January - Four Root Farm

First of all, the big announcement! We named our new farm!

It's been quite a process to try to find a name that we feel connected to, that is about us and what we're building, and that equally describes our connection to our new place and to each other. I would be lying if I told you we had a list with anything less than literally one hundred options on it. Many of them are puns (if you've ever met Rachel Berg, you'll know what I mean), many of them are names of things we like to eat, and an embarrassing number of them are related to Friday Night Lights. We've been circling our top choices for the last few weeks, and have finally landed on a name that resonates deeply with us.

Welcome to the world, FOUR ROOT FARM. We're happy that you were born.

It seems like it's been both an impossibly long time and an impossibly brief blink since we became farm owners! It's actually been five weeks, but it feels like it's been five days - five immeasurably long days during which we've aged five years minimum. I think we're still getting over the fact that we did, in fact, sign on the dotted line to buy our farm, yet it somehow also feels like it has been ours forever. Suffice it to say, the joy and wonder haven't worn off. 

Here's what we've been up to: 

House renovations have been inching along, slow and steady. We've uncovered 323 years of little mysteries as we've peeled back the many layers of our ancient house, but nothing that was too much more dramatic than we were expecting. Tree trunks for floor joists, hand-wrought nails that predate modern wire nails or cut nails, almost a century's worth of mouse-bedding in the kitchen ceiling. In some places the exterior walls didn't even have an air cavity, let alone studs. The horror. We found a stash of empty seed packets from the 1950s in the kitchen ceiling - apparently even our resident mice are farmers! Not yet found: the elusive right angle. There's got to be one somewhere, right? 

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We spent New Years eve on the farm with almost all of our siblings and their partners (fun fact: A, C, R, & E are all oldest siblings, and we have eight younger siblings among us), which was a peaceful and joyous way to usher in our first year on the new land. We made a big bonfire, used tarps for bathroom walls, and drank spiked hot cocoa to stay warm. My brother built a barely-structural bridge over barely-frozen ice so that we could colonize our island before the new year, which we did. No one fell in. 

Crop planning is in high gear. The dining room table has been piled high with stacks of seed catalogues for weeks as we plan our 2015 season (spoiler alert: hold your horses, but we're going to be back with our same insane variety next season, and have settled somewhere around 200 vegetable varieties and 150 flower varieties). There are many spreadsheets. Mapping new fields from scratch has been both refreshing and overwhelming for the same reason - starting on brand new, wide open, fallow fields allows us to experiment with new systems and try new techniques, but also means that we'll be living with (or suffering through revising) our decisions for a long time to come. 

Crop planning an entire farm in four days ain't pretty, but it's fun.

Crop planning an entire farm in four days ain't pretty, but it's fun.

2015 CSA registration is open and filling up fast, so click over here for more information about how to sign up!