Hello again from the farm! Thanks to everyone who mentioned they enjoyed last week’s post. I am here with more behind-the-scenes action from Fable!
Over in the Greenhouse I have been blown away by the new colors of our ripening tomatoes, where you can see a beautiful progression of red, yellow, and green that weaves through the vines. The work of nature, including its color palettes, always humbles me.
What allows our tomato plants to weave so seamlessly to the top of our 3,000 square foot greenhouse? It’s a trellis system called the Tomahook which we purchased from Johnny’s Seeds. We connect the trellis along the top of the greenhouse structure and the tomato plant learns to grow upwards. Similarly designed to best service our greenhouse crops is our drip tape irrigation system, which also produces our salanova lettuce varieties. I never leave the farm without taking a look at the red and green layers of our oakleaf and butterhead lettuce. The drip tape system specifically spaces out its water emitters in a way that naturally and reliably produces a higher yield and reduces water waste. This also helps prevent the spread of diseases by not getting the tomato plant’s leaves wet. Water, combined with darkness, helps spread certain diseases.
However, farm infrastructure for a small business that is also environmentally–friendly and sustainably-built isn’t always the most cost-effective at first. It may take months, even years, to receive a return on this investment. While difficult, we feel strongly about the health of our bodies, livestock, and plants. This makes it worth the struggle.
From cleaning each and every pasture-raised egg ourselves to picking every heirloom tomato by hand, we are making sure that care and quality are first and foremost in everything that we harvest. As I have learned from working at Fable, as well as through my studies on sustainable food systems, regenerative farming practices aren’t the most profitable in this day and age. For us, taking these intentional steps to support our staff well, ensure our livestock is happy and healthy, educate and provide for our local community, and preserve our farmland, is what goes behind your support and contributions to the farm.