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Help Has Arrived!

Time to Spring into Action

After three months of quiet family time, life on the farm is cranking up – and we are so excited! Both Daniel and Jed arrived this week after driving all the way from Philadelphia! With their arrival, the dynamic at the farm will quickly change!

When you live and work on a small rural farm it is nice to have others around to talk to. And our girls love having friends around the dinner table – especially Joel’s brother, “Uncle Daniel.”

For the past few weeks, Joel has been working at a frenzied pace getting things in place, but now he has extra help to tackle a long list of projects. The most immediate tasks are:

· Starting more plants – this week’s focus will be tomatoes and beets

· Ongoing greenhouse refinement – setting up more tables and workstations

· Staking and laying out the garden – key for efficient crop rotation and harvesting

· Checking pasture fences – removing fallen tree limbs and repairing storm damage

· Setting up the wash stand and prepping field tools

Firing Up The Yeast Beast

Last season, our friend Jed put a lot of energy into building a wood-fired oven – and the results were delicious! This year, we’ve tapped him as our top dough-puncher and bread artist. With his experience and skill, we will be producing bread the way it's meant it to be: healthy, nutritious, and flavorful.

Be watching the emails and website, bread and a new bread CSA add-on will be available soon!

Long dormant, the bread oven is about to come back to life!

Creature Comforts & Comradery

With the arrival of Daniel and Jed (and the anticipation of more interns in May) we are so thankful for our friend Adam who helped complete the upgrades to our bunkhouse. Over the winter we insulated the walls, added electricity, installed a small woodstove, and lastly, applied a sealant on the floor to protect it from the heavy wear-and-tear of farm workers (i.e., muddy boots).

Final adjustments: once this puppy is blazing the bunkhouse will be straight cozy! We grind hard during the season so we need to make sure we also take care of ourselves and our team. Being able to relax and recharge adequately is crucial to sustaining ourselves through the season. Now that we are on our own land, we're excited to really pour some energy into providing a decent living space for our workers. #selfcare. #takecareofyourpeople.

(P.S. If you'd like to work here or know someone who might, email us!-- we still have some space for the upcoming season.)

A Boost To The Roost

One project that needs to be finished soon are the movable chicken coops. Our old ones are a little long in the tooth. Now we are at our new property, it is a good time to build a new and improved coop for our 250 free-range laying hens. Daniel’s and Jed’s skills will make the task easier, and their field experience will provide a wealth of creative ideas to make the new coops more efficient.

You can get delicious and wholesome eggs – and the peace of mind knowing our layers are not caged in some inhumane warehouse – because our mobile coops allow us to move them to fresh pasture daily. That gives them plenty of room to scratch for fresh bugs and forage for fresh grass, and the protection they need at night.

Old half dead, somewhat pulled apart coop on left and new sturdy skeleton on right.

Experience The Farm Firsthand!

We are expecting our delivery of compost in the next few weeks – several semi-trucks worth! Once it arrives, we face the huge task of distributing it throughout the garden. This is crucial as we amend the soil in preparation for planting.

Honestly, the task is formidable for our small team. But it is also a great opportunity to invite our friends to a Family Work Day. It will be fun and educational -- a great chance for you (and friends and family) to experience what we do here, discover more about the “how & why” we do things … and it provides us an opportunity to get to know you better. So, bring your family, invite your friends, and see firsthand where your food comes from.

We haven’t set a date, but if you can join us for a few hours it would be a great help.

If you know you want in, send us an email letting us know!

Family Update – Steady As She Goes

Probably like everyone else, our kids are enjoying the arrival of warm weather. Playing outside gives them time to jump around on the round bales of hay and make delicious mudpies. I am also glad to say that Megan is regaining her strength and is more active (mostly in the house) and the baby is growing right on cue. Can’t ask for more than that.

The ATF Team

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