Posted by: A Part of the Solution | January 7, 2011

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, we signed the paperwork for the farm mortgage. A year ago today, we drove up to the farm as owners after signing the papers, and tested the keys with a bottle of champagne which we chilled in the truck bed whilst signing all those papers. That was a year ago today.

In one year’s time, we created a Community Supported Agriculture program which served to bring vegetables to twenty-five private households, and delivered over eleven hundred pounds of usable produce to two D.C. Metropolitan area soup kitchens. In one year’s time, we survived a drought while still managing to produce the best quality assortment of heirloom tomatoes in Bedford County. In one year’s time, the farm became a contributor to the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, and reaped the commensurate benefits of great local business ties and personal references.

In our first year of operation, the staff established a foraging pig program to make best sustainable use of our over-timbered forest acreage. In our first year of operation, this became a host farm through the WWOOF USA organization and saw volunteers from five different countries and every time zone across the lower forty-eight. In our first year of operation, the farm opened five rooms fully outfitted with organic mattresses, linens and toweling for B&B use. The locavore breakfasts were all that from the first one off the spatula (if I do say so myself).

We have learned, in this year past, how hard it is to keep heartwood pine looking fresh when so many pairs of boots cross it. We now know how long it takes to water 210 tomato plants on rotation in a drought. We now understand how to read and promote flock health in our Wyandotte chickens.

The farm established relations with commercial kitchens both in Bedford County and the D.C. area this first year. The farm established its presence within the PA Farmstay community this first year. The farm established the core of an apple orchard this first year, as well.

All in all, we’ve gotten a lot done (to say nothing of getting electric service to our Ag well, having our first hog butchered–Bobby, we hardly knew ye, and saying good-bye to a good and brave rooster before his time. And there’s still much to do.

The farm is re-setting the CSA website to speak to the season to come. The farm is contacting old and new commercial kitchens to make fresh contracts for specialty produce in 2011 (French Tarragon, Cipollini, Dragon Carrots, &tc). The staff are making arrangements to acquire another round of piglets: both barrows for share sale, and gilts to be bred to Bocephus when the they and he are appropriately mature.

The farm staff shared a bottle of prosecco this evening and toasted our first year here on the farm. It may be the greatest challenge we ever undertake, but we do so with hope for our future and that of our extended community. The dream continues to come true.

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Responses

  1. *fireworks*
    *fireworks*
    *fireworks*
    *fireworks*

    ***BOOM***

    Celebrating with you. It was an amazing, stunning, inaugural year. Forward Ho!

  2. Congratulations to Carrie! What a wonderful accomplishment. Reading your “got done” list was exhilarating and I am so glad that you are out there, doing the work and writing about it. Happy anniversary!

    • Once again, thanks for your support, Lisa. It’s so much nicer to be writing for actual readers than just writing in the void of RAM. It’s also a real pleasure to have topics worth writing about as well. Our food supply chain and daily choices therein are turning out to be life-or-death matters.


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