As we approach our one year anniversary here at Gigi’s Organic Gardens, I had to pause and reflect on the ups and downs of the past season. As most of you know GiGi and I have been gardening organically for years. The key word there is “gardening”. There is a distinct difference between “gardening” and “farming”. Before we grew our own vegetables and canned some, froze some: a leisurely pursuit no doubt! But now it’s become a lifestyle, a business and our passion.
Organic Farming has been a journey that has taught us many lessons. It has taught us patience. It has reinforced our strong work ethic, and it has most of all it has taught us that nature does not adhere to our plan. No matter how well thought out or precise, nature does what it does. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes our plan and Nature’s do mesh, but not always.
Take the extreme drought we have been experiencing for instance. We knew it could happen, but did not expect it. And what about those temperatures? 100+ degrees is not good for most varieties of vegetables. We feel so lucky to have a reliable well to irrigate our produce. It has saved us!
Most plants do not like hot dry conditions, but insects seem to love them. Those little guys have kept us on our toes all year. I have seen some insects this season, that I have never seen before. Some of the old reliable pests have had a great year. There numbers are up and they are relentless. We keep pushing on with our organic controls and have at least reached a truce with most. The dry conditions have added a new pest…..animals. we have always had the occasional deer, rabbit or ground hog, but the lack of food sources have made our farm a magnet to those critters. We don’t mind sharing, but come on guys, eat a weed or two and lay off our tomatoes!! Something new at the farm this season is BEAVERS! They keep damming up the creek flooding the lower fields. It’s like a game. every other day or so I breach the dam to let the water flow and they build it back. I can picture them laughing at my efforts as I remove the sticks. rocks, and logs and our beloved farm hound “Samson” brings them right back to me.
With all the frustrations and set backs, there have been many, many more positive experiences. Some veggies have responded to the weather with unexpected results. Our eggplant has gone crazy! Squash has been amazing and our sunflowers are spectacular! Such is the life of a farmer. As we reflect and laugh at how dirty and/or tired we are, Gigi and I feel good in our souls about what we are doing. Being so connected with the rhythms of nature and learning to let go and let it unfold has been quite the *”growth” experience for both of us. *(Pun intended)
Be sure to check out our new and improved website http://www.gigisorganic.com! We are currently taking orders for Fall beds. Space is limited! So reserve yours today.