Guest Post by Abbey Gregus
When I started working at Bluegrass Farm back in September, we were finally starting to enjoy some of the warm, dry, sunny weather that we had been waiting for all summer long. Days were spent going out to the fields and harvesting crops to be stored in the cold cellar for the winter CSA. Unfortunately, as we progressed through the autumn harvest, impacts of a summer abundant with rain and very little sunlight became quite clear. The veggies just weren’t sizing up as hoped and expected. Luckily, an increase in the number of seedlings and seeds planted initially is what saved us; the number of plants started has made up for lack of size, and we are moving along with our winter CSA!
Jump forward to today, in mid-December, and trying to keep things going in extreme cold more typical of January and February. The wood boiler that keeps the soil temperatures above zero in the winter months got fired up almost a month early this year, and we have been busy trying to make sure that the greenhouse walls are as insulated as possible. On a daily basis, a great deal of time and energy is invested on things like row cover, soil heating, air heating, and making sure our veggies are being stored at the right temperature.
Feeling the impacts of a rainy summer, and now dealing with extreme cold temperatures so early on, its hard not to think about what’s “normal” for our weather, and what might be a result of climate change.
These are just some of the trials and tribulations of a farming lifestyle. Last summer was a drought, this summer was rainy, and we have no way of knowing what next season will have in store. Scientists have been warnings us for years about climate change, but it seems as though the time has finally come that we are really starting to feel the impacts. In systems of organic agriculture, we are to a large degree, at the mercy of mother nature and unfortunately, dealing with these extreme weather patterns is something that is likely to get only harder, not easier. Farmers out there trying to produce food in an ecological manner are not only suffering the adverse affects, they are also the ones taking part in the fight against climate change.
This brings me to the cumulative impacts we can all make at the consumer level. Every time we purchase food, we are making a decision on the kinds of agricultural systems we are supporting. When you buy food from a local organic farm, you are not only supporting your community, you yourself are taking part in the fight against climate change. Local people farming ecologically, are the people we need to support for the health of our communities and our environment. Supporting these hard working people in whatever way we can, is the least thing we can do!
I have learned so much while working here, and gotten to know some pretty amazing earth warriors. I’m sad to say that my time at Bluegrass Farm is coming to an end, but I can’t wait to come back and visit this amazing place, and watch the farm grow and develop in the coming years!
Thanks for reading 🙂