Springtime

Welcome to our inaugural blog! Sadie and I have moved north into the peaceful South Fork Valley and found a land trust community that already farms on a homestead scale. We are getting our agricultural bearings in Whatcom - coming to understand the place, weather patterns and subtle affects of every ridge. We're approaching the year with a pretty simple game plan: plant a great variety of flowers, learn from our neighbors, love our work and laugh at our mistakes.

Our growing spaces are nestled between previously cultivated spaces of our community growing spaces in chunks of 5k-10k square feet across the twenty five plus acres that holds grapes, berries, orchards, annual gardens, storage crops, goats, sheep, pigs and horses. In the middle of all our growing spaces there is a three acre wetland full of old pacific willows. To the west and up slope from the open spaces and wetland is a 50+ acre section of forest and deep in the forest is a waterfall.

To grow in a place that is so very ecologically balanced has been a dream of mine that I thought would be tough to find in conjunction with palatable soil and aspect. The hope is that our flowers not only make our landscape here at the farm brimming with blooms, but that the rest of our crops on the farm are made healthier and more productive thanks to those bountiful blossoms. We are challenged in the South Fork Valley with a little less sun time (due to Stewart mountain to the west) and often a little more fog and misty weather than our neighbors in the open basin to the north. This year might be an anomaly or maybe this warm mild spring will be our new standard but it certainly has made the transition to Whatcom quite a bit easier.

With the early planting window we were able to subsoil most of our growing spaces and prepare beds right on time for what we had planned. The weather here could still take a turn so we are piling up start trays in a couple greenhouses and only planting out our frost hardy favorites until the end of April. Our workload has also been made easy by the work of the River Farm in years past, our soil in our early garden full of organic matter.

Our first markets are appearing on our horizon over in Fairhaven and Nugent's Corner, and what will be bouquets are soaking in the morning sun and preparing for a beautiful summer - just like the rest of us. For now I am off to start checking things off the list, knocking out one project at a time, putting together our farm!

~ Paul