The Beginning

It’s Feb­ru­ary, the ground out­side is cov­ered with 3 feet of snow, and I’m inside sit­ting next to the fire try­ing to pic­ture what toma­to plants grow­ing in the mid­dle of Sum­mer will look like. This isn’t the first time I’ve spent a Win­ter after­noon star­ing out the win­dow and dream­ing about warm evenings and tank tops, but it is the first time that the sea­sons and their changes have been so impor­tant to me. It’s the first time I’ve ever sat down with a cal­en­dar and fig­ured out when the last frost is sup­posed to be, and when the ground will be dry. It’s also the first time I’ve thought so much about soil, about nutri­ents and how many earth­worms there are in a square foot of earth. I’ve only been seri­ous­ly plan­ning this small farm­ing enter­prise for a month, and already I feel as if I’m so much more aware of the land around me, even hid­den as it is under­neath all this snow.
The idea of hav­ing a small farm has appealed to me for a long time, but it was­n’t until a cou­ple of months ago that I began to seri­ous­ly con­sid­er mak­ing this dream a real­i­ty. It all start­ed when my boyfriend David Erick­son and I moved up from Brook­lyn to his par­en­t’s horse farm in Carlisle, Mass­a­chu­setts at the begin­ning of last Sep­tem­ber. Both of us felt like we need­ed a change, but we weren’t sure exact­ly what that change was, and so we decid­ed to take a lit­tle time out and try some new things: a new place, new inter­ests. We spent last fall busy with var­i­ous projects. Dave got a wood shop up and run­ning, we suc­cess­ful­ly roast­ed a 60 lb pig and I learned a lit­tle about butcher­ing and about grow­ing let­tuce and kale in a green­house. When the new year came, both of us real­ized that we weren’t ready to leave yet, we had become too excit­ed about the prospect of real­ly invest­ing our­selves in the farm. And so, in the sec­ond week of Jan­u­ary 2011, Black Brook Farm Grow­ers was born.
Here we are in Feb­ru­ary. Dav­e’s gone to New York to work as a set light­ing tech­ni­cian on Board­walk Empire for the next cou­ple of months, in order to make enough mon­ey to buy piglets and fenc­ing. Mean­while, I’m liv­ing in Mass­a­chu­setts, where we both grew up, spend­ing my days with seed cat­a­logs. Luck­i­ly, sur­round­ed by both our fam­i­lies, I have no short­age of help and sup­port. My mom, Has­so Ewing, who has worked as a grow­er and land­scape design­er for years (and who has always want­ed to farm) is very involved in this project, my dad, Bob Han­nan, is excit­ed­ly design­ing our logo, and Dav­e’s par­ents, Tom and Tam­my Erick­son, have been gen­er­ous enough to give us free reign to use any horse-free fields their prop­er­ty has to offer, and have real­ly made this all pos­si­ble. We’re going to plant about a half acre of veg­eta­bles, get a cou­ple pigs, increase our flock of lay­ing hens from 9 to 30 and build a mobile chick­en trail­er for a new flock of pas­ture-raised meat birds. The plan is to sell veg­eta­bles, eggs and hope­ful­ly some meat week­ly at a cou­ple farm­ers mar­kets and see how we like the farm­ing life, and if we’re any good at it.
Enough blog­ging, it’s time to get back to plan­ning about toma­to plants in front of the fire.Farming is fun!


One Response to “The Beginning”

  1. TheGoldBug says:

    This is awe­some. You are gods.

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