Once you tell people that you own a farm, the most likely questions to follow are 1) “Do you have any farming experience?” and 2) “What are you growing?” The first question is easy to answer. Nope. It’s hard not to answer with a bit of a grin, especially when the other person cannot conceal that “you’re crazy” look
The second question is still a work in progress. We’ve received boxes upon boxes of seeds. Fruit trees and berry plants are on the way. A few trays of onions and broccoli are getting a head start under some grow lights in the garage. But before we can actually get to the “real” farming, we’re getting a crash course in how to prepare the soil (for example, tracking down the guy to apply 50 tons of dolomitic lime—a natural soil amendment to balance out the ph in the fields) and setting up everything from irrigation to greenhouses.
With just four acres in production this first year, I’m blown away by how much food we’ll be able to produce. The other day Jonathan showed me the long list of potato varieties that he ordered. A rough calculation told us that we might yield about 17,000 pounds of potatoes. POUNDS. Are we going to sell that many potatoes? Yikes, I hope so. If not, we’ll be eating a lot of roasted and mashed taters.
We also learned, after ordering the potatoes of course, that our fields are primed for wire worm problems (since we’re planting shortly after turning under grass sod). So we may be doing a very pricey field trial of wire worm resistance of a nice selection of potato varieties, hybrid and heirloom. Consider it tuition paid toward a practical farming education.
And that’s just the potatoes. Our long list of veggies includes everything from an impressive variety of greens, root vegetables, squashes, onions, and on and on. I love asking Jonathan, if we can grow kabocha squash, pumpkins, corn or cantaloupe. He usually responds “Sure, we can grow anything we want.” How often is it that your husband tells you that you can have anything that you want?