Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH

Like a Perennial, We Rise

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[Basement-born seedlings chilling in a cold frame, in the high tunnel. (left to right clockwise – chamomile, nigella, malva, poppy, calendula, larkspur, snapdragon, celery, blanket flower, bee balm).]

Late winter and early spring have been so much richer since I started growing seedlings a decade ago. Indoor seed starting gives me months more pleasure watching things germinate and tending to plant babies in the nursery. This year was no different. I started right around New Year’s and now the basement seeding station and high tunnel are packed with product for our 5th Annual Pollinator Lovers’ Plant Sale with Bernadett’s Farmacy and starts for our CSA.

I feel at once like the soundtrack for my life in this moment could be Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle Again” and The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun’.” This time of year is really busy on the farm and it’s also a time of rising up from winter’s slumber. We’re savoring the last days of “soup season” and enjoying the bright fresh herbs and greens. I’m working on this idea of holding conflicting ideas in my head at once. It’s a theme that seems to keep popping up for me.

All that to say that I’m happy it’s spring. Very happy. And I’m finding it harder than usual to dust off the tools and get to work.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been out back every day since mid-February tinkering, seeding, propagating, turning, pruning, spraying, moving. I am so grateful, once again, to have the privilege to work the patch of land we are currently stewarding. And, I’m really starting to feel my age – physically and mentally. I move a little slower and with more creaks than when we got this started and I’m more hesitant to put my ideas out in the world. Not quite sure whom I want to commit to being at the moment.

We are all coming out of our Covid-chrysalides and figuring out who we will be now. It’s an incredible opportunity, and incredibly terrifying.

One thing that’s helping me build inspiration for the growing season is visiting friends’ farms. Last year was really isolating. Farming is already pretty isolating but I really missed farm visits. I didn’t realize how much.

Last week I got to visit Rachel Tayse at Harmonious Homestead and Bernadett Szabo at the new location of Bernadett’s Farmacy. It was so energizing. If you have the chance, go visit a local farm or gardening friend in the next few weeks. Share your plans, ask questions, just look. Here are a few of my highlights.

Where are you finding inspiration? I can always use more.

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