Since the snow, things have begun to pick up around here. We’re continuing to work in the greenhouse – planting around 1500 seeds a week as we get ready for warmer weather, ie: transplant season. We had some time for the soil to dry out and I actually got to plant our first seeds directly in the ground. I put in 50 bed feet of carrots and beets and 100 bed feet of onion sets. What are bed feet? I’ve learned to plant in “beds” that are three feet wide by however many feet long. I like 50-70 foot beds – anything else is psychologically terrifying when you get ready to weed. Inside of those beds, though, you can have any number of “rows.” To give you an idea, I planted 3 rows of beets and carrots – I‘ll only plant one row of potatoes and two rows of peas per bed. So 100 bed feet of onion sets equals 300 row feet – approximately 3600 little onion bulbs went in the ground this past week! And here’s me trying to control our buckin’ tiller. The first couple rounds in a new year are hard to control if you’ve got a small tiller because of all the plow furrows and debris!
Earlier this week, I spent part of the morning with our February volunteer through GA Organics – Uriah. Uriah and I cut up 25 pounds of seed potato for planting in the next couple of days. They need to be cured after cutting to prevent rot and initiate sprouting. And while we’re on the subject of sprouting potatoes. Many of you know that I was struggling in my first year of sweet potato sprouting…well, look at me now! It’s working and I credit all you at the church that put up with the rotting potato smell as I found my groove! The secret? Warmth. They weren’t getting the heat they needed at the church. They like my bedroom much better. And, if you’re wondering, Krista likes their company. Last week we had a DOOR group staying and working from the church. We were delighted to have four willing volunteers from Massachusetts sling machetes around and help us access some of our wooded property. And Geoff helped too. Unfortunately, or fortunately for you and I and the comic relief of this blog, he couldn’t stay on his feet while ‘rasling that nasty privet. We do need some goats! That’s about it. More stuff happened, of course. We started to build a chicken shed, found one offsite and started taking it apart to move back to the church, second guessed our chicken plans altogether and continue to plan on building some (still unplanned) chicken structure. So it goes, when your farming in community. Sometimes our individual plans aren’t God’s plans. Sometimes we spend a day setting the floor for a chicken shed and then decide it’s in the wrong place. Sometimes sweet potatoes rot and Geoff falls on his bum. We are assured, though, that through it all God will be with us. We continue to stumble along here, trying to imagine the original Farm – the one at Eden – in the midst of Atlanta. As we enter the season of Lent, as spring creeps into our lives this year, may we laugh, work and play as if we were on that original Farm – as we are imagining the Farm that is to come.