February Scenes at Stout Oak Farm

By: Julia Holup, Assistant Farm Manager Success in farming takes careful planning. In the winter, while the crops are at rest, the farmers are at work:  Noses in books. Eyes on excel sheets. Hands on keyboards, tap-tapping away at annual reports and year-end analyses. There are binders full of colorful tabs, notes in black pen […]

february on the farm

Winter on the farm has a slower pace than the rest of the year, but I’m finding that the days and weeks are flying by as we work our way through a giant winter checklist of all that needs to get done before spring. This month, we are building greenhouse benches, moving wood piles, cleaning […]

winter reading

A few books we’re really enjoying at our house right now: The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball Wisdom of the Last Farmer by David Mas Masumoto I just finished The Dirty Life and I’m tempted to pick it up and read it again!  Farmer […]

measuring, re-measuring

The sun is out today, and the winter rye we seeded in early November is still trying to grow!  I just walked the perimeter of our fields again, double-checking my measurements. Now that I’m actually sitting down to calculate how many seeds to order, I need to know how much cultivated bed space we’ll have […]

seeds have arrived!

Boxes from seed companies have been showing up on my doorstep this week. Opening them up is almost as good as getting a care package at summer camp! Heirloom and open-pollinated varieties are becoming a bigger percentage of my seed list each year, as I gradually seek out heirlooms that have the characteristics I’m looking […]

new tools

It’s crop planning time, a task made a little less daunting with a few new-ish farm planning tools I’m thinking about trying out this year. First, there’s the super-handy CD of spreadsheets that comes with Richard Wiswall’s The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook. I also decided to try out a new Target Harvest Date Calculator, a […]

upside down sod

Thanks to our nice neighbor and his tractor, we now have three acres plowed up! The plow didn’t turn up many rocks, which is a nice surprise. The next step will be to drag a harrow through the fields, and try to even things out a bit. Pretty soon I’ll need to start forming beds […]