Mike & Clare's Farm

News and Updates

images of baby brassica

Another Beginning

April 3, 2024

Welcome to season 2024! This marks our - gulp!—sixteenth year as a farm. Sixteen! When I was a first year farmer, surrounded by other first year farmers, it was passed around and accepted as true that you wouldn't really know what you were doing until you farmed for ten years. The amount seemed excessive. Who could wait that long? It was also passed around and accepted as true that a thistle patch would take seven years to fully control. Time stretches on forever when you're farming. I now know that the thistle canard isn't true - it's more like a year or two. I also know that ten years to achieve confident and serene farming knowledge might be a little generous. There is so.much.to.know. At sixteen years, I am a pretty good farmer. I know what to plant and when to plant it. I know what varieties work well in my garden and which ones taste the best. I know how to handle most bug and weed pests. I'm still getting a handle on diseases. Outside of crop rotation and resistant varieties, my disease prevention strategy is mostly to never, ever (ever) touch a plant when it's wet. It could use a little work. It's a relief to be on this side of the farmer-knowledge scale, just as it's a relief to know that each year has its own surprises and I will never know everything. At sixteen years, I know that the beginning of the season is a small, small thing - a light so tiny you can hold in your hand. It's impossible to know how it will grow - only that it will be green and bright and full of life - a whole universe -- until it's not and we settle in to wait for the next one.