Winter time is generally a good time for us to work on big construction-type projects. And do we have many! While we have finally gotten to the point where we think we are farming enough land to support us farming full-time, we still need to develop some of the physical aspects of the farm. There is a lot of infrastructure and equipment involved, so this year, we are tackling a few big projects.
One of those is a high tunnel for which we are receiving cost-share assistance from the USDA NRCS. The financial assistance works like a reimbursement. It’s less than 25% of the total cost of the project, but every little bit helps. This season-extension structure will allow us to grow early spring greens, early tomatoes and cucumbers, and provide a nice shelter on rainy days (if it ever rains!). Plus, with it’s height, we can get the tractor in there to cultivate, spread compost, etc.
Normally, this time of year is when we service our tractors, too. Everything is going to get checked so that we can get them in the field and going when we need to. Timing of cultivation, planting, etc. is so crucial in organic farming.
Another big project for us the next few weeks is to put up about 2 miles of rangeland fencing. With assistance from our landlord at Heart Arrow Ranch, over the next couple years, we are fencing off more pasture areas for our sheep and cows and for our landlord’s horses. Ideally, the ground would be easier to dig from the rain, but we have to get it done now anyway.
The sunny weather has made awesome working conditions for these projects, not to mention for our lettuce. At the same time, we welcome precipitation. There are some indoor-activities we need to catch up on, like wedding planning and gutting our new house, and we like to save those for rainy days – then we have an excuse to not be outside working on the farm!