Recharging, but Still Growing!
Everything slows down on the farm during the winter months. Whether it is due to cold temps or fewer hours of sunlight, plant growth slows down, and most of our fall harvests come to completion.
We use the opportunity to take stock, get cleaned up and organized, place orders, update our records, adjust our plans, and personally recharge our energy for the coming season.
Even while we spend more time resting and coordinating for next season, we still take care of the crops we grow through the winter for harvest in the spring. Garlic and strawberries are both crops that must grow through a winter cold period in order to have them in the spring each year. We also over-winter certain cool-season annual crops for late-winter or early-spring harvest. Spinach, carrots, and parsnips live side-by-side with our garlic and strawberry beds, but require row cover in order to thrive and keep growing through the cold months.
We will also begin construction of a new farm building, with the hopes that it will be completed by spring of 2022. It will be our first major farm building and will serve multiple functions. It will provide indoor and outdoor sheltered storage space for tools and equipment, post-harvest and pack workspace, and it will house a walk-in cooler.
This building and expanded cold storage space is key to our plans to increase production on the farm in the coming years. Tool storage and a sheltered workspace should increase our efficiency and comfort while working. With more space to store fresh produce we can grow more and a greater variety of crops and hopefully add egg production to our system very soon!
Chatham County farmer, CMFM market manager, and teacher of Sustainable Agriculture at CCCC in Pittsboro, NC