Patchwood Farm: Three Years (and counting!)
Time flies, just like they say it does!
In a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating three years since our move to Cape Breton. It’s a good time for reflection. So much of our time is focused on our various To Do lists and plans for the future, that we sometimes have to make a conscious effort to look back at what we’ve done up to now. In moments when we feel like we’re only accomplishing a tiny fraction of everything we’d like to do here, it’s really refreshing to remember what we’ve achieved already and to see that it’s actually a lot!
Our first season here was focused on getting to know the basic features of the land, expanding existing gardens, becoming familiar with the local community and markets, raising pigs, and setting up some basic infrastructure.
In year two, we started selling our vegetables at the Mabou Farmers’ Market, began selling pork, and added chickens to the farm. We even brought in a big mulching machine to help clear land for future pastures and orchards. In two days we had four and a half acres mulched and ready to plant!
Year three was about learning how to farm with a new baby in the family! Simplicity and balance were the name of the game. We continued to expand our gardens, renovated the barn, and began planning for a new off-grid house on the property.
In our first three seasons here, we hosted 26 on-farm volunteers from 9 countries (learn more about the WWOOF program here!). Not only have we benefited immensely from the hard work of these people and their enthusiasm for organic agriculture – we’ve formed some wonderful friendships too.
Looking ahead, we’re really excited about the projects planned for this season. We’re planning to add ducks to the farm system, plant more perennials, improve our wash station, experiment with some new low tunnels in the gardens, and so much more.
And we’re going to try to remember to look back now and then and reflect on past seasons, the work that’s been done here, and the value of an Accomplished! list.