Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Early Spring

Winter is behind us.  Spring has officially set its foot in the door.  This is a spring that I welcome with open arms. It has been a long winter and as the snow continues to melt out of sight I find a new energy in the warm air.  In early February eleven piglets arrived on the farm.  They survived nights of sub zero temperatures huddled together in the barn.  In mid-February we welcomed baby chicks to the farm.  They are growing rapidly and the word “baby” is already a stretch.  These are our egg laying chickens.  April 1st marks when our first meat birds will arrive as day old chicks. 

Chicken Tractors in January
The greenhouse has been fired up and inside it are the first seedlings.  Onions, scallions, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and herbs to name a few of the things that are slowly filling up the greenhouse.  They are tiny sprouts right now but hold promise of thousands of pounds of produce in the months to come.  We have spent all winter planning and preparing.  We built 4 new hoop houses or “caterpillar tunnels” which will extend the season for our beets, carrots, tomatoes, basil and greens.  We built more feeders and waterers, chicken tractors and fences so that we can continue to grow the number of animals on the farm.  The pigs can currently be seen frolicking around the pasture and if you have never taken the time to watch a pig frolic, I highly recommend taking a peek.  We finalized our crop plan, and in January large boxes of seeds arrived on our doorstep. 

And now we put the plan into action.  It is time to plant the crops and then watch over them.  The ground is drying out and soon we will incorporate the cover crops that we sowed in the fall, prepare beds, and plant our early fields.  We will spread compost on our later fields, lay down mulch, and transplant crops.  The farm is taking shape and coming to life.

Greenhouse in January
Late Greens Last Fall

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hoop Houses Complete

So we finally were able to get the hoop houses completed last Sunday.  We had three up before that but on Sunday we got the plastic on the fourth one and now we are waiting for the ground to thaw out a bit more. A few sunny days and we should be able to get some beets and carrots in the ground.

Here are a few pictures with plastic and all!

These hoop houses or "Caterpillar Tunnels" can be built on a slope

The are held down with rope

Kaitlin helped put them together!

Heating the soil

Look at those!

Kevin admires his handy work

Friday, March 4, 2011


I am currently not on the farm.  I have left Kevin to his own devices to make a short whirlwind trip to see family in Virginia and Indiana before the season kicks into full swing.  I left the cold of Vermont, winds blowing, snow falling and landed myself in Alexandria, Virginia where the air was warm.  My sister was dressed to go to work in sandals.  I had yet to go a day without 2 pairs of socks.

The growing season at Groundworks Farm is so close I can taste it.  It feels that every day new life is slowly showing itself and emerging from its winter hibernation.  I am itching for when the ground will thaw and we can work it, turn compost into it, plant seeds, cultivate, harvest crops.  I know it is not so far away now.  I myself feel I am emerging out of hibernation.

But in Virginia the ground is thawed, the daffodils are popping out of the ground.  The garlic is 4 inches high.  The night air is not so cold.  The rain is not so cold.  I planted peas out in the garden and helped my mom start her tomatoes and basil in the basement.  I was able to taste spring.

Then we got in the car and drove west.  The snow has melted here in Indiana as well.  The ground is still a little hard, but the animals are starting to show themselves, squirrels in the back yard, deer running across the fields.  Even roadkill is a sign of hope this time of year.  Spring is on its way.

If you are intersted in signing up for our Vegetable CSA and enjoying the changing of the seasons as they take place at the farm, you can find more information on our website Groundworks Farm or click here for a registration form.