Outside the weather teases us with a warm spell and rain in February that peels back the layer of snow to reveal our farm fields and Commons area. The potential of the coming growing season seems tantalizingly close, but we all know the Minnesota winter will almost certainly wipe the anticipation from our faces with more cold, or snow, or both!

Taking advantage of the unseasonable temperature, outside the building at 941 Lafond, where the Frogtown Farm offices are located after dusk one evening this week, Tim could be found taking a drone for a practice run. He is looking forward to the myriad opportunities to integrate the workings of the farm into science, technology, engineering, arts and math topics that will peak the interest of the eternal child in all of us. The drone hovers in a glow of red and white lights like a miniature UFO arriving to take over the world. In fact, it will be used to get aerial photos and video of the farm as we begin production this summer!

With many projects to tackle before planting the productions fields, having a little more winter time to pull it all together is a welcome concept!. The plans for our water supply and irrigation, storm water management system, food forest, pollinator sanctuary along the south edge of the farm, and the construction of supporting structures like a packing shed and a tool shed are keeping us very busy through the winter months. With seed starting on the near horizon, there is plenty to do.

We are very fortunate to be working with a cadre of talented individuals and organizations to move all of these projects forward. Students from the Architecture program at the University of Minnesota are developing plans for sheds, the Ramsey Conservation District is working on plans for the pollinator sanctuary and working with Capitol Region Watershed District on the water management system, Paula Westmoreland of Ecological Gardens has worked tirelessly and with great dedication on the permaculture-based food forest plans, and our water supply and irrigation design is in process. We are so fortunate! With many hands making light work, the farm is being molded into an incredible resource, a neighborhood icon and a national treasure.