The best fertilizer is the farmer’s footprint
-author disputed, wisdom undisputed
We have planted our tired feet on the soil that is our’s next to tend.
I typed the words “new farm” but that’s not right, is it? The farm isn’t new. The soil, that most precious of compositions, is certainly not new.
So, it’s not a new farm but we are the next group of caretakers.
First things first. We walked the place and I’ve been poking holes and digging around a bit to learn the lay of the soil. (I enjoy this part) We will be taking samples to the local extension office for testing after Thanksgiving.
Second things being second, we needed to make the house fully habitable.
That’s right, land is more important than dwelling around here. We keep the kids warm and dry so no worries.
The pastures have been baled for at least five years so none of the organic matter has been allowed to stay and return anything to the soil. We are going to change that. We will mow it high and rotate the horses and chickens around to do their part.
Finding the new garden areas and where to plant fruit trees has been interesting. The area with the best space for an orchard is also the area where the deer will have easy access to everything. The sunny places are exposed to the cold western and northern wind and it will shorten the season so some existing trees may need to go. (An aside: the prevailing winds coming from a different directions than our last place threw me for a loop the first week here, just as it did when we moved to the last farm) Microclimates are important and we don’t know our’s, yet. I’ll need to take notes the first couple of years until I can feel the place accurately. For now, we have scouted the areas for this coming year and are getting cover crops ready.
The cold winter here is promising a bit of a break to research and reacquaint myself with the rhythms of the north. (That triggered a song in my head: feel the beat of the rhythm of the night…) Also, I need some time to get my, ehem, stuff together. Moving a family farm is a lot. I’d say it’s overwhelming but I hate to say that to myself so…it’s a lot.
So, back to work. I’ll be over here somewhere in this pile of stuff trying to figure out where “away” is until I can settle in with my seed catalogs and plan for spring.