These are row covers. Underneath them are thousands of spring transplants. We use these covers to protect our plants from harsh elements like wind and freeze. These plants supply our CSA, farmer's markets, local restaurants and retail outlets. We rely on them to feed our families and yours - literally. So you can imagine, they are extremely important to us.
This is also why spring time is so nerve racking. No spring is immune to the dependence of these covers. This spring in particular. From hail producing storms to a fluctuation between below freezing and 85+degree days – we’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. As Chad says, we are “Riverboat Gamblers”.
Last weekend proved no different. On Friday, we had to privilege of over 15 volunteers come out and help us plant the thousands of plants underneath these covers. With a farm team of only eight people, three of which are dedicated to the garden, we needed all the help we could get. Had it not been for them, we wouldn’t have gotten it done – and to add, there was already a full day of farming ahead of us on Saturday and Sunday.
Borrowed time and inclement weather are stressful. That pretty much sums up Saturday night. Saturday’s strong winds had ALL of these covers misplaced, flying around and most frustrating of all, exposing the tender transplants put in the ground just hours earlier. Standing in the midst of them was overwhelming, making you feel like a needle in a haystack.
It seemed funny almost, that on Saturday night, while people were out to eat with their families, scrolling through social media, at the movies - or for us, getting married (we had a wedding taking place in our barn), we were out in the garden – trying our best to put those covers back on those plants. It took longer than expected and got dark on us. All we had were the lights from the truck shining on the garden to see where the bricks were to secure the covers protecting these plants so they didn’t die from the weather.
The reason for telling you this isn’t to complain. Far from it actually. The reason for telling you this is so you can get a glimpse into the time and attention it takes to grow your food. To have a true understanding that farming never stops. You can’t clock out – ever.
We learned a long time ago that we were crazy to decide to farm for a living – but we can’t stop. We love it. Along with the stress and complete lack of control comes the days when your office is a sunny and 72 degree day.
The hope is that you will take this knowledge and enjoy your next meal even more than you did before.