Farmer Kate?! Where did you go in 2017? You disappeared!
Well, the basic gist of it was that I decided to be a farmer.
I worked a super fun part-time job with some great gardening folks in Westford for most of the year, too, and then I just was pretty tired.
I tried to do so many things at once and got a bit overwhelmed, so I put social media on the back burner. Just simmering. Okay, maybe the burner was off. Then simmering, then off. Now back on! Yay! Ready to cook.
Among the many firsts in 2017— I started a CSA and farming got real!
Each week, customers picked up their shares at the farm (aka our home). This included vegetables, herbs and a bouquet of flowers. And guess what?! Shares are now available for the 2018 season.
Anyway, even though January has come and gone, I am planning for the upcoming year and am reflecting a fair amount about last year, so before it gets too far along in 2018, I figured I would list all of the fun firsts for ’17.
2017 List of Firsts:
- Started a job with Fresh Start as Director of Education (first time working for a start-up)
- Attended first NOFA Conference, was able to envision making a living as a farmer.
- Decided to start my own business called Daisy Hill Farm (first time starting own business)
- First chicken killed by hawk
- Began winter gardening in earnest with first hoophouse built in November 2016.
- First attempt at building the chickens an enclosed winter area to dig in. They were scared of the plastic and the playhouse leaked. No go.
- Designed first seed collection for online sales. The 4×8 bed collection is still the most popular collection. I am still pretty proud of the idea.
- Set up first online store. www.daisyhillfarm.us Still ironing out kinks.
- Set up first grow shelves in basement. Grew thousands more plants inside than ever before. REally excited to expand into hoophouses this Spring!
- Sold first seed collection.
- Tracked first fox (or was it coyote?) next to the chicken coop.
- Bought farmer’s insurance for first time.
- Sold first flats of seedlings
- Installed irrigation systems at multiple schools, homes and businesses.
- Harvested first overwintered leeks, carrots and beets.
- First farmer’s market! Can’t say enough about the Farm Market at Mill No. 5!
- First pop-up seedling sale at the Farm
- First tick bite (amazing, right!)
- First CSA sign-up
- First time at outside market and setting up tent by self (no problem!)
- First CSA pick-up
- First time registering in town as a business
- First time using an industrial size spinner-so much easier to wash all of the CSA greens this way!
- Harvested first hot hoophouse tomato crop-amazing!
- First time bringing family to NOFA summer conference. I had no idea everyone would find it so interesting, that was such a great weekend!
- First washing station set-up outside in a losing battle against the inside-of-house dirt. There is always so much dirt.
- First time making art out of the dreaded tomato hornworm. Look at that picture–its amazing!
- First realization that I needed more than 2 coolers and our fridge to hold CSA shares and our own produce. Bought a second fridge for garage. This was also the time when I committed to farming for another year (hopefully MANY more years).
- First yearlong store of garlic in house:
- Built first workbench with my dad
- First successful baby rabbit removal from inside farm fence.
- Successfully delivered 20th week of CSA shares
- Began construction of 2 new hoophouses
- Construction of 2 new hoophouses completed!
- First successful (but somewhat temporary) winter enclosure for chickens.
- First time working through mid-December outside full-time.