Clare Gardens Farm Manager, Anna Metscher, highlights the exceptional work being done at Clare Gardens.
It feels like winter on the farm at last. This is a relief, because cold temperatures help to keep the pest, and disease, problems at bay. The 18 or so inches of snow we received over the last few days fortunately caused no damage, but I did have to shovel some of the snow and ice away from the greenhouse – it was up to the hip boards! This relieved some of the pressure the ice and snow were putting on the steel frame, but fortunately no damage had been done. Snowshoeing from outbuilding to outbuilding checking the temperatures and conditions of things was undoubtedly the only way to get around in the deep snowpack.
Deep winter on the farm is a special time. It’s a delight to be able to slow down, check in, and reflect on what the upcoming year will hold. The steady stream of seed catalogs arriving in the mail continues that excitement and anticipation. Researching which new tomato variety we should trial, or which broccoli variety is most resistant to Black Rot, or which lettuce heads are most heat tolerant for mid-summer successions. Did we have enough carrots to distribute over enough weeks? Did we have too many radish successions? All the records we keep during the season help inform these answers. This allows the crop plan I revise each January to be as tailored to the kitchens’ needs as possible.
Planning, plotting, dreaming, and shoveling until spring!