New Beginnings, Same old Ways

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Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, and this post will catch you up on all that we’ve been up to since then. In summary form, of course.

We finished off the 2017 season with our best harvest up to that time and were pleased to go in to the winter having met our goals for growing, both as an enterprise and as farmers.  We had an especially bounteous harvest of tomatoes from the end of July until mid-September. Also we had much success growing graffiti eggplant for the first time. And once again our pepper crop hit the mark. Our only disappointment occurred with an under-performing cucumber crop.

Over the winter we thought we would continue our established process this year, but maybe add one more growing space to our established network of urban spaces. So during the coldest days of winter we started our 2018 seeds indoor under fluorescent lights, and we began our plans for the upcoming season based on planting, tending and harvesting at five separate growing plots. To account for the new plot we planted a bunch more seeds than the year before. And that was how it all stood until late March, just as we were approaching our planting date. But that wasn’t how things turned out.

The year 2018 has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Through a series of serendipitous events and perhaps the crossing of a couple of lucky stars, our entire enterprise made a paradigm shift in our farming model that has been nothing short of momentous.  Instead of managing a network of plots, we decided to establish a first-time community garden for our township by partnering with a local community organization and a local private high school to farm a quarter-acre plot on the school’s property. We would, we decided, scrap the existing network, which encompassed about only a third of the space at the proposed community garden. Moreover, the new plot, while being in a single location, would have to be prepared before planting, which we knew would be a true test of our time and resources.

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One of our goals at GreenHorn Gardens is to help our community establish a permanent  attitude and presence of sustainable agriculture. So this opportunity, as daunting as it was, would, we knew, be a big step, not only for us personally as urban farmers, but also for the entire community, and it promised so many positive outcomes that we took the leap into that enterprise and—well, as I said earlier, it’s been a whirlwind.

Suffice it to say, we did it! The number of obstacles we encountered was greater than we could have imagined. On the other hand, the amount of support, not only from our partners, but from people in the community was greater than expected as well. And not only in the community at large, but in the business community too.

I can’t describe all of that happened this year in a single post, but Sean and I want to lay down some of the highs and lows that we sailed through this year, and share how our new paradigm has helped us become serious contributors to the health and welfare of our own community.

In growth and harmony,

Stacey and Sean

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