I am so happy to finally introduce Daily Harvest Farm for the 2010 market season. After apprenticeships on organic farms from Massachusetts to Maryland, I am thrilled to begin a farm of my own. And this past year taught me just how much of a challenge it would be. Late in the summer of 2009, I began by renting land in Marcellus, NY and immediately started building soil fertility by adding compost and planting cover crops to protect the soil from the upcoming Winter. The snowy months have allowed me time to pull together my projections for crop rotation, planting and crop yields into spreadsheets. Throughout the planning process, my mantra remains - "I love Excel". This season will be a very important year for developing data and benchmarks for yield, harvest/planting timing, and marketing practices that will assist me in future years. In the meantime, however, I have had to rely on my farming experience reading and research, and advice from a few great farmers.
With the planning almost complete in early Winter, I got a feeling of ambition and decided to rent additional land on a nearby farm. Luckily, winters in Upstate NY are very long. I returned to my excel files and updated my plan for the added space. I was able to include flowers and herbs into my new rotation, which felt like a fabulous reward. So, with everything mapped out, I hit the seed catalogs. What a relief that I had a plan before even opening the front cover, as the temptation to grow everything is so great. There is an abundance of new varieties of seed, heirloom vegetables, and delicious fruits to choose from. I could have easily been careless and purchased varieties not suitable to this growing region and soil structures. I am happy to learn that lesson without actually making the blunder. The seeds have been arriving in the mail slowly, as the orders are filled, and I am getting ready to start the first of the seeds in my grow room-thanks mom and dad for the use of a spare bedroom! I will be starting seeds beginning March 1 and will continue as needed throughout the season. As seedlings get stronger and temperatures get warmer and skies sunnier, they will be transferred to a small greenhouse to await planting day.
There is still a lot of Winter left in this area before we can get this small farm growing, but the days are getting longer and the sun, when out, is warmer. I can already picture the bustling farmer's markets and I greatly look forward to being a part of that picture. It is really a joy to fill my days with work that I love; it is challenging work with many opportunities. Thanks for visiting us and please stay tuned for market information, stories, and challenges we face as new farmers.