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7 Tips for Farming in the Winter
By Suzannah Schneider, Communications Manager and Certification Coordinator
A winter scene at Enon Valley Garlic, PA
Ah, winter. For many, it’s a dreaded time of numb noses, grey skies, and sun lamps.
But for most Certified Naturally Grown farmers who grow primarily in the months of April to November, December through March is a rich time to recharge. The winter months are a respite from the chaos of market season, a rest for weary backs and hamstrings, and a reward for the summertime sunrise-to-sunset (and sometimes longer) workdays.
Read on to learn how we recommend you recharge in this slower season. #1 is guaranteed to make you giggle!
1. Enjoy some tunes
Longtime Certified Naturally Grown member Six Circles Farm boasts some extremely original sounds from their all-star volunteer, Jacksonic. If you’re finding these months of never-ending root vegetables have you down, turn up The Eat Vegetables LP. Plus, we’re thrilled to find our logo on the album artwork of the album below, and our t-shirt featured in this music video!
July Garlic on August Tomato Sandwiches by Jacksonic
2. Devour a book
We’re proud to have these incredible authors in our grassroots community. We’ve been poring over Leah Penniman’s Farming While Black, and can’t wait until our Business Ally Andrew Mefferd of Growing for Market‘s book comes out in just a few weeks!
Two dense but readable books from the CNG community!
3. …or a magazine!
Be sure to renew your subscriptions to Acres USA, Growing For Market, and Small Farm Quarterly. And don’t forget Bee Culture and Mother Earth News!
Some of our favorite magazines
4. Scour your favorite seed catalogs
‘Nuff said. Below are some of our favorites! You can also click here to learn more about CNG-approved seeds.
We love a whimsical seed catalog cover
5. Take a trip!
If not now, when? We know many of our farmers are spending this month visiting family, enjoying a bit of eco or agrotourism in warmer climates, or are firmly planted on a beach in attempt to finally remove their farmer’s tan. Did you know there are plenty of CNG farms to visit on Hawaii?
No Spray Hawaii has a great view in January…
6. Maintain now, no crisis later
After a busy growing season, tools and equipment start to wear down and beg for some TLC. Now is a great time to clean, sharpen, and repair so that everything you need is in excellent condition come springtime. Plus, these cooler months let you take the process slowly, so you can enjoy the art of repair instead of frantically fixing so you can get back into the field.
Moon Dog Farms’ tractor is in tip top shape. Is yours?
7. Stop by a conference
Conferences are vital for farmers to stay connected and learn from each other. Click here to find out where we’ll be in the next few months, and be sure to say hello if we’ll be crossing paths!
Farmers from Raindrop Ridge, Five Apple Farm Honey, and Spruill Farm Conservation Project with CNG’s Alice Varon at Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s 2015 Sustainable Agriculture Conference
If you like what you read, we invite you to spread the word!
Suggested Facebook post and/or Tweet:
Winter is the best time for R&R on the farm. Here’s how @CNGfarming suggests you make the most of your time to recharge! Which activity is your favorite? #CertifiedNaturallyGrown cngfarming.org/a_farmer_s_guide_to_winter
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