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Farm Update (long overdue!)

Hey friends! It's another year and still a great time to be alive. And as much as I do appreciate

the winter, I am always more than ready for spring when it eventually comes around. I did complete a very fun project over the winter, however, which made the cold more bearable, even enjoyable. I BUILT A SAUNA! ..And, yes, with my very own lady hands! It has been a complete life upgrade for me and I plan to use it throughout the year.

Maple syrup season has come to a close and I ended up with about 5 gallons of syrup from 23 taps. Spring is now upon us (although winter is keeps rearing it's head) and I'm gearing up for a very busy year here at Fruitdale Farm.

The first of my spring farm volunteers (through WWOOF-USA) arrived about a week ago and it has been great to have someone to tackle the garden and even just share meals with. Her name is Meg and the two of us have been weeding, sowing seeds, hauling compost, mulching and prepping beds. The garlic popped up right on cue and has received its first dose of organic fertilizer. This week we'll be planting potatoes and peas, potting up tomatoes and, hopefully, getting another round of seeds started.

A two chamber composting outhouse

The camping season has also begun as we had our first tent campers of the year (through Hipcamp) last weekend during the Spring Equinox. I've also been working to make some small improvements for the campers, such as building a second composting outhouse in the back of the property near the "Cedar Sanctuary".

A canvas tent aglow with silhouetted cedar trees and the night sky in the background.

Some big items on the task list this year include: woodlands management (clearing about 8 acres of invasive plants), taking down a barn nearby (to either rebuild or to use the materials for other building projects), planting a 1/2 acre pollinator garden, constructing a high tunnel greenhouse (to extend the growing season this fall), and growing/selling/preserving as much food as possible in the existing 1/4 acre vegetable garden. Oh, and doing our best to keep enjoying life all the while!

One of my biggest goals here at Fruitdale Farm is to build community through conscious living and connection to nature and food. The next big step in this direction is to build a multipurpose structure where I can bring people together around this theme. This will be two story barn that will have 1) an open space for hosting classes, events, workshops, etc, 2) a kitchen for processing farm goods, prepping farm-to-table meals and hosting cooking classes, and 3) a woodworking shop for creating custom and unique furniture.

This structure has been in my mind for several years but I just haven't had the financial means to make it happen. I am currently looking into various farm loans to finance this project but I'm not sure I can do it on my own. My current farm volunteer, Meg, sees value in this vision and took it upon herself to create a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money to cover the costs of this awesome barn.

Asking for help is not an easy thing to do; especially for stubborn little me, and particularly at a time when there is a global pandemic and an ongoing war in Ukraine. So I really appreciate anyone who even takes the time to read about my, perhaps insignificant, projects, goals and dreams. Here is the link to the GoFundMe campaign. If you are able to make a small donation &/or share the link it would really mean the world to me.

And that is a wrap for now. I hope you are staying well, eating good food, smiling at strangers and finding your moment of zen each day. Digging in the dirt is always good for that in my world! Until next time. I love ya!


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