Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What a week and weekend.
The past several nights we've been working on finalizing our 2008 schedule. It's a lot of work to coordinate calendars, examine past classes, line up other speakers, and examine costs to set prices but finally I think we have it complete. We are still waiting to hear from one other possible presenter but othre than that - the classes are out there and ready for registration. What a nice feeling.

I'm not one to get spring fever but this year it seems to have grabbed me. I can't wait to get outside and play. Speaking of which - that's kind of our new slogan here at the farm - 'Come out and Play'. We hope that everyone will take time in one fashion or another to join us this summer for a play date. With the completion of the classroom and some great opportunities with other companies, we're really looking forward to the possibilities this summer. Now all we have to do is get the seeds ordered.

I know, I know - we're kind of behind on the seed order. We know WHAT to order - it's just the when to find the time thing. This last summer we were lucky enough to get another greenhouse (thanks Mom!) so we'll be able to double our growing room. It's just another small temporary house but it still opens lots of options for us. Barry has been reading up on greenhouses, hot houses, and cold frames and is seriously looking at ways to extend or get a jump on our season. They might not happen this year but I'm sure some where down the line he'll build or construct something that will help us serve our customers for a longer period of time and will keep jack frost at bay for even a few weeks.

We're very proud that this Saturday (Feb. 2nd) in ND and Friday (Feb. 1) in other states, Market to Market has decided to re-broadcast the Churchs Ferry piece they filmed last spring and aired for the first time last fall. The reporter, Nancy Crowfoot, said they had great response about the piece so they decided to run it again. Great timing for us - let's hope it sparks the interest of a lot of possible visitors for this summer. We'd love to see them all! It's great fun having people show up at the farm from all over America. Meeting our visitors is one of the best things about this job.

Thinking ahead to summer - this year is Churchs Ferry's 125th Anniversary Celebration. We'd love to put together a calendar that we could have available on our web site but we only have about 6 photos of Churchs Ferry from times gone past - anyone who reads this and has a photo of our great little city and would like to share it - please let us know. You could scan it and email it to us with a description if you have it or give us a call and we'll figure out how to get it from you. Hope to hear from lots of people on this - wouldn't that be fun?

Anyway - right now it's 50 below wind chill and freezing outside, think I'll just go look at another seed catalog and pretend it's May.
Stay Warm!

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year and new challenges at gardendwellers Farm!

Well, this new year has already brought about some interesting changes in our lives and that will affect our farm in a good way we hope.
I (Holly) have left Lake Region State College after 8 great years. It was a good run at LRSC but a new challenge awaits, one that I hope will benefit the farm as well as my well-being. I am now working for MSU-Bottineau as their Director for the Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture. It is our hope to raise $4 million to build a series of courses and greenhouses that will research organic and specialty vegetable production and its distribution in North Dakota. I don't know about you but I'm tired of the shriveled, wobbly veggies that land in our grocery stores from thousands of miles away - especially in winter. I'd love to see year round production of high quality veggies right here in the state, that would make us all a lot healthier.

My new job allows me to work mostly from home with a weekly trip up to Bottineau. In this way I should be around to move hoses, start watering, or give basic information to tourists this summer when our season on the farm begins. Hopefully working from home will be a great way to look after the well being of the farm and work on a project that means a lot to me at the same time. For now, the new job is keeping me busy. I am scheduled to be on the road to a variety of organic and farming conferences from now until the end of March. Please check out the calendar to see which conferences I will just be attending and which conferences I will be presenting at - they are getting too numerous to mention here.

Barry has also started the year out with a change. With the retirement of Bob Dennison from the Towner County Record Herald and the subsequent sale of that paper to Nordmark Publishing, Barry has been moved from printing in Towner at the Mouse River Journal to printing in Cando. He really enjoys not having to drive all the way to Towner (which he still does on occasion to complete printing jobs for them) and he says the people of Cando have all been SO nice to him.

As a part of the new changes, we will be getting satellite Internet. YEAH!!! I can't wait. What that means to you, our customers, is a new better designed web site. Thanks to our young IT department at the farm we will be bringing you an updated look along with the chance to purchase gardendwellers FARM items. We're particularly looking forward to being able to offer you calendars and useful items with photos we've taken here in beautiful Churchs Ferry. So check back often - the satellite Internet begins at the end of January and we hope to have the new site built by the end of March.

May your winter be a blessed rest in preparation for the spring into action of May.