Maggie here, dropping you a line with a quick update on what’s shaking for 2018! So much is going on! I’ll try to keep it short, but…I get carried away.
We’ve been having a great time working with ‘the kids’ from Easterseals Midwest and the NKC Work Experience Program. Right now, we have groups at the farm every weekday. They are a tremendous help! In fact, lots of the bedding plants we’ll have this year have been seeded or propagated by them. Technically, we teach them skills they can use to find employment. In my brain, I’m teaching them survival skills. How to grow food, take care of livestock, and what to do with the harvest.
In the upper greenhouses, Sean has been busy getting a great start on the bedding plants this year. We’re focusing on heirloom and non-gmo hybrids for the edibles, native and/or non-invasive flowers and such, and lots of other stuff not found in a typical nursery. Opening day will officially be April 2nd.
On the farm and in the lower greenhouses, production is starting! Mikey has lettuces, peas, beets, and cabbage in the ground. Carrots are going in today. The garlic we planted last fall is sending up shoots. Green things!! GREEN!!! Our focus this year is to grow what we like to grow, things we actually eat ourselves. And grow extra to sell at the farm, the farmers market, and a few crops we’ll grow significantly more of to sell to local restaurants and grocery stores.
Now that the days are longer and the temps a bit warmer, the chickens have started laying more eggs again. Eggs are available for purchase at the farm now! We’re going to hold some back, too and teach the kids how to care for broody hens, and in 28 days, baby chickens.
The goats…are fun and ornery!! They’ve got a nice warm stall in the barn, and spend plenty of time out and about on the farm eating up all that stuff growing along the fence lines, and back in the woods.
In other news, we took the plunge and borrowed money (thanks Mom!!) to get the materials for two new layers of plastic for each of the four greenhouses. The plastic on the greenhouses was old, like decades old. It had holes and rips and tears. And there was only one layer on each. Now, all four have at least one new sheet, and we’re waiting for a nice, calm, warm day to put up the rest. The two sheets are separated by a pocket of air that’s kept inflated by a blower. We’ve noticed a significant difference in how warm the greenhouses get during the day, and how warm they stay at night.
We’re starting a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise the funds to pay the loan back, and to start an infrastructure improvements fund. This Spring, we’ll have wildflower seed bombs, special four packs, and lots of other goodies that the sale of will go directly into that fund. I’m working out kinks on our website before it launches. We’ll have these items available for direct purchase at the greenhouse, and with us at the farmers market.
There’s tons more I want to tell you!! Hope to see you soon and get caught up!
Blessings and love from all of us to all of you!!