It feels like not too long ago that we were bringing in the season’s last harvests and putting things away for winter. Now we are blanketed in snow and enjoying the holiday season!
Here are some highlights from 2016 at Fiddle Foot Farm…
Once again, we were blessed with a great team on the farm this season. Year after year, we are so honoured when bright, capable young people choose to work with us on the farm. They each bring their own strengths and energies into the mix, which makes every season feel new and alive.
This year, Brad and Adam, two fellas who had worked with us in past years came back to get another dose of Fiddle Foot fun. This was particularly gratifying, to see them able to take on new aspects of the farm work and continue to learn throughout the season.
Tamara and Sarah joined the farm team this season and we are so grateful for their dedication, enthusiasm and appreciation of good food – being grown and eaten!! Not only did they work hard in the fields, they each also spent regular time with our 2-year-old son, which we (and he!) appreciated!
Rounding out the team were Julie Mae and TJ, who helped on harvest days and market days respectively. In the midst of a busy and challenging season, there is nothing quite like a fresh face and energy to give you the boost you need!
Reflecting back on the season, it will obviously be the drought that will remain in our minds this year. We have never experienced a summer like this one and are once again humbled by nature. We literally did not receive a drop of rain for 8 weeks. We worked harder than ever to keep crops surviving but then also saw that, as long as we could provide some water, the heat and sun helped to produce some bountiful crops. We were amazed by the resilience of some plants and their productive capacity in less than ideal conditions! With sufficient irrigation capacity, a season like this one is in some ways better than a cool and wet season. Having said that, you won’t hear us wishing for another one like this summer!
When the rains returned in late August, it was an incredible feeling to see seeds germinating without our having irrigated them, or to see the rebounding green grasses in our pastures. These rains came just in time for our fall/winter crops, for which we were incredibly grateful!
A highlight of the end of the season was to finally build our second moveable hoop-house in the field. Those who have worked with us over the past 3-4 years will smile when they hear that this job (which remained on the to-do list each season) is now finally done! It was thanks to the warm fall and having the right people in the right place at the right time! This hoop-house will increase our capacity for winter salad greens, early spring crops (carrots, green onions, greens, etc.) and heat-lovers (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers) in the summertime – it will be well worth the wait!
Children bring magic and energy to the farm. 2016 saw more children on the farm than ever before. We had visiting family and friends throughout the season not to mention Owen, our resident toddler on the farm (who we all agree has a pretty great gig!). Children help us all to see the wonders of nature and appreciate them as we walk more slowly and with less (or perhaps just different) purpose around the farm!
From our farm to your homes and families, we send warm wishes for a healthy and peaceful year ahead. We look forward to what will grow in 2017!