We have been sitting on some pretty big news here on the farm. Full Well Farm is getting a full well!!
A few weeks ago we were awarded a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) grant that will go towards drilling a deep well and building infrastructure for year round irrigation on the farm. This week we got the go ahead to start work on this exciting project!!
Many people who eat our produce and enjoy our flowers may not realize that Laura and I have been growing all of this amazing food without access to water on site. Every week, twice a week, Laura and I borrow equipment from Burnett Farm to pump water from a nearby stream into a tank that we use to gravity irrigate our hoophouse. Because the process is so time consuming and the amount of water we have each week is limited, we haven't had any reasonable way to irrigate the rest of the field. This has made this year's dry summer a little stressful at times to say the least!
Water is everything. Water is life. Our lack of access to water this summer has effected all of our decisions on the farm. For instance, we were recently looking at our fall greens plantings, which are supposed to be mostly direct seeded salad mixes, but we realized that we might struggle to get those seeds to germinate in the field without any rain. To compensate for those potential loses, we decided to do extra plantings of spinach and lettuce that we start in the hoophouse because they are more reliable.
The irony of our name being Full Well Farm given that we started without a well is not lost on me. I think it reflects our optimism, which was thankfully not in vain. And now that we are officially getting a full well, I feel like it will be a great story to say that we started without one!
We are so excited for this infrastructure upgrade and for what it means for our business. The possibilities with water on site feel endless: we can upgrade our barn into a functioning wash and pack space, we can start to think about more indoor growing space to feed more people, we can possibly host events! I guess my optimism hasn't worn off.
Big shout out to Dan at the NRCS office in Pittsfield who helped us to put this application together and for my family at Burnett farm who have helped us have access to water for the season so far. More updates on the well to come soon!
In the meantime on the farm, the cherry tomatoes and pickling cucumbers are really rolling now. Thanks to all of our pickle-lovers and snackers at the North Adams Farmers Market who bought up over 30 pounds of pickling cukes!
Our other big project of the week was harvesting sweet annie to dry in the barn. We are planning to use this fragrant greenery in our dried flower arrangements this fall, stay tuned for more info on our upcoming events!