We continued to work on putting the farm to bed. Pulling and cleaning all the birdhouses, getting ready for next spring’s inhabitants. Draining, labeling, and stacking all the irrigation hoses. The deer fence was taken down, labeled, and stored. Again, because of all of our volunteers, these big projects were all done quickly and efficiently. Looking forward to an easy reinstallation in 2021.
We had our last gleaning of the year, almost 150 pounds went out to 7 locations. A beautiful crop of spinach was added to the mix, from a September tunnel planting. I hope next year we will be able to extend our season even longer with the addition of our 3 new tunnels that will be raised in the spring. I am sure we will have a couple of “tunnel raisings” that will require lots of extra hands. Luckily, we know where to go to ask for help!

My good friend and assistant farm manager, Rebecca, has retired from the farm. She is transitioning into a volunteer position. We will miss having her with us on a daily basis but I know we will see her often. We shared a celebratory bag of jalapeno cheese puffs at our last lunch of the season. Those of you who know Rebecca, know the story that goes with this delectable food staple. Carrie, who has been with us since August as a WWOOFER, will be stepping into Rebecca’s garden shoes. Carrie brings her own strengths and we are excited to have her join us.

As I retire this years’ pair of sneakers, I look back on all our successes and setbacks.  We are looking forward to moving into the 2021 growing season with lots of new systems in place and goals for next year. I would like to share a few of those goals that I hope will enable us to grow more food for our neighbors using climate-friendly practices:
  • Enriching the soil in our newest growing areas with mixed species cover crops.
  • Reducing the use of plastic as weed blocks.
  • Increasing our move towards low-till, no-till.
  • Increasing the yields during the shoulder seasons when fresh vegetables become scarce.
It is time to take a breath, reenergize, and have the time be truly grateful to all those who come together to enable Growing to Give to make a difference.
A heartfelt thank you from all of us at Growing to Give. Theda