We have some interesting things to share with you, this year is going to be very exciting I think with many projects and new toys and developments. First off, last year, 2013, was a stellar year for labor. We upped the internship to two positions (Danni and Joe, whom you met at the pick-up) and this proved to be very effective for the farm as a whole. I broadened the academic portion of the position and made it possible for the interns to have a more rounded exposure to farming. We covered topics such as soil science, plant science and nutrition, organic methodology, fertility analysis and planning, marketing and financing. We are currently accepting applications for our 2014 interns, so if you know of anyone or are interested your-self please get in touch.
We are a research institution!! We are working with URI and Brown University to partner up with students interested in doing independent research projects. I will be directing these projects but students will be able to work on their own. This year we will be doing a compost tea project. We will be experimenting with different recipes of tea and conducting trials to see what kind of results we get from foliar and drench feeding regiments. Another project I had in mind was trials that consider the magnetic conductivity of the soil, how it relates to plant growth and how we can interact with it to grow better crops. All these projects are intended to provide simple, clear methods for growing excellent crops at little or no cost to the farmer. Look out for our results in the fall.
Well, I took out another loan. This year we’re going to invest in buying and raising chickens on pasture in rotation with our vegetable crops. We are in the process of constructing a coop and buying all the equipment we need to get them started. Egg shares this year will be provided by us for the first time. We’re also using the loan to get some more field equipment: a new mulch layer, another farm truck, and a new computer.
All this will inevitably cycle back to make your CSA share awesome. Your investment is the most important contribution that is made to our farm all year. We are trying every year to make the CSA a little better than the year before, and from what we hear from you, it is working out. Also we are trying every year to make the farm a little bit more sustainable, both in keeping our bodies in good shape and our land in good shape.
Big Train Farm is still trying to relocate. Another year is always exciting in the prospect of what may be out there waiting for us. Finding a suitable farm that we can afford has proven a difficult task, but we are hoping that 2014 is the year we make some headway. If you have any advice in this department we are always curious to hear about ideas and potential situations.
Thanks so much for reading, tell your friends to join the 2014 CSA! Looking forward to seeing everyone in the spring, but for now… let it snow!!!