You may not think this picture looks much like farming. But it is!
We’ve had a mild winter, and our world is already melting into mud season. (Mud season occurs twice each year ~ as winter melts into spring and as fall washes into winter.) Because the ground is still partially frozen, and where it is thawed it is soaked, it’s too early for our outside work to begin.
But here on the homestead, the farm season starts indoors! The very first step actually has nothing to do with shovels and broadforks and dirt and mulch, though all of those things are dancing in our brains. The very first step has to do with notes and charts and computers and calendars. The first step in our farm work is taking inventory of everything we are planting this year, and deciding:
❈ What are we starting indoors and what will be direct-sow?
❈ What’s going where?
❈ What are all of our planting and transplanting dates?
This is our third year of farming, and we still have a lot to learn. To make all of our farm plans and decisions, trying to honor the Lord by doing the best job we can, we work through several different information sources:
❈ What do the seed packets say?
❈ What worked or didn’t work in our own past years?
❈ Planting information from Fedco, a local co-op where we purchase our seeds.
❈ Planting information from the University of Maine cooperative extension.
We have a pretty slim little growing season here in Maine. It’s manageable, but we’ve learned from experience that you really do have to pay close attention, both to the crops you plant and when you plant them, in order for things to have enough time to fully produce. So when a seed packet says “plant in February” or “direct sow 3 weeks before last frost date,” it really takes quite a bit more research to find out what’s going to work best on our little homestead!
It seems like a simple thing, but by the time you review 80+ herbs and vegetables, you’ve got a pretty full farm-map and calendar for the next few months!
And so it is that the very first seedling-starts have been planted, and farm season has begun!
by Sydney Michalski