Back in Action
In the event you haven’t noticed, things have been a little quiet here over the last three weeks. It was winter break at the Farm School. No chores, no chopping wood, no crop planning – just an empty farmhouse, an ocean of snow and the promise of a fully functioning wood-fired boiler upon our return.
A number of the Farm School students have spent these past three weeks making prosciutto and sipping Prosecco in Tuscany. But Dina and I have been at home in the Boston settling quite comfortably in a forward-looking version of our old lives. We went on a few dates with farms in North Carolina (above) and New Hampshire (but we’re still looking for ‘The One’). And we made a lot of headway with business planning and thinking about our lives post-Farm School.
We even attended our first How-Not-to-Kill-Your-Baby class on Sunday and learned everything you’d ever need to know about infant poop. But for the most part, it was a blessed time of rest and reconnecting – with each other, our friends and family – healing for my aching back and getting excited for the months ahead.
Here’s what it’s looking like:
February: Metro-Boston Readers it is CSA sign-up time! If you’ve enjoyed seeing the week-by-week work that goes into running a farm, we know you’ll enjoy tasting the experience as well. Our Farm School CSA shares are now on sale and there’s a 5% discount for readers of this site. (That’s a week’s worth of food for free!) Just visit the online ordering site, select the share you’d like (full or half) and the location where you’d like to pick up from (Cambridge, Watertown or Athol). Then make a deposit (online or by check) noting that you’d like the Plough & Stars reader discount. The Farm School will then send you a bill for the remainder minus 5% of the total purchase price. But wait, there’s more…
In addition to the discount, we’re set to launch a new section of this website entitled “Grow With Us” which will follow the growth of two crops on the farm. We’ll be discussing practical growing tips, botany and pest and weather issues. This is your chance to get dirty too! Each CSA subscriber will get their own basil plant and cherry tomato seedling to plant at home and, well, grow with us! This section of the website will allow you to check your plant’s progress against ours and ask us any questions directly. Think of it as your own virtual taste of Farm School.
March-April: The seed orders have gone out and pretty soon we’ll be in the greenhouse starting our first transplants. We’ll also be shearing sheep, tapping maple trees for sugaring, pruning apple trees and taking classes on small engine and tractor repair. Independent projects start this Friday (Eek! To build a wind turbine or not?) and lambing season begins at the end of March. Much cuteness ahead – Dina can barely contain herself. Stay tuned for the antics.
May: Speaking of lambing season, our own little lamb is scheduled to show up sometime in May. We just hauled out a dust-covered crib from our basement, spackled over some cracks in the walls of our former office. Dina’s dreaming up a mural and has taken over our living room with a reupholstering project and pretty soon baby will have a perfect little place to live . . .
. . . for two weeks. Over the break, we found a great house sitting arrangement a mile from Maggie’s Farm where we’ll live this summer. It’s down a dirt road situated on a pond and is next door to some dear friends. Dina, myself and Swisher will move in there in June and be one step closer to a future farm life that right now lives only in our heads.
And finally, we added our own Tumblr feed to the website as a place to post daily quotes, pictures, links and sounds from the farm. We come across this stuff all the time and wanted to be able to share it with you between weekly posts. Hopefully, it will be inspiration for the farmer in everyone.
That’s all, folks. Photos and the weekly story will be back next week. In case you missed it, here’s a link to this month’s story in the Boston Globe and you can also find us now at Mother Earth News.