The Fall of the White Pine, the Start of the Year

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Sunday, the wind started picking up as it does during this time of the year and we witnessed a white pine tree press its roots up from the soil over the course of a few hours. We kept our eyes peeled, but when it finally did fall, we weren’t there to see it split down, taking branches and a boxwood with it. With the fall of the white pine, the inclination was to be a little shocked, to have witnessed it, and disheartened that the power of the wind mixing with the soft, wet ground could cause so much destruction. We were surprised, instead, at how much light and space the clearing of this tree created, which normally cast a shadow over the entrance of the farm and the farmhouse. What it reminded us is that allowing an enormous weight to fall could open up space for new growth, and this is the very idea that we have had a chance to contemplate over the last few months.

After the turbulent nature of last growing season, we really interrogated our plan for 2019. We have decided not to pursue a CSA this year in order to focus on other outlets, such as wholesale and our on-farm store, that we feel will positively grow the farm in the right direction. It is no small thing for us to shift our focus in this way and we will miss the connections we’ve made through CSA. One important note is that we hope to grow the farm in such a way that we will be able to run a CSA program in the future, so we are not saying goodbye forever!

So, let’s talk about the exciting part and a few highlights from this year already!

Instead of spending so much of our time driving to do deliveries, we plan on spending more time on the farm. This will allow us to grow better quality produce, beautify our space, and open this place up more to the public. One of our major focuses on the farm this year is our farm store. Admittedly, we started out this outlet a little rocky - without even proper signage by the road! - but we were blown away by the response from our community to show up for the small amount of produce and bread we were offering. This year, the farm store will be open and stocked with more produce, and I am incubating a project to make my sourdough more accessible to you. The farm store will be our most direct connection to you, our supporters, friends, and family, and we can’t wait to make this space one that is worth driving to. Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for updates!

In changing the landscape of our plan for the farm, I am also revising the model for The Field Walk. As you can see, the website will continue to be the new landing page for these newsletters, which I wanted as a way to have them permanently available to you. Last year, I was writing, photographing, editing, and sending two newsletters a week, which felt important because Kyle and I love to share the farm and its happenings with folks who have helped us grow this place into something special, but it did become exhausting and burdensome if I’m honest. So, I will be cutting back to one newsletter a month, with occasional updates if something big happens, and Kyle and I both will be posting frequently on social media. Shifting my responsibilities will allow me to focus more on farming and baking beautiful breads.

This is our favorite time of the growing season, with its feel of new possibilities and shifty February weather which brings forward an anticipation of spring. This week, we started seeding in the greenhouse, and were grateful to receive a grant from NC AgVentures, as part of the NC Tobacco Trust, which will allow us to renovate and update our greenhouse space.

To make the farm more inviting, we’ve been working hard these last few months to clean up around the farmhouse, the fields, and the new barn, and have plans for beautifying each space on the farm, including some exciting projects that we haven’t announced publicly yet, but will soon! The chickens are now fenced in their own run and we are working diligently on a solution for all of the mud we collected from the record-breaking amount of rain we’ve had. All of these projects are giving both of us so much life as we work towards our goals. With the fall of the white pine, everything is opening up to the light.

With love and dirty hands,

Kyle and Nicole