Until the hoop house arrives, I have been busy trying to get the field prepped for growing in the spring. This means: digging pathways (so we know where to walk and the beds will remain someone permanently raised in the same place), raking out beds and weeding, laying compost (which we don’t have yet) and mulching with straw to protect soil from harsh winter weather and build organic matter on top of the bed. There are also 10, 100′ beds which we plan to prep and build quick hoops over. A quick hoop is a mini hoop house but simpler and less expensive. By planting salad mix crops under these really early spring, we can harvest them much earlier and hopefully have a crop to sell in April.
We knew going into this venture that practicing a method of farming that requires mostly physical labor would be a lot of work. I remember the end of each day at Seeds of Solidarity Farm (where we also did mainly hand methods) and falling asleep instantly each night from exhaustion. My body forgot what it is like to do hard physical labor for a full day. I’m out of shape. At this rate, I will be in shape in no time, but it is a sharp curve. I almost feel like going up to the local gym and recruiting volunteers to help by promising them a better and more refreshing workout. Perhaps after two weeks I will feel desperate enough to do that.