Enough With the Lion, Bring on the Lambs of March

A river runs through the garlic bed. I imagine all those tender sprouts, tucked under the hay in raised beds, standing on tiptoes, praying for sun. I worry about the erosion nibbling away at, and threatening to carry off those raised beds. I worry about losing the entire garlic crop this year.  Things aren’t looking good for the garlic.

I’m watching that same river as it crosses the field in front of my house, meander its way around the entire farm, totally engulfing new ground just plowed for potatoes.  It moseys across the woodroad, along the edge of the field where it meets another drainage area, equally swollen and river-like, completing the circuit from the other side. The gardens are a soggy mess.

Thank the gods of March that the gardens are empty of plants. Except for the poor garlic.

We’re thinking about naming that topsoil-stealing river Mehaffey Creek. Actually, it already has a name. All of this flows into the Mill River watershed, usually a nearly non-existent burble of water through ditches and low places across the countryside. Worse than I’ve seen it in years, it is now a swollen monster creeping into people’s basements.  I know once the deluge ends, things will dry up as they always do, and gardens will get planted. It’s good to be indoors on a day like this, feeding fat logs into the woodstove, sipping on a cup of coffee, thinking about all the good work that lies ahead.

And I’m very glad to live on higher ground. I’m sure the folks who settled on this land back in the 1800s paid attention to the flow of water on the property, and made sure they situated the farmhouse on one of the higher pieces of ground. Bill and I tucked our passive solar house into the side of a hill, formerly the farm’s apple orchard, and surrounded it with French drains, when we built here in 1985. I’m ever grateful for our situation here, when rains like this come.

This time of year, it’s mostly all desk work for me. Last week brought much progress for Mehaffey Farm, now a bona fide  business, with a business license and an EIN number. The boys are working on a nice new sign soon to be going up at the end of the driveway. I printed out the CSA flyers, and distributed a first wave of them to anyone who’s expressed an interest in buying a share. I’ve also been communicating with our friends Shelby and Chris, who own Greentop Farm in Vermont. They’ll be supplying our customers with delicious hormone and antibiotic-free range-fed beef and lamb. Shelby tells me we can have our first delivery of beef by mid-April. I’m planning to purchase and distribute a whole cow (between 400 to 550 lbs.) among our customers. Lamb will be available starting in June. Let us know if you’re interested in buying meat, by sending your email to me at mmehaffey@aol.com. I’ll contact everyone soon with details such as quantities available, and pricing.

Follow this link to an interesting blog. A teacher in Illinois, who normally eats organic food, and who is disgusted with the quality of her school lunches, has decided to eat them every day in solidarity with  her students, (sometimes she gets a tummy ache) She photographs the lunches with her camera phone, and blogs about them.  http://fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com.



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2 responses to “Enough With the Lion, Bring on the Lambs of March

  1. Marcia Farina

    Maggie, great photos, from our point of view from our house looking towards the farm, the field is a “river runs through it”. I too am concerned about the garlic beds, and anything else in the ground that would potentially get too soggy.

  2. mehaffeyfarm

    Ross and Mike have built a dam of boards across the end of the garlic bed, diverting some of the water around it. It helps some, but it’s still running pretty good between, the rows.
    Bill and I discovered much of the water is coming from a house across the street where the fire department is pumping their basement out with hoses on to our land.
    Apparently, we’re going to have to create a grassy berm this summer to divert water around the garden to prevent this from happening again.

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