Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WWOOFing Begins and Fall Is In The Air, Can You Feel It?....

I doubt you can feel fall yet, but the signs are evident. Days are getting shorter, tomatoes are dying out, sweet potato vines are branching out to other fields, and school has started for the boys. This also means we have a busy month ahead, getting the fields tilled, finish fall seed plantings, getting the hoophouse prepared for fall/winter growth and finish developing our venture into aquaponics.

Within the next week or so, the tomatoes that are finished will be pulled up and the trellises will be stored for next spring. We will begin to till up the tomato fields and get our lettuce in the ground. As with most of our fall crops, we will be using row covers to help boost production through the fall and winter. It's a very exciting time.


Going into the fall season, we have been blessed to get a WWOOFer named Caleb this past Saturday and Rachel coming in September to be a part of the 180 Degree Farm Family. Caleb, who has committed 6 months to learn about all things 180, is in the "getting familiar" stage and will steadily increase his farm education and responsibility as the weeks go by. Rachel, who will be staying the month of September, will be splitting duty with us and Pastor Brent Anderson at the "Sow Good" community garden.

As we continue to grow, we are getting more and more emails from WWOOFers who want to stay and learn on the farm. While we are extremely honored, it's also important for us to choose the right person that will "fit" in with what we are doing. We are serious about educating young men and women who are serious about learning. The selection process isn't easy, so having someone make it through is a big deal to us. We want to encourage these young farmers that come, stay and work with us, that we believe in them.

God gives our lives purpose and when it's realized we should pursue it with all that we have. Satan will work through anyone to plant the seed of discouragement. Yes, discouragement is a seed. It grows faster and more vigorous than encouragement does in your soul. Encouragement, on the other hand, leads to confidence which leads to action. Discouragement has no place in this chain.

The important thing, as I see it, for anyone coming to learn on the farm is knowing everything is not a walk in the park here. Animals will never take a day off from eating and drinking, vegetables don't wait for a convenient time to ripen for harvest, weeds will always grow in the wrong place and customers are always priority. Hopefully, with good coaching and encouragement, people who stay on the farm are going to get an idea of what it takes to run a highly diverse farming operation. It just takes time, a love for farming and patience.

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