We had a wet winter in the Willamette Valley. This has delayed spring field work but allowed the shop crew to catch up on maintenance tasks. So our equipment is ready to go and we have some spring grains in the ground already. The next month and a half will be very busy getting crops planted, first the grains and peas, then the vegetables. Irrigation crews are going around to each field to make sure systems are ready to run when needed.
Growth of pasture grasses is exploding with long days and warming soils. A dairy in the area recently sent us young heifers. Curious, playful and beautiful animals. Spring lambing is almost completed and the new lambs are growing rapidly on rich sheep milk from their mothers.
We are very busy updating our crop plans, organizing information, making maps, and filling out forms for our 2016 Oregon Tilth submission. You may sometimes hear that it is expensive and burdensome for farms to become certified organic. Well it does take decent skills at basic administration, but we don’t find it unreasonable. Also, the cost is not that great and many states reimburse farms a substantial portion of the fees. It is good to have experienced, well-intentioned inspectors and reviewers look at our plans and visit our farms. As long as we are striving to abide by the law, seek improvement, and are open to feedback the process works and is welcome.
For more information about organic certification see the website of Oregon Tilth.