... and we turn with it.
It's been a packed month of conferences, projects, and planning.
And with the weather *finally* turning to winter, everything changes again.
The next few months will be filled with lots of reading and classes (as a business owner I get to call it Professional Development 😆), website updating, crop planning, new product development and design, and making crafts of old and learning new ones. Even if winter means the plants get to rest, the Farmer (kinda like the soil and all the little beasties in it that help the plants to grow), just turn our labors to inside things. The things that support a business that aren't usually seen, just as we usually don't see the bacteria, fungi, and insects that support the plants even as we enjoys the fruits and flowers that it produces.
As I look forward to curling up in a warm cabin with four furry lap warmers and a warm cup of cocoa reading, writing, making and generally growing all the skills that help me grow the plants (by supporting all those plant-supporting bacteria, fungi, and insects!) I'm using the last days of unfrozen ground to provide those little soil beasties their version of a winter spent in a warm cabin, with warm friends, and warm food. Building a relationship with them and learning what they need to thrive is a foundational principle of relational farming. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village of soil life to raise healthy plants!
What a glorious evening!!! Mid-October was the inaugural Montana Cut Flower Association (MCFA) Conference I've been a minor player in the background as a founding board member of this young organization. We met in Helena for a full day of presentations and discussion. It was magical to meet all the wonderful flower growers in our state and share our triumphs and frustrations. Many hands make work light, many minds make ideas bright, and many hearts make the problems all right.
One new project done, for now, is a new (to me) '75 camper! It's in need of a lot of repairs, partly from age and partly from a bear break in which means 3 windows to replace. Add that to a leaky roof and previous modifications that weren't 'to code'. It's wrapped up for winter to wait until spring!
One big project that is done and dusted is the electric bear fence around the hens. After the visit from the chicken-eating, front door-pawing relocated Grizzly from Whitefish, the hens have stayed safe behind the nose-zapping wire as I made it winter-ready. It's the best way to keep then hens safe, me safe, and the bears safe.
An almost done project is the seasonal planting of the Tulips & Daffodils. Because I perennialize them (most cut flower tulips are grown as annuals), I need to protect their juicy, tasty bulbs from my hungry, hungry gophers. Each year I add a bed or two of trenched ½ inch hardware mesh. This year its a full 50 feet to house the 700+ tulips and daffs (the daffs don't need it but I plant them nearby for ease of harvest). The tulips just arrived as I wait for the rains to wet the ground.
As long-time readers know, my longest running project/headache is rebuilding my high tunnels to withstand the winds that tore them down 2 years ago. And I've finally finished the ground-work on tunnel #1!!! 🎉🎉🎉
The end walls are reinforced with posts sunk deep into the clay and the sides are attached to 6 - 6 foot t-posts pounded over 5 feet in. Next step is attaching all the channels that hold the plastic tight.
I've also expanded the hardening-off area next to the Dragon Dome and added grass-blocking fabric around the shed to help keep all the gear I use to grow accessible and tidy!
The cats are my ever-present shadows as I prepare the farm and field for wintry weather. They are eager to get outside whenever they can, even if the new weather is not always to their liking. When they do come in, they are just as eager to find a warm spot for naps and cuddles
Where to find it all?
Stay tuned for a whole new lineup of Everlasting Flowers, Handmade Crafts, and Wild-Grown Botanicals!
(and even the triumphant return of your favorite Micro-but Mighty 💪-Greens)
I'm Farmer Megan with a life full of cackles, clucks, quacks, weeds, crazy kitten, and one tiny, senior, blind dog.