What’s been going on!
Remarkably busy week with lectures, tour groups, teaching, interviews, a conference and oh yeah, that farming thing we do out here. Betsy had a good and tiring trip to Texas for an Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) regional meeting and a visit with our good friends and compatriots the Arnosky’s of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers. Betsy first met Pamela at an ASCFG meeting in the early 90’s and the two quickly realized we had been traveling the same road in two different states. Both farms started with nothing but a dream and through perseverance and our “too dumb to quit” attitude became successful. Now every few years we find ways to get together and commiserate (and have fun too).
I had an interesting meeting with the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NC State. A group of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) met with him to discuss on-going strategic planning processes for both CEFS and CALS and how we can all work together. Nice and bright guy, Dean Linton, but we got onto the topic of what the definition of sustainable agriculture is. This used to come up all the time back in the day but less so now unless someone is trying to co-opt the concept. It was defined by Congress back in the 1990 Farm bill when the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) of the USDA was being authorized. Most of us working in the field now consider it the “legal” definition. I said that not only was there this legal definition but that essentially every person and group I talked to now knew that sustainability has three tenets- environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible. If most of the public now embraces this concept it will be difficult to change it now.
We did manage to get a lot of plants and seed into the ground but still have more to do just to get caught up. Six more beds of lettuce, the first carrots, beets and broccoli raab, the first four of 10 beds (at least) of onions. Hopefully most of the rest of the onions will go in today. Jennie and Liz also extracted the bent Haygrove legs we need to replace so we can finally reconstruct the Big Tops that were damaged in last July’s storm. It is good to have the staff begin work again.
Picture of the Week
A bright and windy March day, overwintered greens flanked by newly seeded crops protected by row cover to help germination
What’s going to be at the market?
Another cool start on Saturday but a fast warm up.
Maybe the last of the winter potato- Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes). A little more Spinach. Maybe a bit of Lacinato Kale but for sure beautiful tender and sweet Collards. Still plenty of sweet Carrots.
More and more of the brilliant and amazing Anemones not as many this week, too much consistent cold weather.
As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex and Betsy