If you were to come to the farm and take a tour, what you see would depend on so many variables that I can’t list them all. However, that tour would not be comprehensive. Since this tour is on paper, or well screen, you get to hear all of it. Warning: I babble in person, a lot. I am not sure how this will translate into a written tour of the farm. I also love to answer questions about plants, and growing them. I am a complete plant nerd and don’t get to show it off much.
So first things first. You pull in off of Bowen road through two big gates. The parking lot runs across the front of the farm. You can park either facing Bowen road or the fields. When you walk up to the entrance you will be greeted by myself or Machelle. The farm itself is not impressive, the entire properties is barely 6.5 acres. At least half of which is not farmable. There are two house, two wells, a root cellar, a open shed, and a free standing garage that alone take up at least an acre and half. Most tours start at the back of the farm, the downhill* side, it is not far, maybe 1000 feet.
I start by introducing the tractor. The tractor I use is a John Deere 5075e named Dela.** Than a quick run through of the other equipment used and the basic process of getting a field planted (see the post about planting strawberries for a detailed explanation of this process). If there is interest, I will spend more time talking about the attachments and how I use them and cool things about them. Typically, there isn’t a lot of interest, which is understandable.
After that we move on to the bee hives. Let me say this upfront: I do not keep the bees on my property. They are not my bees, I do not care for them, and do not have in depth knowledge of how to care for them. If you are interested in learning about beekeeping, I have permission to pass on my beekeeper’s name and number. Despite this, we do stop and talk about the bees, why I have them, and what they do for the farm. The bees are extremely friendly and have never stung anyone other than the beekeeper and all of my dogs. There is one hive that is feistier than the others and Does Not like the tractor. So when I do have to work in that area with the tractor I try to do so on a cloudy day, first thing in the morning, or right at sunset.
After the bees, we move to the actual fields. The fields themselves are very simple. We have three on the farm. The North, and South fields are both just over an acre, and the center is just under an acre. The West field is still in development and about a quarter of an acre. All four fields are rectangles, stretching East to West. What is growing in the fields is, of course, what makes them interesting. I could talk forever about plants. I honestly think plants are the coolest thing. THEY TURN SUNLIGHT INTO FOOD! *ahem* anyways. While walking through the fields, I explain crop rotation, different things we grow, organic pest control, and the most common weeds we fight at the farm.
Finally, we walk back to the top of the farm, and I answer questions. I love answering peoples questions, and children always have the best ones. I love what I do and any chance I get to share it with people is a good time.
When we get back to the top, you get instructions on how to pick whatever is in season, a container, and are turned loose in the fields.
Until next time,
*it is very very slightly downhill so you won’t notice unless you are really looking for it
**This is short for Fidelius which means trustworthy or faithful. My tractor has been very trustworthy and faith as learn how to use it. Yes, I am one of those people who name cars and other inanimate objects.