This is a guest post by Betsy Aho, Farm to Families Coordinator. Our Farm to Families program engages local farmers, community volunteers and our Community Partner Agencies to support those struggling with hunger in Middle and West Tennessee. Check out our new Farm to Families volunteer opportunities posted on our website here.
You may think that with long nights, short days, and freezing temperatures, Nashville farmers are sitting around in their cozy houses dreaming of summer vegetables. However, you may be surprised at the amount of work farmers put in, even in the winter, so they can have a successful growing season.
We talked to one farmer, Kevin Derkits, at FarmOne in the Whites Creek area, to understand what exactly can be done on a farm to ready it for spring.
- Rest! We take a needed break for the holidays and January.
- Wait for seed catalogs to arrive in the mail. Looking for new vegetable and flower varieties helps brighten the winter!
- Pretty soon we’ll start planting the seeds indoors to get a jump on the warm weather.
- Amend the soil so it’s full of nutrients in the spring when seeds are ready to be planted.
- Prep for spring – fence repairs, tool and equipment maintenance, pruning and planning.
Kevin Derkits is the founder of FarmOne, a nonprofit farm in Whites Creek, dedicated in part to growing and donating produce to food pantries and food banks in the Nashville area. He is a full time farmer, with another full time job to boot, and relies on volunteers to help grow the food that will be donated during the growing season.