Start of winter and leaving Facebook


Looking back, I am embarrassed at my inactivity on this blog and website. Going forward this will be the main source of news and photos for Better Together Farms since we will delete our Facebook account before 1 January 2015. I hope to add webfeed functionality like RSS so it will be easy for you to stay in touch with us, but I expect it will be something like March before I get around to setting that up.

Our second year on the farm brought many lessons including:

  • The stony ridge in our vegetable field curves around to the north -- I broke several tools finding this out.
  • Twitch grass must be brought under control before you plant -- we were running late due to the wet spring so we transplanted our most robust crops after knocking back the twitch. Those plantings were eventually overrun and lost to the twitch -- you just don't have the time to do the volume of weeding required.
  • A lot of our crops have a narrow window of opportunity on our farm. I realized last year that our frost-free period is almost two months shorter than the first farm where I interned near Toronto. This year, delays from fighting the twitch grass made me realize that this only allows a couple of weeks to plant our long-season and hot crops like tomatoes and winter squash.
  • Don't plan to build in the spring. Paint and other weather-proofing only cure reliably in the warm nights of July and August. This means that by springtime we need to have designed and sourced materials for stuff we think we will need next year before seeing how things work this year -- tricky.

It has been four years since I left actuarial work to pursue our farm dream, so we are taking this winter to do a strategic review. We will definitely add pigs to our enterprises in 2015, but the ultimate size of each enterprise needs to be re-evaluated.

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