The many steps in getting UProoted Farm started
Getting UProoted Farm off the ground often feels surreal. So when moments hit – where it’s really poignant and sinks in that this is our new reality and no longer a dream – I pause to appreciate this crazy, new adventure in life.
I wish I had jotted all those little moments down over the last few months so that now I could explain exactly what it was that triggered the reflection. But I’ll just have to do my best to look back at a couple of those moments that make it feel real – getting the garlic in the ground and the website live.
The Garlic Is In The Ground
Perhaps this sticks out, as it’s the age-old tale of farmer vs weather. I’m not sure if you remember, but it was an exceptionally wet fall in the UP. We thought our backpacking trip to the Porcupine Mountains over the week of Labor Day would be the year’s highlight of boot-sucking mud, but shaping the beds in our first field block turned out to top it!
The Grillo Walk Behind Tractor arrived mid-September, which meant Jon immediately went to work in turning what was once a patch of grass into our first 24 raised beds. While the Grillo and rotary plow certainly helped streamline the creation of 30-inch-wide by 100-foot-long beds, it’s still a significant amount of work under good conditions.
When that work is punctuated with stops and starts due to heavy rain and soil that was too wet to work, it stretched beyond days into weeks worth of work. I lost count of how many times we put tarps over the field block, trying to stave off further saturation of the soil, and then removed them, hoping the sun would help dry out the field just a little bit.
Nevertheless, while not all 24 beds were formed, we did get enough formed to get two beds of German Extra Hardy garlic in the ground. Our first official crop is planted! And, while we still have months before we can harvest that first crop, I can’t wait to pull those first heads from the ground. Anticipating slow roasting entire heads in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, and spreading the warm, pungent cloves over crusty bread has me counting down the days to harvest.
The Website Live
The second moment that sticks out is getting the website live, probably because it feels like an announcement to the world that this is our intention. Sure, we’ve been talking about farming with our friends and family for quite some time, but when strangers can stumble upon those ambitions, it makes it more real in my mind.
My initial goal was to get the website launched by January 1, but our priorities shifted as Jon started filling out the paperwork to submit to MOSA for the organic certification process. We realized that a team effort to document the breadth and scope of our plan for the first year would get us from A to B much smoother.
So, the website project was put on pause, as I transitioned to spreadsheet-land with Jon. While I’m super comfortable in the realm of giant spreadsheets, I was ecstatic when we wrapped up that initial batch of paperwork and it was submitted. Not only did it mean that we were on our way toward organic certification in our first season, it meant that I got to transition back to something a bit more creative and a little less detail-oriented.
Now that it’s here, I encourage you to take a peak around the website. While not all of the ideas we have are fully fleshed out, it’s a framework for our aspirations and an outline for the many steps in getting Uprooted Farm started.