As the autumn chill creeps in and my day job with the forest service comes to an end, I return to the familiar pace of fall farm work. Outside of the few larger projects that are key to complete before the snows arrive and the ground freezes, I look forward to days in the warm sun and chill air collecting seeds, prepping beds for next year, and newly winterizing the chickens behind their electric fence.
This fall and winter will be full of the usual planning and preparation as well as a lot of learning all about marketing and business stuff, as being a good grower or gardener is all about raising good plants but being a good farmer is about selling them and running a business. So, it's back to school for me!
And I make no promises, but I plan to return the farm to a full wholesale and market schedule next year. A lot of things have to happen over the winter to make that possible but having the year off from full-time growing and business management has given me time to imagine, dream, plan, and decide. Now I have to act, learn, and do. A lot. So I'll let you read on and I'll get back to the 'doing'!
Just a few of the flowers I'm saving seeds for this fall! Saving seeds using landrace principles means letting the plants with the most vigorous growth set seed and collect only that. Thus the entire ecology, weather system, geography, and pest pressure selects for the best traits resulting in plants grown for here (NW MT) and not there (usually the SE, Midwest, or Cali)
The Dahlias thrived in the Dragon Dome greenhouse and I got a few nice blooms before the epic level of grasshoppers and earwigs found them and began munching on everything! Next year, the plan is to keep them safe in the high tunnel with netting at all openings to keep out those pesky pests □ Cause we want more of these beauties to enjoy!
Luckily, there is also just time enough to get to collecting all the wonderful wild and farm-grown herbs for infused oils and salves. It's my magical time when I get to collect the plants for what I've been telling them about all year (yep, I let them know what they'll be used for so they can look forward to helping soothe people's pains and problems). It's pretty easy to make oils, even from fresh herbs, but a lot of the specialness is about your intention and timing. Just as in any aspect of farming, context is key and the details matter (spoken in Virgo season by someone with three planets in Virgo □) All these details and intentions will come together over the winter with an expanded range of herbal oils, salves, and balms to be released next spring!
The kitties also enjoy me being home more often as they aren't used to me being away from home so much (which also means they got limited outdoor time as they need to be supervised □). They get to help me collect seeds, plants, and catch a few grasshoppers (and lots of gophers!) from time to time. Plus with the nights being cooler (and thus the cabin) they get more snuggly cuddly whether its with each other, me, or the clean laundry.
What's available this week?
Where to find it all?
Find the Salad Mix at the Amish Farm to Market Store in Libby!
I'm Farmer Megan with a life full of cackles, clucks, quacks, weeds, crazy kitten, and one tiny, senior, blind dog.