Tag Archives: Farming

Farm Life Update

Standard

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written a post on here. One of these days I’m going to consistently post what’s going on here at the farm.   It has been insanely busy that’s for sure. Chad’s family has always told me how crazy busy this time of year is but until I lived here during the summer months I had no earthly idea.

Recap (June till now)

For starters, this year is a little off because of the lack of rain and then pretty constant rain there for a while. While the wheat harvest should have been over and the soybeans going in the ground, they were both going on at the same time so it was all hands on deck. During the month of June, Jake (Chad’s brother) and Danny (Chad’s dad) were combining the wheat and planting soybeans like crazy people. Chad was doing the same for the neighbor, which for the most part left me at the farm to take care of our almost 2 acres of vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers, plus all the animals. It was just a little crazy!

I was also kind of put in charge of VBS with another lady from church. I did tell them I would help and was so glad I did, but I had no earthly idea how much of the wrong time it was to volunteer during the middle of June. As I am trying to adjust to summer here at the farm, the first weeks of farmer’s markets, and being able to help move farm equipment at the drop of a hat, I was also planning for VBS and trying to schedule meetings/times to decorate with the nonexistent schedule I had to work with. I think that has been one of the hardest things about being on the farm. There is no schedule. You never know what will happen or when you will be needed and no matter how tired you are or how bad your migraine is or how important you think what your doing at the time is, you have to go and help whoever needs help. It’s definitely teaching me flexibility, but whether I’m learning or not is another story (ha ha).

Storytime:

So VBS was on a Thursday and Friday evening and Saturday morning. And of course it was literally during the busiest week we have had so far. Those of you that have participated in VBS know it’s a lot of work. But on top of that, I had to get everything picked and organized for market, which we do on Fridays. Chad was combining wheat for the neighbor so it was my job to basically do it all by myself. So I’m trying to get everything picked and it is so hot and I’m running out of time because I need to get to the church. And then Chad’s brother comes and gets me and says he needs help pulling a calf. Oh my goodness…for one I’ve never even seen that done, and for two I do not have time for this! But it had to be done so without complaining we took care of it and things ended up fine. Needless to say, I did miss VBS that night, but luckily my amazing church family swept in and took care of everything. Now, it’s normally not that crazy…but almost.

Farmer’s Market Update:

The Farmer’s Market in Cleveland is going well. We knew it would be slow, but it’s important to us to sell fresh produce to the people of Chad’s hometown. The market has had its ups and downs, but it’s getting better each week. We made the newspaper last week too! So now that the market is getting advertised more we are hopeful more people will come out. And the newspaper lady (who we appreciate so much) came out to the farm yesterday and is doing a story on us for the paper next week! We are going to be extra famous! Ha ha! We are also 2 weeks into our buying group where we take orders in the middle of the week and deliver orders into town. We are really excited about how it’s going, plus it helps us find a home for all the veggies that are ready early in the week that won’t make it to Saturday market.

Garden:

We have definitely had our challenges with garden, and there are days where tears are shed and I want to throw in the towel, but we are not giving up. We have a very severe grasshopper problem. I grew up in north Texas so I know what grasshoppers look like but I have never seen anything like this! They are everywhere! Now I understand how pharaoh felt in Egypt…well no I don’t because after all those grasshoppers I would have freed the slaves right then. They are not only gross, but they are eating everything! We have planted several things recently to watch the grasshoppers kill every single plant after they’re barely up. I had a raised bed of chives and oregano that had been doing really well for weeks and when I woke up yesterday every single plant was completely gone. I don’t cry about it anymore because it’s almost become the norm. We’ve tried chemicals, sevendust, and we just got our grasshopper bait in the mail yesterday so please pray it works! We did get 1.67 inches of rain this morning! We are praising God like no other! We are still in a serious drought and have not been getting enough rain so that’s a constant worry we have when it comes to not only our crops but the entire farms’ livelihood. So praise God for the rain and pray he send lots more.

I’m learning everyday that farming is not easy. It has its challenges, but it is so rewarding.   And though we are just two people we have hope that we are changing the food system little by little and making people aware of the importance of buying local.

And a quick shout out to everyone who has supported us this year: Thank you so much! We could not do this without you!

 

My normal: no makeup, crazy hair, denim shorts, and boots!  Who woulda ever thought?!

My normal: no makeup, crazy hair, denim shorts, and boots! Who woulda ever thought?!

Posing with our setup at the farmer's market

Posing with our setup at the farmer’s market

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calm Before the Storm

Standard

It’s been somewhat slow around the farm the past couple weeks.  Other than transplanting flowers and vegetables and starting more varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in the green house not too much is going on. (Though I guess you can say that is quite a bit! …at least for me.)  But it’s pretty much the calm before the storm…so I’m told.  Chad has been gone quite a bit with his job.  He began working for a start-up company in January as an agri-business consultant, so he is out a town a bit more than I’m used to for different conferences and shows.  Therefore, I’m left with a list of chores and things to plant or transplant during those days. 

Having him home today was nice because we were able to plant potatoes together.  And my 15-year-old sister is staying with us this week during her spring break so she helped us plant. (And she was a big help too!)  We planted fifty pounds of potatoes today, and we will plant the other fifty pounds early this next week.  We are doing a test run on potatoes this year to see how many we need to last us the whole year.  Then maybe next year, we can plant extra to sell at farmer’s markets.  We have a really nice root cellar to keep them in (though I will not go down there!).  So it will be very nice to have our own potatoes all year and not have to buy them at the supermarket during the winter months. 

As far as all the vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the green house go, everything is looking great!  I am so anxious to get everything planted in the ground!  Only a few more weeks until it will be frost free and then the real work begins.  We did have to add some shelves, a heat mat, and a grow light to our mudroom for some things we started because we have officially filled our small little green house to capacity.  You do what you have to do, right?! 

Planting Potatoes

Planting Potatoes Before the Rain Moves In!

7500 Too Many

Standard

I can’t believe it’s been two whole months since we moved out to the farm.  I feel like I’ve always lived here.  Before we moved here we did all our vegetable growing in the backyard of our rent house in the middle of the city.  And to be honest I helped very little, went to very little farmer’s markets, and complained a lot.  I just didn’t understand why all of sudden Chad wanted to be a vegetable farmer.  I knew he grew up on a pretty large farm and his dad and his grandpa and probably his great-great-great grandpa were farmers, but Chad was going to be a rock star in a band when we got married in 2010.  And I was raised with two parents who got two paychecks each a month to pay their bills.  Getting lump sums of money a few times a year was not ideal for me at all!  And when you are just starting out farming that lump sum is close to nothing.  So I just didn’t understand why Chad couldn’t get a “real” job and make “real” money.  (And yes I said these things…all the time.)  I wanted to be supportive, but I had no desire to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere and pick veggies and weeds in the hot summer heat with bees flying around my head.  Needless to say, I was not supportive at all and made both of our lives miserable.

So when we decided to move out to the farm I was very nervous.  I knew Chad would be farming a lot more than he ever had and what was I supposed to do?  Well let me tell you that over the course of the past year something happened inside of me.  I have no idea what changed my heart or my attitude but I slowly began to appreciate what Chad wanted to do and even more I wanted to help him!  Though I was still a little nervous about moving out here, I was so excited about where we were going as a couple and as farmers.  I even wanted to help him a little!

It’s actually turned into me helping him a lot!  And I’ve become passionate about it.  I’ve even decided to start growing cut flowers to sell at farmers markets.  And I have a vision and I have dreams about my cut flower business.  Who have I turned into?!

You’re probably wondering what “7500 Too Many” is all about.  Last week Chad and I planted 7500 onions by hand.  If I ever hear anyone say farmers don’t work hard I will literally punch them!  I don’t think I have ever been so tired and sore in my life after last weeks planting, but the crazy thing is that I enjoyed it.  I felt like I had done something important.  Not to get all hippie on you, but I felt one with the earth.  I was barefoot on my hands and knees planting real food for real people.

I think I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  But come back to me in the middle of the hot summer heat with bugs flying around my head.

Update: Since I wrote this post an hour ago Chad sent me this text while at an agricultural conference in OKC:

Chad: “I’ve picked up some stuff for you today.”

Me: What?!

Chad: “Some farming opportunities that are especially for you.”

Me: “Sweet action Jackson!”

Chad: “Who woulda thunk that I married a farmer haha.”

OnionsOnions