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Fresh Roots Farm Notes for Week 20

It was reported to me this week that the frogs have had their eyelids frozen shut three times this Spring. That would be welcome news, as it almost always indicates that we have had our last frost date for the season. I’m ready. Thanks for being martyrs, frogs.

A bit of rain and a bit of sun, this week. I started to feel increasingly panicked about the garden not being most of the way in already, but then a friend came through with a generous favour, and my stress level decreased about 500%. She lent me her BCS two-wheel tractor, which has a rear-tine tiller (ours is busted most of the time…) and, the piece de resistance, a rotary plow attachment that will help me create my (hopefully somewhat to-be-permanent) raised beds in a fraction of the time it took me to do the same job by hand, last year. My body aches just thinking about it. It did a beautiful job (see photos), and I am so grateful for the use of it.

It seems like this year I am acknowledging that using particular resources/tools to help get the job done is sometimes very worth it, if it means conserving time, energy, and probably most importantly, my body that is gradually getting broken down by this work and lifestyle. I swore to myself after using a mulch applicator for our shelter belt tree rows, which took a measly 2 hours (this after I had spend most of four weeks hoeing dirt on the edges of the biodegradable mulch film by hand), that I would use the machine on the garden. It is rented from the local Conservation District. That, and hiring a local boy and his John Deere utility tractor to run the machine over my rows for one evening, and I will be very pleased. The issue is, when you do not own all of these things yourself, it takes some serious coordination to make it all happen, particularly in conjunction with the timing that you need it. I’ll cross my fingers that we get this done this coming week.

Things are sure sprouting up out of the ground, especially after two nice sunny days of heat following a solid rain. Troy took advantage of the rain days by installing the remainder of our ‘hardwood’ poplar flooring in our home, and he did an amazing job. It also went into our bedroom, good riddance gross pink carpet. It might sound cheesy, but I am so thankful to have a guy like Troy who can learn a skill like that, and just take it on, go for it. The house feels more cozy and clean now, and I think that helps both of our respective sanities during a relatively busy and stressful time.

We had our first Lowline calf this week. We were interested to see the first calves from our new sire, ‘Cornie’, a Galloway x Angus, and though still quite small, I think they have a bit more leg to them.

This 20th week, I’ve decided to push away anxiety and welcome energy and optimism. Here’s to what will be a late, albeit great season of delicious vegetables grown here at Fresh Roots Farm!

p.s. I’ve been readily enjoying my new favourite gardening book/resource: “The Market Gardener” by Jean-Martin Fortier. He is a pretty inspiring market gardener from Quebec, and his book (which is finally printed in English) is a really practical, helpful resource for folks like myself that want to try and make it work profitably

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