As we settle into October and leave our warmest days behind us, we reflect on a summer of fun at White Rose Farm. Here are some of our highlights and updates from a successful summer season:
Newly fenced garden: Thanks to the efforts of our president Kim Forry, a new fence stands tall around the perimeter of the flourishing vegetable garden. Special thanks to Chris, Alex, Richard, and Mel for helping dig post holes and put the fencing up this past June. The fence keeps vegetables and flowers safe, and it was a big relief to not have to worry as much about pesky groundhogs and other critters!
The minimal-till experiment: In addition to our newly fenced space, this is the first year that we are experimenting with mindful tilling practices, which strive to disturb the soil as little as possible. By tilling with care, we can set clear intentions of no-harm with the soil.
“As we lovingly placed our hands into the earth or our foot to the shovel to ”till” it, we were quite meditative and thoughtful about what we noticed as we turned the earth over for a new planting season. This is a totally different approach than mechanical tilling,” said Kim Forry, WRFC president.
Despite the benefits, there is also a substantial increase in manual labor that accompanies digging rows and turning the soil by hand, which has made for some very hard and intense work. In the future, White Rose hopes to pursue tilling practices in ways that care for farmer wellbeing and soil alike. We are also striving to potentially partner with no-tilling organizations by using a crimper to lay down weeds and planting cover crops to improve soil health.
Partnership with Moonlit Acres: We’ve had an awesome time spending time with our friends at Moonlit Acres Retreat Farm, a brand new nonprofit that creates and organizes events for adults with developmental disabilities. Over the summer, we’ve hosted them in outdoor yoga classes, workshops, meditative walks, and work days in the garden.
Check out last month’s blog post to learn more about our partnership with Moonlit Acres.
Exciting new workshops: At the beginning of the summer, White Rose Farm hosted a biodynamic compost workshop in partnership with the Chesapeake Biodynamic Network. During the workshop, participants learned how to make biodynamic barrel compost with expert Abby Porter. Barrel Compost (BC) is made with cow manure, paramagnetic basalt, and finely crushed organic eggshells. This highly concentrated mixture increases fertility and stimulates plant growth. The mixture composts underground for three to six months, and the final phase of the compost workshop will be hosted in November.
Although the summer is over, there are still a few more opportunities for fun on the farm. All WRFC members are invited to attend our annual meeting, which will be hosted on October 22 at 12 pm. Join us in beautifying Sally’s site and voting on new board members. Reach out via email if you are interested in participating on the board!