Phew, 2018 was a challenge. I sprained my thumb early April and was advised to immobilize it for two weeks. I still tried to do all the work ahead of me – kinda difficult with my thumb in a splint! I ended up overcompensating and developed tendonitis in my opposite arm and shoulder. This resulted in me not being able to do any field work for two months (May and June). The picture below, from mid-June, shows the one thing I had no pain doing out in the field – picking raspberries for our freezer. Those ripe tender jewels slide off their white cores so easily!
Andy was saddled with the all the field work while I did farm-related work that didn’t hurt my arm. I was really up-to-date on my paper work during those two months! While I went to physio and massage treatments, Andy put in extra reserves to finish filling the greenhouses and maintain crops that were already in. This enabled us to have as many summer crops as we did.
We invested in some very helpful, yet costly, time-saving tools for seeding, planting and weed control this year. This was also part of what enabled us to accomplish what we did, even though I was injured. We had a handful of people reach out to us to help at the farm during this time – you know who you are – thank you! I also called on my father-in-law and my Dad to help me with the heavy lifting at the market set up.
We were grateful for our children’s help, as well as a young lady, who came out to help us pack CSA boxes on Tuesdays.
We built a new caterpillar tunnel in the spring, which enabled us to grow more tomatoes and cucumbers than ever before.
We also got a new batch of laying hens in April. Our kids are in charge of the chicken related chores and are running the egg selling business mostly themselves (read till the end to see where you can buy the eggs right now, while we aren’t at markets).
The market and CSA customers probably only noticed a lack of variety or presence at the market once Autumn hit. We were not able to keep up with fall plantings – which get put in during summer – and therefore had to end our season early.
I feel like I’ve made a near complete recovery, and am still doing upper body strength training to support that recovery, with some of the specific physio exercises thrown in a couple times a week.
In the fall and winter we took some time off as a family to rest and play together. We are not minding the mild winter at all. We’ve been taking down – one greenhouse at at time -the old tomato, cucumber, eggplant and pepper plants. Andy had a chance, during a dry spell, to make our annual compost pile with horse manure and straw. It is composting under a black silage tarp and will provide needed nutrients for our beds when it’s ready to use. The kids and I enjoyed a dry day to pick the last of the small beets for ourselves as well.
So, now we look ahead. We’re entering our 11th season of farming this spring! We’ve been talking crops, CSA schedules and how to best tackle to the work ahead of us. We’re feeling good and are ready to face the year ahead. Thanks for joining us for the ride by finding us at a market, signing up for the weekly CSA Vegetable box or at least considering it (more on that in another post).
*Our 2019 CSA sign up should go ‘live’ at month’s end.*
*Our hen’s eggs can be purchased at the House of James coffeeshop’s drink cooler for $6.50/dozen (2743 Emerson St. Abbotsford).*
Our hens roam freely in their spacious fenced area and greenhouse, in winter. They are fed certified organic feed and leftover vegetables.