Our Perpetual Farm
Our first year living at the farm is proving to be very productive. We have enjoyed great customer support, fantastic friends and family, and a general sense of well-being. We are finally settled in after refinishing the original fir floors on the upper level of our 1902 farmhouse. The 2012 farming season was a success! But as farming goes, it was not without challenges.
We had a few crop failures which we weren’t expecting during the summer, most notably our onions. They were all over taken by downey mildew or something similar and they turned grey. This was probably due to foggy weather and not enough airflow (wind). But the fall storms were a bigger test of our patience. Right before Thanksgiving, several spots of our lower fields were invaded by river water. We picked veggies from this area just hours before it being taken over by the water. Unfortunately we lost several hundred pounds of produce which was no longer marketable. There isn’t much one can do to prepare for the power of the river. The flooding was not nearly as severe as years past when the river took livestock and damaged a number of homes in the area. We are extremely fortunate that our home sits high above the rivers reach.
We took a short one-week tropical getaway from the farm in January to the big island of Hawaii where we visited a few farms and an aquaculture operation hoping to gain some practical knowledge to apply to our ponds. Upon our return we jumped right back into our Seattle deliveries. We are grateful that we’ve been able to sell root crops and greens all winter long. Living on site has helped us to become more efficient and we’ve managed to extend our growing potentials well into the winter season.
We seeded lettuce in our hoop house on Valentine’s Day and recently started lettuce, kale, parsley and Swiss chard in our seed starting house. The new season is upon us and we will be full throttle again before we know it. Josh plowed a section of the field with sandier ground this week in hopes of planting some carrots when it is dry enough to till. Josh also took our basket weeder through this years garlic crop to eliminate weeds interfering with growth. We were quite pleased with the results.
We’ve been making way for additional seed starting room in our tropical greenhouse this winter while still trying to maintain some of the amazing plants that are growing. We have 6 oranges starting to ripen on one of the trees. We are struggling with our emotions as we remove more and more plants to make way for efficiency.
We have our chicken coop finished now and have four very happy chickens enjoying their new home. We are looking forward to letting them roam the yard, but will have to keep a close eye on our cat. He’s an avid hunter and has already prowled around their run waiting for a little action. There are also resident eagles perching nearby.
Next up is fixing up a shelter for a few brush-eating goats. There is a seemingly unlimited amount of food for them right around the riverbank. We are hoping the goats will keep the brush in check.