January farmer life

What do farmers do in the winter?
Well, we cook a lot of squash and potatoes. We experiment with fermentation–sourdough with home-grown hand-harvested wheat, as well as a sauerkraut party last week with the last of the cabbages! We sat down to make our budget for the year. We’ve made our seed orders, and are working on a field plan and organic certification paperwork. We’re anticipating building the high tunnel that’s slated to arrive on the farm in March. I’m forking hay to the sheep every day, and giving Orion the bottle lamb his milk. I’m preparing to talk at MOSES, the biggest organic farming conference in the galaxy, about community-based solutions to land access. We’re talking to restaurants, groceries, and wholesale buyers who want to source local organic veggies. We’re planning a road trip to the desert before we fire up the greenhouse and start the season.
We’re also dreaming about the new things for the year: starting seedling hazelnuts and chestnuts! Pastured pork! A flock of laying hens! Baling our own hay and building a pole shed for storage!
There are also dreams of land-based culture-making: third Thursday farm parties! a lard fest this fall! a queer farmer gathering! anyone want to help plan a hyper-local food summit like this one?!
But, of course, the core of it all is that we’re excited to grow nutritious and beautiful food for all of you. Hooray for vegetables, from seed to stem to leaf to fruit and down to the root, all season long!
It’d help our planning to know that you’re in the CSA for next year. You can email us to say that, but better yet, you can sign up with these forms! Use this form for Rochester shares and this one for Decorah shares. If you want us to drop shares off somewhere along Highway 52 in between those places (or know someone who does), talk to us! We’d love to serve the Harmony, Preston, and Chatfield communities too.
In addition to boxed shares, we are offering “market shares” again at our farmer’s market stand in Decorah. For those, you pay $100 up front to get $110 worth of credit at our stand (or $200 for $220, etc). Email us if you have questions about that!
And yes, though payment isn’t due until March, we are accepting CSA checks now. You can send them to Humble Hands Harvest, 1588 Canoe Ridge Road, Decorah, IA 52101.
Our wintery best to all of you!
Hannah Breckbill and Emily Fagan

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