I heard recently on the radio that a groundhog’s heart beats only 4 times PER MINUTE during hibernation, and that his body temperature drops from 98*F down into the thirties!
While those groundhogs snooze away the pleasingly slow days of winter, Cara and I have, in our more normal human fashion, crossed the dark and snowy solstice. Now our days get longer, spring gets closer, and the lingering fatigue of summer blossoms into the growing itch of spring-fever. Yes, the solstice was over a month ago, but due to off-farm employment and lack of luscious photo material, I’ve been kind of a lousy blogger. I promise that when winter ends, I will be more diligent.
Except that, this year, winter hasn’t really come—instead of the feet upon feet of snow we had last year, we’ve had temperatures that are swinging up into the forties and higher almost weekly. True, in between we’ve been down into (and below) the single digits, but somehow it still is feeling like The Winter That Wasn’t. I still haven’t used the nice used snowblower we bought, haven’t gone skating on the pond that hasn’t really frozen, and haven’t gone sledding on the hills that aren’t snowy. I wonder if the groundhogs have noticed, or if they’re still snoozing in their burrows below the frost line, indifferent and oblivious… But I should watch my tongue—while reading back over these few blog entries of the last year, I couldn’t help laughing at a sentence I wrote back in May, as record spring flooding soaked our flats: “At least we don’t have hurricanes,” I said. Ha!
Anyway, here we are, surviving, thriving, and getting excited about the coming season. We’ve been attending conferences, trying to catch up on the social connections we neglected all summer, and generally getting our bearings. We’re nearly done with our seed order for this season, which for us seems to be the number one trigger for spring fever. It’s exciting, yes, but also kind of terrifying—we’re upping our production by a pretty optimistic margin, yet we’re still financially committed to not taking a draw out of the farm profits to support ourselves. This means we need to somehow work off-farm enough to pay the mortgage, health and car insurances, food, and miscellaneous expenses of normal life, AND increase production acreage and marketing. It seems insane, honestly, given how perilously close to total calamity we pushed ourselves last year, but it also seems like the only viable path if we’re to expand the farm enough to support ourselves, and hopefully a family, before we lose whatever lingering sparks of youthfully wreckless determination we still lay claim to. But with the help and support of the most kick-butt customers in the capital region, and our soon-to-be-faithful CSA, we can all make this work!
On that note, we’re excited to be sending out CSA enrollment forms any day now, even though the Ballston Spa distribution location isn’t quite 100% confirmed. This is a big step towards realizing the farm we’ve always envisioned having, and while it’s a little bit daunting, I think we both feel that having a CSA base will be one of the most rewarding elements of having this farm. We always envisioned Quincy Farm as a healthy balance between markets and CSA, and now we’re able to make that a reality!
So, to all of you who have expressed interest in joining the CSA, and to all of you who have supported Cara and me with your encouragement, feedback and grocery money at market all season: THANK YOU. A bunch of kale and an encouraging word may seem so trivial, but it’s your steady dedication and support that is helping us breathe life into this viable, sustainable, family farm, and into the common values we all hold. Thanks for keeping us in mind when your stomach rumbles and demands fresh, delicious food; thanks for coming out to support us at market in the cold rain and the searing heat and icy winter mornings; and thanks to those of you who believe in Quincy Farm and are ready to sign on to the CSA and enjoy a season of staggering deliciousness! 2012, here we come!!!