The Gracie’s FarmHers
What a difference a few weeks makes. When I sat down to write my first newsletter, the snow was circling around my frosted windows. Today is the beginning of a heat wave. The heat feels smoldering, and the sun is browning our skin. The ground is beyond warm now, and the pace of growth on the farm has increased exponentially. We are drowning in baby greens. The produce bins are stacked to the ceiling of our cold room. The season is finally here.
The farm is as busy as it gets, because we are still in preparation mode. We still have projects to accomplish to set us up for success for the season, and still getting lots of treats into the ground, but we are also now managing harvest upon harvest. It’s a complicated and humbling time on the farm, where there never seems to be enough time, and the to-do list grows.
We are a close knit team at this time of year, working hard, laughing hard, sometimes sharing tears of frustration, and the sweat and dirt that smears our face becomes more of a uniform than a one-off. It’s that grit we talk about. And it shows on our faces.
I wanted to touch on something that makes all of this hard work and grind so meaningful, and really proves that our methods are working, and that regenerative farming will continue to have a substantial impact on our soil and our climate as a whole.
When we started farming on the land at Gracie’s, it was devoid of life. A compacted clay field with no real organic matter. In fact, when we started preparing it for growing, it would take us around 45 minutes to broadfork a single row. Struggling to get the tines through the menacing hardpan. The organic matter in fact, was around 1.5% - 2% in places. Well, four years in, and we can literally see the difference. The soil is a darker richer brown, broadforking is about a 5-10 minute endeavor per row, and our organic matter has increased to 6%. This soil sample result came in, and I had a moment of such joy and relief. Because sometimes, it feels like it would be so much easier and faster and efficient to just till everything down and use a tractor to turn things over, to eliminate old crops, get rid of weeds. But this increase in organic matter is proof of life returning to the soil, carbon finding its permanent home deep in the ground, and the appreciation of a regenerative farming practice.
Okay, on to the events from the farm! Our Farm stand officially opens today! June 10th from 4-6 pm at Gracie’s. (95 W 2100 S in Wanship). We will be featuring many of the baby greens in which we are drowning (Arugula, Mizuna, Mustard, Kale) as well as green garlic, chives, and radishes. We will also be selling plant starts like tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and others. So, come grab the plants that will grace your own garden. Also, we are teaming up with the Saving Gracie team and presenting Cattle Roping tonight and several other Fridays during the season from 5-7. So, come on out and experience a true farm evening with produce, some libation, and some cowboy fun.
Finally, our next farm dinner and first dinner in the Culinary Series is next Tuesday, June 14th. This is our Shoots and Greens Dinner, and we invite everyone local or visiting to come and enjoy. This dinner will feature our spring greens like peppery arugula, buttery lettuces, sweet baby kale as well as the tender pea shoots, green garlic all masterfully prepared by our own Chef Galen. The dinner will be hosted in the garden if the weather permits, and it will be a glorious kick off to the summer dinner season. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.
Thank you for being a part of this family of farm supporters. We hope to see you at the Farm Stand and beyond.
Lynsey and the Farm Team.