As promised, I am here to update you on my adventures at Pond Hill Farm. It has been about three weeks since I have arrived but it has felt like longer. Every day presents countless opportunities to learn something new and appreciate a day of hard work. Before I began my journey to Harbor Springs, MI I was living downstate in the small town of Brooklyn, MI. It was there that I wrote my last post and if you recall, as I wrote I was watching snow flurries fall to the ground. I remember feeling exasperated, ready for spring and slightly worried about what the weather would be like when I arrived four hours north of Brooklyn in Harbor Springs. I remember wondering how I would cope with the trials and tribulations of farming (like the weather...the snow, the rain, the sun, the heat) and promising that I would share with you what I have learned from them.
Here is my first:
Sun is Good (in moderation), Rain is Great (in moderation), Frost is Bad (always).
It is kind of ironic that as I now write my second post, it is down pouring. It would probably be safe to say that three weeks ago I would have been cursing the rain for limiting my ability to go for a bike ride or to the beach. Now I have a newly found appreciation for the rain and the ever-changing weather of Northern Michigan. Rain means the plants that I put in the ground yesterday will be thriving tomorrow. Rain means that we don't have to spend countless hours watering all the plants in the greenhouses and hoop houses and soaking up all of our precious ground water resources. A forecast of overnight frost sends everyone into a frenzied panic, frantic to put all of the warm weather seedlings back inside. Sun is always good in moderation, too much can fry the plants (and me for that matter).
|Greenhouse on a rainy day.|
I know that to many, like an experienced farmer or avid gardener these inclinations may seem obvious. Yet to someone like myself who three weeks ago would have been cursing the rain, my experience so far has allowed me to gain a new perspective and appreciate how those who grow their own food whether it be to sell or for their own consumption are dependent on a factor that they have absolutely no control over. It almost sounds well, just a little crazy. Yet without these great flucuations in the weather we wouldn't be able to farm. No sun, no rain, and no changing of the seasons can greatly limit or even put an end to growth.
|The winery and farm store in the fog.|
I am looking forward to updating more about my experience at Pond Hill and about more thrilling (yet equally important) topics than just the weather. The farm has many difference facets; the greenhouses, the cafe, the vineyards, the winery, the farm store, farm education programs, the list goes. Each one has its own story and along with a lesson to be learned.
Until next time....
P.S. Happy spring!