Preparing for the 2024 Season

In 2023 we turned the farm from a weedy field that had been planted with corn and soybeans into a venue where we hosted 40 of our closest friends and family for our dream wedding. It took a lot of work and planning. Our focus for most of the year was on creating beautiful spaces for the wedding. This included a garden for a Saturday Italian garden party, an intimate space for our Sunday ceremony, a seating area for a champagne hour, and a dining area for a large sit-down field dinner. Oh, and we can’t forget our high-tunnel turned cocktail bar for an epic afterparty.
We were able to accomplish so much last year in preparation for the wedding. It was a bit hectic at times especially as the weekend quickly approached, but we were so happy how everything turned out.
Now that our wedding is past, we've started to think about the future of Mable & Jack and our vision for the future. 
While we don’t have many of the details ironed out, there are a few things we know for sure.
We were able to accomplish so much last year in preparation for the wedding. It was a bit hectic at times especially as the weekend quickly approached, but we were so happy how everything turned out. 

Expanding the Garden

For starters, we know that we want to continue growing food for our family. Last year we were able to start a small vegetable garden and grow crops like tomatoes and peppers, lettuce, garlic, fennel, and carrots, plus some herbs like basil, sage, parsley, rosemary, mint, and lemon balm. We dabbled in preservation for the first time — canning tomatoes, drying lemon balm and other herbs and flowers, and dehydrating peppers. Callie found a particular keenness for preservation and wants to expand her knowledge in this area next year. In 2024, we plan to expand the size of the garden and grow new crops so we can eat, dry, and preserve more food that’s grown on the farm.
We’ve been exploring the idea of building a dedicated herb garden and selling fresh herbs to local restaurants and farmer’s markets. I’m really excited about this prospect since I started using truly fresh herbs in so many of the dishes I prepare at home. It’s a luxury that I want to share and make available to more people.

Food Education

Food education will be a critical component of the future at Mable & Jack. We plan to share videos and recipes of the meals we prepare at home and on the farm. Callie has been researching tech to help us in this endeavor. More to come on this front. 

Wildflowers, Sunflowers, and Zinnias -- oh my!

Monarch butterfly on a wildflower
Creating beauty will always be a component of our yearly farm plan. And to us, there’s nothing more beautiful than a field of flowers. We’ll be seeding a few pounds of wildflower seeds in 2024 in addition to new zinnia patches, and sunflower rows, on top of the existing collection of perennial flowers we planted last year.  

Transforming the High Tunnel

The high tunnel was a phenomenal space for our wedding and family party. This year it will be a a well-utilized space once again. We hope it will serve many functions ranging from a propagation station and small nursery to a workspace for both Callie and me. With that in mind, we plan to make the space more suitable for these activities including building a back wall with storage and display cases, designing a workspace with furniture and project tables, and space for Callie to design and dry flowers. Callie is particularly excited about this project as she’s been dreaming about a studio on the farm since we started the garden in 2022.

Supper Club

If you’ve not picked up on it yet, we love few things more than food and hosting. They are cornerstone aspects to the farmstead.
In the new year, we want to expand our hosting by welcoming friends for a few dinners in our high tunnel. We hosted a small herb dinner last year for friends and want to continue to expand that tradition. These dinners allow us to share the bounty with our friends and build closer relationships with them while creating a deeper connection with the land. A win-win in our book.

Formalizing the Farm Business

Finally, we’re exploring what it looks like to formalize the farm business. Our off-farm work includes running Callie’s first business, Honeycomb, a design and marketing firm specializing in branding. However, starting a farm business comes with its own unique considerations. We look forward to tapping into our local resources and farm friends to provide insight throughout this process. As we navigate this process, we’ll share more including insights from our years of marketing that we plan to apply to this new venture.
We are thankful for a challenging, adventurous, and exciting first growing season on the farm. Thank you for being part of the journey and we hope you’ll continue to be there for the journey in 2024.
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