Good Earth Farmers

  (New Market, Tennessee)
Good Food Grown with Care for the Earth
[ Member listing ]

Welcome Rain!

Great crashes of thunder and blasts of lightning woke us early this morning. Tall Cedar's old farmhouse shook with the thunder, but the sound of rain on our metal roof was reassuring. It's been a dry winter and we know the soil welcomes the rain.

In the greenhouse, the broccoli and cabbage seedlings are just emerging. The flats are warmly situated on an old electric blanket, close to the additional warmth and brightness of fluorescent lighting. Stephen designed the greenhouse and re-built it several years ago, with help from kind friends. Attached to the back bedroom of the house, it not only gives the seedlings a good start on life, but helps warm the rest of the house. On a cold but sunny day in winter, the temperature is often in the 80s. (We wish we'd built large enough to hold a table and chairs for us to sit with morning tea!)

As Southerners we dread cold weather, but as farmers we enjoy the break winter brings us. Even the coldest winter gives us time to study seed catalogs, stay longer in bed of a chilly morning, and reflect on our lives and purpose.

Still, we look forward to warmer days when we can plant out the first seedlings and sow seeds directly into the ground. Soon we'll see crocus, daffodils and forsythia....



The Spring Comes on "Little Cat Feet"...

Although we've been writing an email newsletter almost every week for nearly two years, we haven't tried our hand at "blogging". By the time we learn how, we figure "blogging" will be a thing of the past--"old-timey" and out of the date. And yet a blog is a good idea--a way for us to give you, if you're a non-farmer, an idea of what life on a small farm in East Tennessee in the 21st century is really like. And if you're a small farmer anywhere, then maybe you'll relate to some of what happens on our farm.

Good Earth Farmers is really two farms and two couples who farm. But only the inhabitants of Tall Cedar Farm have the desire to blog. When we say our farms are "small, family" farms, we mean it. In fact, each farm only has one full-time farmer and neither farmer has any employees. One farmer has a full-time job in the city and helps out when she has "spare" time. The other farmer tends the greenhouse, helps write the newsletter, and handles the correspondence for the email "hybrid" CSA we started.

 This is all by way of background--and also because I feel it's really remarkable that only two people, in this case, two men, grow so much food! It's hard work and except for the coldest, muckiest winter days, there's rarely any time off. But it's do-able.

This proves to us that most people who have the desire to grow at least some of their own food, can do it. And if you're reading this blog, you know that nothing tastes better than freshly picked lettuce, tomatoes, greens, sugar peas, okra, sweet corn .....Just name your favorites! When I began this, I wanted to write about something I love but don't have much time to tend--flowers. But it looks as if I need to leave that blog topic for another day.

Until then, though, watch the spring unfold...this season ,the blossoms seem to be appearing in a slow sequence...coming on gradually, one by one, giving us time to appreciate each one...Which flower, shrub, or tree did you "spot" first? Second? Keep watching...

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