Winter is a visually appealing time on the farm with all the snowy landscapes and beautiful white backdrop set amongst the dormant orchards and bright red barn structures. Winter time on the farm moves to a delightful cadence although we are still busy working. There is still plenty to do and accomplish like managing snow,… Read More »
Winter is a visually appealing time on the farm with all the snowy landscapes and beautiful white backdrop set amongst the dormant orchards and bright red barn structures. Winter time on the farm moves to a delightful cadence although we are still busy working. There is still plenty to do and accomplish like managing snow, caring for our livestock, maintaining farm equipment & greenhouses, and planning for next season.
Time Well Spent
Farmers spend time managing snow, taking care of farm equipment, and caring for the farm livestock during these colder months in NW New Jersey. Although our animals prefer to be outside, especially in snowfall, we ensure they have warm shelter and plenty of hay and water. Tending to livestock in colder temps requires snow removal, manually breaking ice in the waterers, managing roof structures, and checking in on them more often.
Managing snow involves ensuring our areas are cleared safe for guests and accessible for our team. We also monitor snow loads on our buildings and structures to ensure all will be well. While we spend time performing scheduled maintenance of our farm equipment in the winter we inevitably experience the occasional engine that does not want to start in the cold, shifting our priorities for the moment.
You will find us taking a break from fieldwork to plan for next season, but not before we enjoy some time with family and friends, learning something new at trade shows, and catching up with colleagues at farm conferences.
Farmer Kurt connected with more than 4,500 farmers and ranchers in Utah this week attending the American Farm Bureau annual Convention. Other key members of the farm are gearing up to attend the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Growers Convention in Hershey, PA later this month. More conferences and learning opportunities are scheduled for our team later this season.
No Snow Days
Although we don’t typically experience traditional snow days off on the farm as there is always something requiring our attention, we do love the snow! Snow acts as nature’s insulation and mulch, protecting our crops from freezing temperatures underground. Snow helps maintain a more consistent temperature lessening the damage that freezing and thawing cycles have on plant and root stock. In addition to acting as a blanket, snow helps deliver important nitrogen to the soil. As snow melts nitrogen is slowly released providing a gentle fertilizer for next year’s crop while preserving the moisture present in the ground. Watch our farmers talk about snow in this video.
Much organization goes into pre-season farming and winter time is when our team is busy researching, planning, and analyzing last year’s results to ensure a successful next season. Research involves reviewing field notes and crop planning to ensure the healthiest fruits and vegetables for your table.
Pre-season is when we map out our fields and decide where plants will be grown using our crop rotation principles. Also considering plants’ requirements for sun, water, space, and compatibility. We spend lots of time ordering seeds and meeting with colleagues to discuss varietal successes while analyzing results and fact-finding to ensure we are selecting the best variety for a successful harvest. Our greenhouses are also beginning to take shape after their brief intermittent period. Soon seeds will be planted, typically starting with onions, with new crops to follow and be sown right up to the season!