It’s been a long (like, maybe longer than ever before?) winter but the sun is out, there are warmer temps in the forecast, and we’re ready to kick off the 2023 season on the farm. So what’s going on this year? Well, first off, no big infrastructure builds! We’re currently growing in 30 beds with approx. 2,600 square feet of fenced in space. This feels like the right amount for our third season. Instead of building out, we’re going to focus on making the most of what we’ve all put together so far. That looks like:
- Installing irrigation: Thanks to a grant from the Athens Community Foundation we have enough tape, hosing and other watering accoutrement to keep our soil well saturated all season.
- Increasing production: With new irrigation system in place, our volunteers will have more time to focus on keeping plants healthy and productive. That means extra attention on pruning, pests and disease prevention.
- More social events: We’ll continue our monthly work days – we know everyone likes to wake up early and get dirty – but want to also take time to enjoy the community farm space. Our first event will be an evening of sign painting and drinks in early June. Want to host something at the farm? Get in touch!
- Revamped education and signage: Brighter, bigger, earlier in the season. 2023 is the year where we all learn about what’s growing in the beds and how to harvest our food so that we get the most from every plant!
- New approach to the community harvest table: We’ve loved having the weekly table at the library (and will definitely still be there sometimes!) but are going to look into how to best get our harvest out to the community. This might mean posting up at a new location in the village or having something onsite to share excess.
- Community Shares expansion: If you’re reading this post then you’ve probably seen – and seen, and seen – our recent fundraising push for the Community Shares produce distribution program. In past years we’ve bought in CSA shares from local farms to supplement our harvest (and make sure the u-pick remains stocked throughout the season). This year we’re trying a new approach of bulk buying which allows us to support even more Greene Co farms and share the bounty with pantry partners in Catskill and Coxsackie, as well as the Athens Food Pantry and Rivertown Senior Housing. Learn more about the 2023 pilot program here!
So just a few things for this year 😉 There will be plenty of posts around work days and volunteer opportunities but if there’s anything you want to jump in on right away, let us know! You can comment here or email athenscommunityfarm[at]gmail.com.
Our first workday is planned for Saturday, April 22 from 11-2. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you as we get closer. Expect a day of: cleaning, mulching and seeding. It’s time to pull out those gloves and overalls. We’ll see you soon!