I’m an Apprentice and You Should Be Too
This week marks the beginning of my apprenticeship with Jenny Jack Sun Farm. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, an apprenticeship is defined as “learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.” While my college education equipped me with vocabulary words and basic agricultural knowledge, I did not learn how to succession plant, drive a tractor, or talk with CSA members among many other things. I am thrilled to have this experience and I consider myself lucky to be one of Jenny and Chris’ apprentices (there are only two of us). If you are considering farming at all I encourage you to seek out apprenticeship positions at a local farm. I have always searched through the Organic Grower’s School Apprentice Link and ATTRA. I may have also used the method of emailing every farm in the movie “GROW!”. Be prepared to work for no or little money, work long hours, and be physically exhausted by the time you get home. Also be prepared to eat better than you ever have, learn more than you imagined possible, and develop a deeper love for farming. Try to find a farm that is close to what you imagine yourself doing so you can see if you really do love pigs as much as you thought or if flowers are your true passion.
For the first half of this week we did a lot of seeding in the greenhouse.
Simpson Lettuce (!)
As you can see especially in the spinach seedlings, when a seed sprouts the first two leaves are called the “cotyledons” these usually are simple and look similar plant to plant (except for the spinach, don’t their cotyledons look crazy?). After that it gets two more leaves which are the “true leaves”. So, if you forget to label your seeds when you plant, just wait for the first true leaves and hopefully you will be able to identify them.
We also did some seeding in the fields for arugula, turnips, and peas.
Five beds of peas seeded
The arugula and turnips were seeded in the hoop house, one bed each
The chickens were moved from cleaning up the old cabbage and cauliflower field to fertilize the blueberries, and the blackberries were fertilized with the same Harmony fertilizer I used in my garden.
The strawberries were weeded and rescued from behind the black plastic
The Three Little Pigs (soon to be more!) were fed and attempted to be socialized.
And many eggs were collected. I don’t know if I will ever get over the beauty of fresh farm eggs. Look at the range of colors!
Are you seeding any this week or are you under a foot of snow? I can’t wait to start seeding in my own garden!