Miolea Organic Farm

  (Adamstown, Maryland)
Organic Farming from a City Boy's Perspective

Low Points

I saw my obituary the other day on-line.  The obituary was for a person with the exact same name, born 4 days before me but lived in a different state.  I thought it was par for the course given what we have gone through this past season.  What a difference a year makes.  I look at what I wrote last year at this time and it could not be polar opposites. 

I face this spring with the lowest energy level I have ever had.  I know in part because of how bad things were last year with the stinkbug.  However, that was just the start, the list continues from there.  The grass mower will not start, we have lost four more layers bringing the total since December to ten, the wood splitter engine gave up, the snow thrower picked up a large rock and bent the fly wheel, oh yeah, and a week before we were to plant in the high tunnel it collapsed into itself.  Those were just the most costly of things to go wrong.

I am trying to pull myself out and get that sparkle back.  I know I am supposed to take the hits and keep going.  That is the thought I cling to as I face the coming spring.  It just bothers me though.  My instinct is to get right back up when knocked down.  I do that, but it seems that it is taking me longer and that I am slower when doing so.

In the past, I could tell you what we grew good versus what did not grow so well.  I could take orders and know in spring that we would be able to fill those orders; it is the same with the summer months.  Before last year, we were known for Roma tomatoes.  We would sell over a thousand pounds a year.  I know it is not much but we expand the amount we grow every year. We lost ninety percent of our tomatoes.

I had just gotten growing organic sweet corn down when our entire crop fell to the BMSB.  The year before (read Corn Battles), we celebrated the fact that I had finally been successful.  With perseverance, everything fell into place and we produced the sweetest corn we had ever had.

So, I soldier on, I hold my little pity parties and boo-who meetings then I go do something and try to make sure I do not break anything.  Everything I have touched over this past winter has broken.  I am not exaggerating.  You read the list and it was not even complete.  

I know I will come out of this.  The minute I start turning the earth and planting cover crops the sooner I will get back into the rhythm of nature, growing food and providing my community the best I can.  James Carvel once said, “Next to love the greatest gift someone can give is their labor” and I truly believe that.

This is a low point but that is how growing and farming is.  You have ups and downs, but you try to even things out.  Besides, “nothing in this world is impossible to a willing heart”.  I tell myself this is just a low point and to even it out and keep going.  We are making changes due to the BMSB to counter-act their damage.  Hard choices and decisions are required in order to turn that corner.  We have plans to change our business model.  Plans that should help us turn the corner and avoid the cliff.  Time will tell.  In the mean time,

Buy Local:  Do not under-estimate the difference you can make.


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