Sunday, June 10, 2007

Planning Continues

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It was a busy weekend both at Vermont Flower Farm and at the future VFF. Despite all the activities that people are involved in at the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, visitors were many and sales were good. The show of flowers has started and the display will continue on into September. With every blooming flower, I ask myself if I have worked it into the plan for our new gardens on Route 2. More often than not I find myself reaching for my notebook to scribble some more reminders about height and color and bloom time. Recreating gardens that have been here on Peacham Pond Road since 1989 will take some thought.

Yesterday I drove the new tractor the five miles to the new property. A well planned business would have incorporated a trailer in the purchase to make this easier but I knew we could only spend certain allocations once so I postponed the trailer purchase until fall. Riding the tractor on the highway at 4:30-5 in the morning is a different experience. Riding it back home today was a slightly longer experience as it is all uphill. The sight of a mature cow moose half way up the big hill broke up the chug, chug, chug of the diesel engine and added to the tale at the end of the trip.

I had already tried to find a farmer who was interested in cutting the five acres of hay but to no avail. The cost of fuel has discouraged farmers from traveling as far as they used to. I received thank yous from those I asked and they wanted to be sure to impress me that it was an economics thing. They knew the hay crop was recently seeded and over the past couple years the timothy and mixed clovers had grown well. Just the same, fuel is expensive and five acres is a small parcel to a farmer.

I slid the new tractor into low range and reved up the power take off to the prescribed speed. The mower worked like a charm and only needed to be raised a bit when covering expanses of rushes along the wet areas by the road. 7 hours later, interupted by one trip home and a sandwich for lunch and the acreage was mowed. I happy with the tractor and it performed better than I expected. If the rototiller works equally as well, I will know without reservation that I made a sound purchase.

If you drive by our new Route 2 location and see me out working, stop by if you have a minute and I'll point out what we have planned. I applied gypsum, a calcium sulphate mix, to the garden plots today and took measurements for the fencing and entry gates. There is a lot to do before we start planting because I want to be sure we have good control of the land, both from critters and curious visitors with two legs. I was asked the other day what new crops we'll plant. I replied that we will stick with exactly those flowers which have made Vermont Flower Farm what it is today. If time permits and interest prevails, we might expand our line but until we have made the move and tested what has worked here, only the location will change next year.

One thing that has not changed is time--there's just not enough of it. If you check this blog or The Vermont Gardener and I haven't written in a few days, bear with me. Summer is short in Vermont and a new business requires extra hours and lots of work. The end result will surely be something you'll remember.

Evening wishes from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a barred owl hoots it's evening call and its only answer is apparently the response that hoots through my mind.

George Africa

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