Friday, July 8, 2011

One Acre, One Farmer becomes Half and Two or More

Finally I have made it back to the blog! What a crazy farming this year has already turned out to be and we are only in July. By the weather you would think we were just starting April. Sadly, this is what actual mid-April looked like this year(ack--snow!):

Although hopeful, May turned out to be one of the rainiest on record--double ack!!--particularly farming in clay soil. And so no food, absolutely none, made it into the ground at the farm. The one acre farm...

That's right! We've been blessed with one acre on which to grow Ripple Farm. This year started out with one acre and one farmer (me--Farmer Ripple). Since March, the plan has changed to plant food on half the acre and cover crop on the other half to get it ready for the next planting. Then, one farmer turned into two and sometimes more. How delightful! This year Sprinkle has jumped in with both feet and has spent as much time as me at the farm (I have already doubled my total time spent at the farm last year in just the last six weeks and then doubled it again with Sprinkle's help and that of a few friends). Unbelievable really. Generosity abounds.

Here is what Ripple Farm looked like on May 21 (on the left) and here is what it looked like about a week ago, after weeks of tilling, turning in composted duck manure, creating raised beds and laying the irrigation system; plus the beautiful new sign made by Sprinkle and I (goodness how I love this sign). Yup, I know it's not straight. Neither are the beds. No matter how much we tried, nothing at Ripple Farm is straight and we love how it looks! Acceptance is a freeing experience :).

There is so much to learn at the farm, every time I am there. Although everyone said last year was the worst year to start, it now seems that this year is even worse weather-wise. Although I wasn't able to grow a ton of food last year due to weather, plot and lack of experience, I realize now just how much I grew! This year has presented a tremendous amount of hurdles and I have calmly approached and sailed over (most of) them. Some hurdles take a bit more 'umph' to get over then others, some take me a few tries, some require me to ask for help. This year I feel more capable, grounded and patient. I have learned to let go of some control and expectations to better appreciate what is happening right here, right now. It feels remarkable and further deepens my belief that growing food grows humans too.

Please visit us often to see how Ripple Farm grows this year as we endeavour to provide harvest boxes to a small group of customers and head out to some local farmers' markets. Now, if I can just transfer the "capable, grounded and patient" feelings to this part of the business...wish me luck!