Plow and Stars Farm

It's ironic to look back at this time last year, when our fall broccoli and cauliflower were drowning in the endless rain, and compare it to today's browning and shriveling pastures and tree leaves. As of September 19, we were considered merely "abnormally dry" rather than in official drought, but with no rain in the foreseeable forecast, the designation is inevitable. At a time when we should be finding balance in our work as the light and dark balance at the equinox, the heat and dry weather have our crops and animals stressed and needing around the clock extra care. We are grateful every day for the deep, sweet well that the original owner of Montevideo had the foresight to dig almost 200 years ago, and for the hands that dug it. 

This week we'll be harvesting sweet potatoes, preparing beds for our final plantings of the year on October 1, continuing to move our animals around the ever-sparser pastures, and doing every single rain dance we know. We will keep putting apple cider vinegar in the animals' water to help them be resilient in this unseasonable weather. We'll move our little trailer into the pig pasture to feed them in there so that they are used to it when it's time to load them up. And we'll keep watering, every day, almost every hour. We'll try to clear some beds to seed cover crop, although it's very difficult to plant when there's next to no moisture in the soil. And we will support the climate strikers who know the truth that has been creeping up on us slowly over the past decade: things are changing. The weather here is becoming warmer, wetter, and wilder, as they said on the Kojo Nnamdi show on NPR last week. Our farmers will need to learn resiliency and diversification and will need to be supported by government and consumers if we are going to survive -- not with subsidies or changing the location of the USDA headquarters, but with powerful, innovative research into farming methods that can weather, and in some cases even ameliorate, climate change. I'm not often political in this newsletter, but we can not afford to be silent on this issue, the most important one of our time. We need one million acres of agriculture in Maryland using agricultural practices that combat climate change over the next decade. We need deep-seated systemic change in our government and our economy, AND we need individuals to make decisions that are right for their households that will also make a difference in this fight of our lifetimes. You CAN make a difference. It is not too late. You won't see us protesting downtown because our crops and animals need tending, but we believe in this cause more than almost any other, and we urge you to believe in it too. We thank you for supporting agriculture that tries its hardest to make that difference.