January Updates from Patterson Farm
Hi, farm friends! Check out what’s fresh from the farm this January!
By: Victoria Patterson Chrismon
4th Generation Member of Patterson Farm, Inc.
January has always been one of my favorite months on the farm. Don’t get me wrong, these early winter months sure do have their challenges (cold weather, rainy days, 5pm sunsets..) but I think there is something so satisfying about being able to start a new year. I always enjoy opening my new planner and writing down goals, plans and ideas for the year ahead.
I’ve had friends ask me, “what do farmers do in the winter?” because with it not being harvest season, it would seem like there isn’t much to do. They are partially right! During this month, we’ve been doing a lot of computer work and planning for the year ahead. I’ve been spending more time at my desk than I probably will all year! A few things we’re working on are getting our farm operation books together for our seeding and growing season, making sure our housing and supplies are ready for our workers to arrive next month, and planning some exciting events for the Market & Tours this spring!
Speaking of cold weather – another farm task we’ve been doing (several times) this month is fixing and adjusting the covers on our strawberry crops. Our strawberries are planted in October and the plant lays dormant over the winter months. If you drive by and see white cloth over our fields, those are covers called remay that help protect the plants from frost. When we have storms in the winter, especially ones with high winds, we often have to go back to the fields to fix any areas of cloth that could have blown off or ripped, resulting in exposed plants. When our strawberry plants are exposed, they are susceptible to freezing temperatures or can wind up as a snack for deer! This is one of the well known least favorite jobs on the farm.. If you know, you know! Fixing remay involves walking each strawberry field, picking up weighted rock bags, and pulling the cloth back over the plants. And have I mentioned the mud?? Talk about a workout! But, knowing strawberry season will be here soon makes it worth it!
Some exciting opportunities we have this winter include getting to travel to conferences and attend networking events. Many farm conferences are held this time of year, and I always look forward to attending to learn about updates in the industry, gain insight from professionals in the field and get new ideas to bring back to the farm. It’s also really nice to get to hang out with other farm friends who are crazy enough to do what we do! We recently had the opportunity to attend the Rowan County Chamber Annual Meeting. This was a wonderful chance for us to connect with other businesses and professionals in our community. It was a great evening and we enjoyed having an excuse to dress up!
Things I’m Loving this January:
A slower season at the farm means I get to see the sunrise while I drink my coffee most mornings.
Getting to fill in my new 2024 planner!
What I’m Making this January:
Cold winter days call for easy, warm dinners! This vegetable soup base is super easy to make, and tastes delicious! You can enjoy it as a vegetable soup, or add meat and less water to make a stew. And, it’s made with ingredients from Patterson Farm! You can order it online for pickup at www.shoppattersonfarm.com.
Thanks for supporting our family farm!
Until next time,
Victoria Patterson Chrismon