Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013: our second season

After the end of our 2012 growing season, all of the Big Muddy growers took a deep breath as we settled into hibernation mode. Our first year certainly offered us many challenges that pushed us all to new limits and our bodies were ready for rest. It's a wonderful thing about living in an environment with four seasons; winter offers time to slow down and nestle in with a book, a project, some friends, and to refresh before the hustle and bustle of the other three seasons.

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn

With the changing of seasons, our farm has also seen many changes. In the beginning of January, Tyler, Caitie and Catalpa moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Tyler accepted the position of On-Farm Manager for CommunityCROPS, an incubator farm that offers support to new farmers and manages a collective CSA. We are so excited for them and all the opportunities that lie ahead of them! And though they are no longer in Omaha, we will continue to share ideas and work together. Already, their presence is greatly missed.
Respond and adapt

Through these winter months, we have been actively planning for our upcoming growing season. Similar to last winter, we have been meeting multiple times a week at coffee shops, libraries and in our homes to discuss the future of our farm. With a smaller collective group, we must respond and adapt. The many skills and wisdom that were shared from both Caitie and Tyler through the last year, have allowed us all to grow as food-producers. The challenges we faced our first season guide us as we develop a more comprehensive business plan that will guide us through our upcoming season. We have selected and ordered our seeds that we will begin sowing soon, and the challenges of a hot and dry summer last year has encouraged us to seek out more drought-resistant crops and to reconsider how we water and tend to our plants, so as to act as stewards to the land. We have met with our wonderful land owners to renew the leases of our plots and to share the stories of 2012, and we have been brainstorming new ideas of workshops and events for the year! It seems that the many challenges and changes that have presented themselves to us, offer us many opportunities for growth. 

New growth

Yesterday, when the sun was shining and the crisp air was inviting me to be outside, I went to tidy up a little bit at the Gifford Park site. As I moved around the site, my body began to tingle with excitement! Anticipation of diving my hands into the warming spring soil and planting small seeds, and watching them grow into the bounty of a second season. Eagerness to share my days with some of my best friends, and with new folks I have yet to meet. In the mean time, I will be satisfied with the cold, and slow days of winter, and channel my excitement  into process of planning our season to come.