This week we welcomed the Girls of Greenleaf to the Eastside Crossing Farm. We live in a time where you can order chickens and they arrive in the mail. The post office was a little shocked to receive a package that clucks, but the girls made it safely all the way from Iowa. I was in Dahlonega for the day so Elle, our animal guru, squealed at the opportunity to go pick up the ladies.
The residents helped to get the coop built and it was serious girl power! Julia and Rebecca broke out the drill and figured out the instructions that contained no words. We purchased a small coop as well as some electrical fencing to protect the ladies from predators such as raccoons and stray cats.
Elle was a bit scared to pick up the chickens because she had never held one so Kyle, our construction manager, had to come to the rescue to get the girls in their new home. We kept them in the coop for a full day before letting them explore the outside. They now know where their home is and will stay close and put themselves to bed once the sun goes down.
At Greenleaf we are driven not only by our successes, but how we can learn and become better through our failures. Each place has it's own unique growing climate, from the soil, to the elevation, pests, and diseases. Coming from Florida, my growing season was from November to May, the soil is sand, there was intense pest and disease pressure, and the weather is well....HOT. Where here it is February-December typically, the soil is clay, the weather (usually) is pretty predictable, and the pest pressure is not as intense due to this area getting a freeze.
I came in to the growing season a little late here and one big fail (not on purpose) was having to source seedlings late in the game and from a box store that doesn't have the knowledge about raising healthy seedlings. I am really not used to this "don't plant squash after this date" time thing AT ALL. The weather has also been very unpredictable and the mixture of unhealthy starts and weird weather is breeding ground for terrible disease! Take these sad, sad peppers...I have just ripped them up and given up on them this season.
The moral of this farm fail is....always...I mean ALWAYS source your starts from a reliable grower. That is where Aluma Farm comes in to save the day for our fall starts. We will be working with them to grow all of our little healthy babies for all of our farms. We don't have the infrastructure or time to do so and it is putting money in the pockets of LOCAL FARMERS. From failure comes growth...trial and error people! Learning and growing everyday!
Our farm was featured in the Gainesville Ga newspaper for building better communities. We installed a pumpkin patch to prepare for fall!
The saying "It takes a village" is what we keep in mind in our mission to grow food for our residents. My biggest passion in farming is sharing it with the community and at Greenleaf we keep that mission in the fore front of our minds. This is for the residents, for the people who call our properties their home and when we keep that idea as are drive we really get to connect and get to know each of them.
Eastside Crossing Farm is thriving and it's not only vegetables growing, it's community. I have had the honor to start handing out produce to our residents as well as working with a few of them on the farm. Their passion for sustainability and local food is what keeps us motivated and sharing the bounty is the most rewarding thing we could hope for. Keep an eye out for chickens and new resident run composting projects. Big things happening at the farm!!
Your personal farmer,