I thought I'd used our abandoned blog to let everyone know why we haven't been growing microgreens to sell at market. For the past few months our farm (and lives) have been in major transition.
As many of your know, we farm at the Breeze Incubator Farm in Orange County. We started farming there in 2011 and have been there for 3 years. Being at the incubator has allowed us to learn more about farming, establish markets and not spend money on infrastructure. However, we knew that we wanted to own land and started looking for properties the moment we stepped foot on Breeze. It took almost 2.5 years but we finally found and purchased some land in Fall 2013.
The land is a 43 acre tract with about 20 acres or so in pasture. There are wonderful wooded areas and a 2.5 acre pond. It was an old family tobacco farm but seems to have been used for cows and hay since the 1970s. How could we afford sure a wonderful place?! Well... The place is a hot mess! The 1/4 mile driveway into the property had potholes the size of small ponds, the pastures are mostly saplings and there are ancient garbage piles littered throughout the property. It may be in rough shape but has so much potential and we're excited to get started on cleaning up the place.
The land also had an old farm house on the property. The home was essentially a "free with purchase" deal and was in terrible condition. However it was in good enough condition to be renovated within our budget. We began renovating in January and finally completed the job last Friday. We just moved in this Sunday!
So where are the microgreens? Needless to say we've been crazy busy getting the house finished and managing the farm. Ross works full time off farm so it's generally just me working on our two acre vegetable plot at the Breeze Farm and growing microgreens. Around June, it was all just too much and we had stop growing microgreens until we were finished with the move. Also, the greenhouse we've been using to grow microgreens was getting too small for our needs and didn't have adequate ventilation and heating in the winter. So we're in the process of putting up a super nice, big girl greenhouse. The new greenhouse will have proper fans and heating and so much additional space. We're hoping to have the greenhouse up by the end of this week and will get microgreens growing as soon as possible.
Again we can't express how excited (and relieved) we are to be finally be living on our own land!!! We're heading outside right now to work on the greenhouse so be on the lookout for microgreens at all our markets soon.
Ross and Jillian Mickens are the owners and operators of Open Door Farm located in the North Carolina Piedmont.