As we spend time on the farm, weeding and feeding, we spend much of our time observing the plants and soil. We realize that farming without pesticides necessitates an extra level of observation. As we observe aphids, mildew and other issues arise with plants we reach out to advisors like Coach and our farm designer Melina to tackle these issues and find ways to help the plants to be more successful. Our use of garlic spray and biodynamic preparations are ways to aid plants and move towards a healthier farm.
As we talk to Coach and Melina, we are anticipating what future challenges that may be presented. This type of farming does not allow for waiting for a shock or blight, but requires constantly working with the soil and plants. In discussing possible future issues, Melina brought up a potential concern with cabbage pests given that we have planted a 1600 square foot bed of collards and plan a 1600 square foot bed of kale. She said to ask local farmers about their experience and it seems like we that it should be okay given our climate. However, we may further delay planting kale to allow for cooler weather and less of a threat of potential pests.
As we anticipate potential challenges and successes, Melina warned us not to put too much pressure on ourselves and the soil. The process of creating strong soil and a vibrant garden will not happen overnight.
Our desire for a vibrant educational farm, has us anticipating issues and working hard toward producing the best food possible. Farming is a journey that will include successes and failures and we anticipate that the best learning lessons will come from being open about what does and doesn’t work as we face the reality of farming at Walker Jones.