February newsletter & to-do list

February effectively marks the beginning of the 2013 farm year for us, with a wide variety of things to do from starting the first seedlings to firewood cutting. Last year’s post on winter farm work covers many of the same things we’ll be fitting into a busy month this year, but here’s a look at what’s on our plate for early 2013, along with a quick look at our January road trip.

jan_trip_1We had a nice break in late January, taking a truck-camping road trip through the Arkansas Ozarks, down to the Louisiana coast, up the Mississippi River, then back through the Missouri Ozarks. Lots of birding & wildlife, diverse landscapes & geology, lots of fresh food bought directly from the producers/sources (shrimp/crab/fish/cheese/citrus/produce), a fantastic lunch at Cochon in New Orleans, visits to Joanna’s family in northern Arkansas and Eric’s in southern Mississippi, a quick trip to Vicksburg battlefield & other historical sites, calm & pleasant weather, and so much more.jan_trip_2

We greatly enjoyed it, checked off multiple life birds and life experiences, and deeply thank the friends who took care of the farm for us. Now we dive right into the 50 weeks of the 2013 farming season, beginning with:

– Starting first seedlings indoors, such as onions
– Finalizing the farm’s 2013 planting plan
– Logging work around the farm, both cedar-clearing and firewood cutting
– Burning branches & other logging detritus for biochar production
– Tackling the chickweed & other winter weeds that are taking over the vegetable fields due to last year’s warm spring that fast-tracked weed seed production more than we thought possible, followed by another warm winter
– Making a final decision on whether to re-certify organic despite cost-share funding still in limbo
– Either way, doing most of necessary paperwork because if we don’t re-certify, we’ll still publish all our information for customers to inspect
– Continuing to seek and sign up CSA members, giving tours, & other planning
– Working on the website, including developing an online worker/member events calendar and other features
– Preparing taxes, a task that needs to be done now as March & April are too busy to push paper.
– Repairing & constructing fences for various pastures & fields
– Culling more old/unproductive hens; starting this year’s breeding
– Cleaning up various messes & ugly areas around the farm
– Serving jury duty, a wild card that we desperately hope does not turn into a major time sink

There’s only one month of winter remaining, then the season really takes off in March. Lots to get done before then.

5 thoughts on “February newsletter & to-do list

  1. Beautiful pics – and I love your to do list – reminds me to get our taxes done early too 🙂

  2. Meant to ask when I first read this, but anyway… what is it that Joanna is holding up for the camera? Look like about as much fun as the snake in your bedroom…

  3. Really enjoyed the pictures…your farm is always an inspiration…our farm chore list looks similar!

  4. That is a live Blue Crab, one of 24 bought fresh from a local fisherman/crabber on the Louisiana coast, and destined for a pot of boiling water and several delicious meals. Goodness, they were tasty.