

The farm also depends on our customers and farm share members so much. Thank you to everyone who has signed up for a share, paid for the share, and also donated extra so families with low incomes can also have a share. So far, farm share members have pledged $5,900 for this!! We are blown away by this generosity. Thank you so much.

Farm share starts soon! Weds May 31 – Sat June 3 is the first week of pick up. 95% of the farm share is full, so if you would like to be part of it, please go ahead and sign up here. We are also still taking payments, for those of you who have signed up but not paid. Questions, and email transfers for farm shares, can be sent to abundantacresns@gmail.com

Below are a few farm photos from the last couple of weeks.

Sean and David were able to fix the manure spreader without unloading it.
Sun setting, happy kale
Andrew L and Rashmi mulching tomatoes with leaves. To conserve water and add organic matter.
Blue milkweed beetle eating chickweed
David makes amazing pizzas! This one has kale and cheese with some bacon underneath
Andrew M taught us all how to use the quick cut greens harvester. Hopefully this will save time on harvest days.
Eli does most of the direct seeding on the farm. This year we are trying a new 3-hopper Jang seeder. We hope it will save time with weeding and seeding.
Dylan made a beautiful white board unit for our morning farm meetings.
Getting irrigation set up every spring is a huge job. Eli has been working hard to set it up and also has started soil moisture measurements to make sure crops get what they need and use water more efficiently.