Andrea Romeyn sent me this, and I thought you’d like to read it too:
Date: Friday, March 26, 2010, 3:25 PM
Hello Providence Farm Friends & Shareholders!
We hope this letter finds you well and enjoying our longer days!
Many of you have registered for your share of the garden in 2010 already and we truly thank you for that! For those of you who still wish to, I have attached the registration form. (We have double the applications sent in this year than we did at this time last year and are over 1/3 full, yeah!) Read what’s next to see what’s happening now:
Ryan and I are in awe of the constant sunshine this spring. It seems as though spring is a month early after weeks of unseasonably warm weather… Although it is cold today and getting colder this weekend. You can tell we don’t get out much in the summer when I tell you we put on swimsuits and headed to Barne’s park on Lake Michigan on St. Patrick’s Day! (50 ish degrees!) Isaiah, 9, went completely under water. Maia, 5, thinks she did, but we have video to prove she somehow missed her face, and Jacob played/splashed for an hour. We were barefoot in the warm sand and the sky was blue and still. Strange and fun! Gerry Sell put some pics of our day under “March of the Polar Bear Cubs” at http://www.torchlakeviews.wordpress.com
Almost all seeds are ordered, excluding potatoes and onion sets. Hundreds of plants are started in the greenhouse and Ryan has begun amending soil this week. (Natural rock powders first, then finished compost.) We are gathering irrigation and strawberry boxes in anticipation of our first certified organic strawberries this year. Note: If we have a large yield, we will open our one acre patch up for members to pick. We are also planning our first plantings of asparagus and rhubarb. (They take 2-3 years to get established, but then we’ll have it in abundance!)
We are also replacing the original cracked tires of our beloved 1951 Super A tractor. As far as we can tell, very little work has been done on this 59-year-old, and it is has been a work horse, (interesting metaphor, heh?)
We received a grant for fencing for rotational grazing (the bonus is that it will keep the deer out) and windbreaks, (which is great because our private (not anymore) nickname for the farm is (Kick-@%% Wind Farm) so we are planning and making orders for implementing that over the next few years.
We have decided to apply for organic certification this year through OEFFA, the Ohio Ecological Food & Farming Association. Our farm (we own 20 acres) is eligible this year. The farm we lease that is adjacent to our land is on track to be certified next year. Certification lends credibility to our work, but can be expensive if the market isn’t truly there to offset the costs, so this is a trial period.
As far as our house under construction: We will be done drywalling soon and finished all of our rough inspections. As soon as we can pour the concrete for the posts, we can build our front porch and finish the siding. We tried to be as green and local as possible. Ryan has been the main builder with help, especially now as he transitions into farming full-time again. We are excited to extend our ecological practices to our new home by making smart (but budget-minded) choices for the environment: solar hot water collectors will help heat our domestic water, cement board siding (contains recycled material and keeps the cluster flies out!), recyclable and reflective material for our roof, energy efficient windows, non-formeldehyde interior and cellulose (newspaper) insulation, and a newer “green” product, Icynene foam, to insulate the attic. For the walls? Natural limestone sheet rock with some thermal mass.
It’s also really neat to be able to turn our tractor-breaking field stone into siding for our garage and the beautiful backdrop to our woodstove.
After moving our family around for 13 years in pursuit of sustainable, organic agriculture and lifestyle, (3 states, 8 rentals, 1 house), we are finally getting the chance to grow roots! Thank you so much for participating in our ability to do this by supporting our family farm! As we look over the fields, the barn and our glimpse of Torch, we are constantly amazed and filled with gratitude that our dream has become a reality.
If you would like to pray for us, we always welcome prayers for wisdom in all of our endeavors, especially to be good parents, health, and balance as a family as we build our farm up.
Peace and blessings to you!
Andrea and Ryan