When it’s cold and rainy outside, many people stick to inside activities that include warm, dry clothes and copious amount of warm beverages. Not farmers and student farmers…
February and March has brought many cold temperatures and dreary mornings. This also happens to be the time when farmers begin the work for spring and summer crops. Despite the best laid plans, some days it is just too wet to work the soil without harming the microbes and equipment. But the farmer remains flexible and checks their endless to-do lists for other things that can be done to prepare for spring.
Season extension keeps some of the work going on behind the scenes. Optimistic little seedlings soak up greenhouse warmth and moisture to build their strength for field conditions. The hoophouse protects delicate greens and beets from wind and cold, still requiring human labor inputs of weeding, thinning and harvesting.
While we wait for the clouds to clear, we spend valuable time on the little projects that will support our eager transition to working outside. Tools need sharpening and cleaning. Work spaces need cleaning and organizing. Inventories are taken on seeds and supplies. New compost bin plans are discussed and built under the shelter of the pole barn.
The pace of life on the farm is certainly slower and more relaxed when it rains, but the conversations are rich and the learning continues. All eyes are on the field though, waiting for the first break in the weather that will return us to the dirt.
” Be still, sad heart! And cease repining; behind the clouds is the sun still shining; thy fate is the common fate of all, into each life some rain must fall.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow