Greentree Naturals Newsletter - Summer 2002
I have been meaning to update this newsletter page for quite a while now. With the arrival of the planting season, the thought of sitting down to write about it was not exactly on my list of things to do. We have had a number of people sign up for our newsletter. Thank you for your patience. Finally, the big push of springtime has mellowed enough to take a breath and write this update. Having a website is a very new concept for us, and with time, I am certain that we will develop ways of improving our maintenance to the site.
If you saw the photo of the first day of spring on the newsletter page, you can see that we have the kind of springtime weather that is hot, cold, hot, cold. And with the arrival of summertime, this seems to continue to be the case. I tell people at our on-farm organic gardening workshops that the rule of thumb for growing in north Idaho is to plan for the hottest, coldest, wettest, and driest weather in recorded history, and you will be ready to grow here!
It always gets more challenging with the planting season when we add on weekly farmers market sales. It always takes at least a half-day to get ready to sell, then a day of selling and unloading, which takes time away from the transplanting. Such is the life of the small acreage producer! Our motto for many years has been “do as much as you can, and then do some more”. Today, we harvested broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce mix, garlic umbels, herbs and flowers for bouquets. All of this will go into our CSA’s for delivery tomorrow.
We have had an Organic Gardening on-farm workshop series here at the farm since June 3rd. Thankfully, my husband convinced me to have the workshops every other week, which has worked well with scheduling projects. The Sessions cover all aspects of organic production from seeding and transplanting to techniques for harvesting the bounty. I am also using these sessions as a means of developing a lesson plan for the Cultivating Success program at UI and WSU. (You can read more about that on the website).
People are always asking how I manage to be involved with so many things and still be a farmer. All I can say is, this is a matter of survival. For us to be truly sustainable, we need to be able to make a living by being not only diversified in what we grow and how we sell it, but in all the ways we can come up with to have more ways to make an income. We are driven by the fact that we have a mortgage payment and bills to pay. So, we either bust our butts during the growing season to do as much as we can, or we have to get jobs off the farm. That pretty much sums it up!
Life is good, and we really do love what we do (we’d better!). We know that as time goes by, we should improve ways to work smarter and hopefully eventually afford the luxury of having hired workers. For now, we will continue to appreciate our good health and the saving grace of an afternoon naps. We have concluded that ‘naps are our friends!’
This is Butch. He will be coming to live with us soon and join our 2 pygmy goats, Stanley & Ollie.
These are ‘withers’, which means neutered males. We have them as pets and for their wonderful manure & eating brush and weeds.
If you ever have specific questions, comments or suggestions of what you would like to see on our website, please let us know. As I have mentioned before, this is a work in progress. We will most likely spend more time making website improvements when the growing season is passed. For now, I will make every effort to offer at least a monthly update.
Give Peas a Chance!