Gathering on a Farm

Farmer Kate’s High Tunnel

A lone bald eagle soared over Rapid Creek north of Wild Woods Farm. We were pulling plastic over the new high tunnel.

The eagle lofted in the wind as if it were summer. We would rather the wind died down until we finished. The project was well-organized and it took an hour and a half for 20 of us to get the plastic stretched over the aluminum frame.

Someone asked how many inches of frost were in the ground. That struck me as funny while standing in two inches of sloppy mud. We have yet to have a hard freeze this winter. Vegetable farmers have ordered seeds and as soon as they arrive plan to plant onions in trays. Spring planting will begin soon enough. With the ambient temperature at 50 degrees it doesn’t feel like we’ll have a winter even though an extended hard freeze would be good for farmers.

The fact of a warming atmosphere is all around us. Eagles attracted to open water in January is just part of it. Climate has changed, disrupting weather patterns we learned to expect coming up. Local vegetable farmers dealt with the weird weather last season and could use a break back to “normal” this year. A 50 degree January day may be a fluke — a welcome one for this project — but there have been too make flukes.

During wait time I finalized a spring soil-blocking schedule at the two farms. It was a productive day of catching up with friends in mid-winter… talking about spring.

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