Things are supposed to be winding down this time of year but we at Chorus Frog Farm are going bananas. First, since our ‘thing’ is the winter harvest, we have almost as much produce now to sell as we did in the middle of summer; which isn’t all that much, granted. Still, our Tuesdays, in particular, are very busy.

Second, the tenants renting the property on which our farm sits, are probably going to be staying in the house for longer than they thought. Trying to make the best of it, they are making some aesthetic and functional improvements to the property and house that they hope will make living there more enjoyable. Because we are now embarking on the greenhouse project on the west side of the property, we all realized that there’s no point in us continuing efforts on the south plot that currently only has some salad heads and the garlic so, after harvest, the land will revert to something other than row crops and the tenants will regain their uninterrupted southerly vista.

The tractor shack, however, is on the east side of the property. Once the greenhouse is built, not only will the tractor shack be even further away on average but it’s not getting any prettier or studier. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to construct one of those sketchy garages-in-a-box to house the tractor and other farm stuff in a location much closer to where it will be needed.

Third, we need to extend fence lines to incorporate the greenhouse. And while we were thinking about how to do that, we thought; why not use just a little more fence to enclose an area big enough to enable a small chicken operation? There’s a shady 40′ X 120′ swath of grass in the northwest corner of the property that 25-50 birds would love to scratch in. Mary and Blair are both vets and animal lovers and have even offered to do some of the work (just letting the chickens in and out of the coop would be an amazing bonus to us). Then, we can offer eggs on the stand which would be a huge bonus to our clients.

Speaking of marketing, Pauline suggested we set up a table at February’s Seedy Saturday (that would get her off the hook for organizing it, as she did last year). When I said I doubted we’d have very much produce to sell, it got me thinking about selling CSA memberships. And that led to a whole torrent of ideas that morning which I will write about in the weeks ahead. Nevertheless, the ideas will take some effort to plan and fulfil although they’re good winter activities.

Fifth, Pauline’s working at the SSI Conservancy 20 hours per week for the winter. Plus she volunteers at the Salt Spring Seed Sanctuary. And does contract work for a real estate agent. Her marketing work for Foxglove Farm will end soon.

I am the recently-appointed treasurer for the Centre School PAC and that has proven to be more work than I thought it would be. Now that I’ve got the system mostly figured out, the ongoing commitment should be reasonable. Famous last words.

And, finally, an update on the plowing for the greenhouse. The weather was sunny on the day of and the day after plowing but the soil was quite wet, too wet for safe plowing and for the health of the soil. Ron got stuck for a moment in one section. Two days later he was back to check it out but realized it hadn’t dried out enough(hard to do when it’s 90% humidity). So, last Thursday at 2pm with the 7-day forecast nothing but some form of precipitation, I started making calls for someone with a 4X4 tractor (which I though Ron had, whoops).

Seeing little chance of someone coming immediately, I got out the BCS with rototiller and started going at it. What a work out. The plowing had left furrows up to 18″ deep that the BCS wanted to get sucked in to. Mostly, the rototiller-half kept the unit floating on top but it was still a major wrestling operation to get through the muck, especially after it had packed 75lbs of soil and stones between the tines and the housing. In any case, it did a very reasonable job and, in about an hour, most of the area was reasonably flat with little grass showing. I then rolled out a 24’X120′ piece of poly in the middle of the tilled area to hopefully keep the rains from soaking the soil beneath it. If we get a few days of sun, I’ll slide it over to allow drying from above. Otherwise, it will probably stay on until the greenhouse is up.


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