End of Year/ New Beginnings 12/17/21

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It’s been quite a week! We’ve been a flurry of activity lately with our small crew and the five of us have just been trying to wrap up the “must do” list before the weekend.   We’re prepping the last beds and finally pulling the plastic on the newest tunnel, while Naw and Marry plant the butterfly ranunculus and the last of the Icelandic poppies.  Rachel has been out in the fields planting new Peonies (yay!) and Mandy, as usual, is dynamically running around orchestrating and participating in everything.   The goal is to get everything critical done, so we can give everyone 2 weeks off starting this weekend, so they can spend the holidays relaxing with friends and family or perfecting their pickleball...

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Winter Projects 12/3/21

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  Yesterday we (minus me) began the annual process of digging all of our dahlia tubers.  As much as I love digging up thousands of roots, I got a hall pass because I’m building a hoop house for our poppies that need a home in short order.       I’m happy to say that the ladies made smooth work of it and reported the easiest dahlia dig in our farm’s history, despite having the largest quantity (by a factor of 2 over our previous record) that we’ve ever had.  We owe much of that good fortune to two factors.       The first is a new implement that acts as an under-cutter of sorts.  It’s like a big blade running horizontally that follows behind the tractor...

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Fall Magic 11/19/21

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It’s gorgeous out here!  The woods are in full Fall magic and the farm itself is dotted with Japanese maples, sweet gums, and a few other species that spare no expense when it comes to delighting our eyeballs with brilliant colors.  Fun fact: these vibrant fall colors don’t develop in Fall, but are actually in those very leaves all year long. Chlorophyll (the glorious chemical that works with CO2,water,and sunlight to generate oxygen and complex carbon based organisms— or in other words, both the air that we breathe and the base of all food chains and thusly: the main source of life on earth!!!) gets too expensive to make when there’s less sunlight, so many plants reabsorb this green pigment...

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Friendsgiving 11/5/21

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    We are getting to that wonderful time of year where feeling and expressing gratitude is wrapped up in a collective day of celebration.  No experience for any holiday is unanimously felt and we know that what is a joyful celebration of thanks for some can also bring up feelings of hurt and loss for others.  The world is a big and messy place, so often driven by self interest in the guise of service to society.  It can be a tough pill to swallow that despite our greatest wishes and efforts to make positive change on larger issues of human welfare, we are perpetually fighting an uphill battle that barely moves the needle.    The other side of that coin though is the...

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Plant Sale 10/29/21

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We are on the cusp of our Late Fall plant sale where you can find all sorts of spring blooming bulbs, flowering shrubs, and perennials.  We love to see how many of our community members are so into gardening and beautifying their landscapes and we love sharing our favorite varieties with everyone too.   Plant sales are a big part of our farm’s history.  It started out as a way for us to generate income after a long winter filled with big investments and no revenue.  We coupled that with a big event where we were able to introduce people to the farm with live music, hot food, and a guided tour.  The first year to our surprise, hundreds of people came.  The next year at...

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Creating Beauty from your own Backyard 10/22/21

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So, if you read these weekly, I recently told the story of our first market with the strawberries and HoneyPops half a score ago.  Truth be told though, that actually wasn’t our first market as 3 Porch Farm.  The winter prior, Mandy taught her mother and I how to make wreaths and we did a few holiday markets to get a little bread money to keep us fed through the winter.      Everything for me was viewed through the lens of stress colored glasses at that time, so that colors my memory a bit, but when you take the whole “our entire future depends on this” vibe out of the equation, the process was really quite lovely.  We walked the farm and surrounding woods...

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Meet the New Owners of HoneyPops 10/15/21

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HoneyPops   Delightful, refreshing, and just all around good.  HoneyPops were our thing.  It was our niche.  We were famous…with the kindergarten set.  Kids loved us and their parents approved of us.  It’s the closest experience we’ll have to being in a K-pop band.  But all things come to an end.    And sometimes they start back up again.  Like high waisted jeans.      When the world turned upside down and we stopped doing farmers markets, we stopped having a way to get our pops to everyone.  Shipping requires dry ice (no) and it just didn’t make sense to produce something that has no outlet.  But we miss them.  Our customers miss them.  We wanted them to live on.  We...

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Getting Off the Ground 10/8/21

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  It’s April 7, 2012 in Athens GA.  Our first market as 3 Porch Farm and we are in the very back.  To get to us, you need to pass by 7 other talented, productive, and well established farms.  We set up, nervous, lean, exhausted.  Our work weeks are 105 hours each. We slept 2 hours last night.  Desperation, delirium, and a splash of hopefulness all swirl into the cocktail that is our consciousness.  Will people come?    A week before, I met a bread truck driver at an old country store.  He generously gave me a bunch of big stackable plastic bread trays that we are now rolling to our booth. A huge rolling rack of trays filled with pints of sweet smelling berries.  Red, ripe, dewy from...

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Strawberry Fields 10/1/21

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It’s September 2011 and Mandy and I just arrived at the farm and we need to make beds enough for 3,000 strawberry plants in virgin pasture.  I was no farmer and I really had no idea what a task that would be with just a walk behind tiller, some shovels, rakes and hoes.  It took a solid week of 12 hour days to get the earth loosened up, the lines straight, beds elevated, grass raked out, irrigation laid, mulch rolled out, stretched tight, and covered with dirt to hold it tight on the bed for the next 9 months.       I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but if you are starting a farm, trust me, it’s worth taking a loan...

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Strawberry Time 9/24/21

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   Mandy and I have a long history with strawberries.  The whole vision of this farm initially started with them.  We were going to grow tons of them and create fruit pops sweetened with honey from our bees, produced in a kitchen powered by solar panels, and brought to the market in a truck powered by vegetable oil recycled from Athens restaurants.  The most wholesome  pop in the universe.  But first we had to plant them.    It’s about strawberry planting time right now.  For spring berries, you want to plant in September or early October.  In 2011 when this was just a vision, we had one obstacle.  We still lived in California.  We had ordered almost 3,000 plants and...

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