In my last update, which was written in the middle of December, I noted that it felt like we were still waiting for winter weather’s arrival at Stony Point Center. Now, as January is coming to a close, I think we can safely say that winter has arrived. After a few weeks of cold temperatures and wintry days, we received our first major snowfall of the year this past Saturday—probably totaling around a foot of snow. We were just on the edge of the storm that brought between 2 and 3 feet of snow to areas just an hour or so south of us.
Amirah and I missed the storm completely as we were in Saratoga Springs, New York, attending the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New York’s annual Winter Conference. So while April, Jocelyn, and Matt were clearing the snow from SPC’s hoop houses (much appreciation!!!), we were attending talks on various farming practices and meeting other farmers from all parts of New York state. Amirah was awarded a scholarship to attend the full conference and was able to participate in two half-day workshops on Friday on the subjects of reduced-tillage farm systems and high tunnel (hoop house) management practices. I joined her at the conference for Saturday and Sunday, and between the two of us, we learned from experienced farmers on topics such as establishing fruit trees, vertical gardening techniques, winter microgreen production, helpful field tools, herb growing, and creating on-farm educational programming for high school and college students (to name a few). It was a good experience for both of us and I think we came away with a few ideas that we will be able to implement this year.
Now that we’ve returned to snowy Stony Point Center, the farm crew probably has a couple weeks to ease back into a regular work flow before the 2016 growing season officially begins. By this time next month, we’ll have already begun seeding our early greens and onions, and, if it isn’t too cold, we might be ready to tap some maple trees to begin 2016’s syrup production. I’m always amazed at how quickly the season begins after January ends. So until then, I hope everyone can enjoy a safe, warm, and peaceful winter, wherever you are.