Trout Lilies in our woods - a beautiful sign of spring!
“We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
The Trout Lilies, Spring Beauties and Violets are blooming all through our woods, just below our pasture. Despite the upheaval that all of us are feeling, spring comes, with its erratic weather and unexpected beauty, just as it always does. Many birds have returned to the woods and pastures - tree swallows, bluebirds, herons, flickers, robins, cardinals, blue jays, and sparrows abound. New life has also arrived - ducklings, goslings, chicks, piglets, and lambs are soon to be born. We find solace in observing the natural world and its rhythms, as we are finding most of the normal rhythms of our lives in such disruption.
We hope that all of you are also finding ways to be outside connecting with the changing season, wherever you live. In rural areas, suburban neighborhoods or on city streets, the trees are budding and the birds are singing, and time spent observing these changes can calm our anxious thoughts and slow our breathing.
Taking care of ourselves is vital in these challenging times, and we also want to take care of our communities - those of us who do not have stable incomes or food supplies. There are ways we can help, and find help, if we are in need. Mutual aid groups are really taking off right now in response to the virus, and we are heartened to see so much coalescing in the face of disaster. We can donate to local food banks (like the Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown), provide financial support to local immigrants in danger of deportation (through Lancaster Neighbor Fund), and we can start a cooperative community garden (see below). Together we will get through this.
Piglets at feeding time!
What's happening on the farm...
We are now taking orders for our Summer CSA! We have pork, lamb, mutton, beef, egg, and shiitake mushroom shares for pickup here on the farm, in Lancaster, at the Horn Farm Center, or in Camp Hill. You can find more details on our website or you can email or call with questions or orders.
Something new for sale at the farm - Thornless 'Triple Crown' blackberry plants! This disease resistant blackberry variety produces big beautiful berries. Semi erect, these canes can be free standing if pruned to picking height, but trellising is needed if left to grow. Canes can grow 10' each year! These cuttings will send up new growth this year and begin producing fruit next year. Plant 4'-6' apart. $6/plant.
Some local businesses we encourage you to support:
Farm friend Ben Weiss posted this on his Facebook post, regarding his Lancaster city business;
Urban Edge Farm is in its third season of operation. Previously our crop plan was focused largely on growing medicinal herbs for Susquehanna Apothecary. This year, in response to the Coronavirus crisis, we've transformed into a small-scale urban fruit and veggie farm. Our aim to is to provide food access in our community in response to reduced mobility and economic hardship. This is why we'll be delivering food directly to your door, and why we're asking customers who have the financial means to subsidize CSA shares for those in need.
To build our immune systems to fight off the virus, we need vitamin and mineral-rich veggies like leafy greens, to supplement all the pasta and canned goods we all stocked up on. During the big wars of the past the U.S. was urged to grow "victory gardens" in order to prevent food shortages resulting from shipping the countries farmed foods overseas. Currently we are on the brink of another food crisis due to the pandemic. In response community gardeners, permaculturists and peasant farmers around the world are calling on people to grow food. An excerpt from a group in Philadelphia says it best:
"In response to this crisis, Experimental Farm Network (EFN) is urging all people who can to establish "Cooperative Gardens" to grow as much food this year as they possibly can. We hope this effort will help people across the country (and potentially in other countries as well) to provide themselves and their communities with healthy fresh food, reduce our reliance on the faltering industrial food system (which is terrible for the environment and human health even when fully functioning), and make it easier for folks to stay in their communities and avoid further transmission of the virus." If you have resources to help people grow food or if you are in need of resources please visit their page and fill out this form. Go on, dig up your yard and grow! Food not lawns!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not holding events on the farm. This has been really hard for all of us here, because creating community has always been one of our important goals. We would like to be hosting all the events we usually host - potlucks, neighborhood soup nights, workshops, skill shares. We are brainstorming about new ways we can connect with our community and help it to grow, and we are hoping some of you may have some thoughts and ideas about what that could look like. What feels important to you right now, and what are you interested in learning about? We would like to help connect people with the resources they need, in these unsettling times. Here are online resources we suggest you investigate: