As spring progresses, things are moving right along here at Runamuk.  It is something of a relief to finally be putting to work all of the plans I’d laid over the course of the winter.  And, of course, spring draws out the urge to be productive, to plant and grow and nourish, and those urges have filled me up to the brim and my cup runneth over.

Since we are new farmers, with no major financing to back our endeavors, we are paying for the farm in-puts out of Keith’s paycheck from his off-farm job.  grow houseThis means I use a lot of creative methods to stretch the budget, from using saplings for trellises, to using duct tape and plastic to cover grow-houses for seedlings.  But it also means that, since we cannot afford a hoop-house yet for seedling production, the seedlings are under lights in our dinning/living room taking up space and making the front room feel almost like a jungle.

Outside in the “Upper Garden” I’ve managed to get many of the early spring crops planted, including spinach and peas, arugula, oriental greens, and recently, carrots, onions, and radishes.  I have a number of brassicas–broccoli and cabbages–ready to plant in the new bed I created using straw along the long side of that plot.  And some head lettuce that I will inter-plant with the spinach.

Still to plant in the Upper Garden are chard, beets, turnips, and the companion plants for the roots and greens crops.

Companion plants for the roots, greens, and brassicas planted in the upper bed will include caraway, dill, rosemary, thyme, and sage.  Aster-family flowers, calendula, cosmos, and marigolds interspersed throughout the plot will help to draw in those beneficial insects.

Soon I’ll start preparing the lower garden plot.  In addition we will be adding four new plots to the backyard, as well as a plot for a cover-crop of buckwheat.

It’s an exciting time for us.

We’ve got Tracy Kniffin at Kniffin’s Specialty Meats lined up to buy our surplus produce, and she has generously offered to help in distribution of our CSA shares by holding boxes in their cooler for pick-up.

Linda Smithers at Medicine Hill Farm in Starks has agreed to let us put hives on her organic farm so that we might increase our colony numbers.

And Keith and I are going to attend the Pollinator Conservation Short-Course offered by the Xerces Society at MOFGA’s educational facility.  I’ve waited nearly a year for the course to come to a location close to home, and it’s an added bonus that Keith is going to be able to join me in attending.

It’s an incredible feeling the progress we’re making here at Runamuk.  It is likely that I will have a number of extra seedlings available in the next couple of weeks, from tomatoes and peppers to herbs and flowers.  Our CSA shares will be available on schedule, and possibly we may even have greens available earlier than that.

Yes, it’s a very exciting time–and spring is upon us–what could be better?

Share your thoughts, comments or questions!

Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm
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