What Do Farmers Do in the Winter?

We hope y'all are having a wonderful winter!

We're just over half way through the winter season, catching up on a little sleep (zZzzZ) and regrouping for the new year. 2019 was a bountiful crop season for us and for that we are truly blessed! We also celebrated the first anniversary of our renovated Barnyard, held many new events for our patrons, continued our regular traditions, and made lots of memories.

We're crop farmers, so now that the harvest is over, the greenhouses are closed, and the tractors are tucked away, our family has a little more down time. Winter is the time for us to vacation, go to educational farm conventions, and generally relax/reflect. But there is still work to be done...

Our office staff runs the day to day operations, from accounting and scheduling to holding planning meetings. We're busy brainstorming creative new ways for you and your family to enjoy our farm through fun events specific to adults, children, and families. We're even building a new website to add more fun, information, and functionality so that visiting us online is easier and more enjoyable! Personally that's my favorite project right now.

Our education staff is gearing up for and planning out all the fun camps, book clubs, and kids events that you may be hearing about. We just rolled out registration for our Spring Break and Summer Camps; next week we're holding our annual Winter Break Camp for kids ages 5-9.

Our field staff is analyzing soil samples, finalizing seed orders, and planning for the upcoming crop season. We'll begin planting seeds in the field greenhouses in just a few weeks. The seeds start in our hot house; as the weather warms and the stems sprout, we move them to our cold frame house. At the end of April/beginning of May it's finally time to transplant everything into the ground using a transplanting tractor.

The greenhouse staff has Spring on the brain! In addition to cleaning and organizing the greenhouses, we're conceptualizing and designing our container gardens for the spring and summer. Later this week it's time to start planting pansies, osteospermum, nemesia, and many more Spring annuals in the greenhouses.

Our compost staff is busy maintaining, fixing and updating equipment for the Spring season. Once the weather clears up in March, it'll be time to screen premium topsoil and humus (compost). Our homemade topsoil is a mix of sandy fill and homemade humus; our humus is an aged leaf compost.

Our kitchen and bakery staff continues to bake and cook up yummy pies and cakes, desserts, deli style salads, homemade soups, dinners, and more from scratch. We're introducing new vegetarian options like Buddha Bowls and stuffed vegetables.

Our market staff works hard every day as the face of our farm, greeting and tending to customer's needs. We are thankful that we can keep our market open in the winter and our market staff keep it running smoothly - from setting up displays and keeping local products stocked to working the registers.

Last but not least, our Barnyard staff keeps our furry friends active and healthy this time of year and throughout every season. Today the equine veterinarian is here to give our horses and ponies their annual dental check up! In addition to taking care of our animals, we're facilitating a few updates in the Barnyard - so keep your eyes peeled for new surprises.

 

Cheers to the next five weeks of winter, and may you also find joy and peace at this quiet time of year!

Wishing you health and happiness,
Valerie Abma