Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In the Heat of the day

We're now in the heat of the summer and man is it a hot one! It's consistently been in the 90's for weeks and definately gotten over 100 degrees several times. Just this morning I saw that it was 80 degrees at 9am!! For a while we were getting those fantastic afternoon thunderstorms that cooled everything down and rehydrated the ground, but the rain has tapered off. With this kind of weather, some things do better, some things do worse. The lettuce held on as long as it could but got bitter really fast in the heat. The broccoli and cabbage abruptly stopped growing and the turnips went downhill fast. In contrast, the peppers, tomatoes, melons, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers are thriving. But even though we're sweltering in the heat and enjoying the fruits of the summer, we still have to remember to plant for the fall. Just this week we planted mustards, collards, more turnips, and fennel. We will also be planting onion seeds which we'll transplant in October and overwinter for next year. Timing is everything. This is the time of year when it seems like the garden is at full speed and harvesting takes place every day. We've shifted into overdrive and are just enjoying the ride!

Look for garlic to be ready soon! It's been hanging in braids curing for several weeks now and it looks and smells fantastic!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Still not out of the weeds

It's mid June and the garden is kicking! It's amazing to see things start as tiny seeds and now see them growing strong. We are still battling massive amounts of weeds, especially in the newly broken ground. Nonetheless, the produce is producing. I think I planted too much lettuce. I can't seem to sell enough of it. So much of it is bolting (starting to grow tall to produce a flower and seeds; once this starts, the lettuce gets bitter). It's going into the compost pile, so it's not exactly wasted, but definately losing money. I'm finding it's a lot harder to market and sell the produce during the summer. Restaurants especially seem to be hard to work with. The tailgate is going strong, but so far it's not making up for the shares I didn't sell. Hopefully the income will increase as the summer goes on.
There's all kinds of new life to watch at the farm. A wren made a nest in one of our boxes of twine. We've watched the eggs hatch into birds and watch the male and female wren feed the babies everyday. One keeps watch, hopping around and chirping, while the other feeds the babies. Then they switch. There's also a snapping turtle that decided to lay eggs in the garden. I didn't get to witness this myself, Hayley and Ryan did, but it sounded pretty cool.
Next week is our third week of boxes for the CSA. So far they've looked great! I'm very satisfied with them and I think the shareholders are too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tis the season

so let me see, I haven't posted in a while but I'll try to catch everyone up on the farm. It's been very busy. I finally got internet at the house so I should be a little more regular with posting. The weather has been AMAZING. It rains a reasonable amount every 4 or 5 days so I've only had to irrigate occasionally, mostly just to keep the seedlings moist. We've gotten almost everything in the ground. This week was the beginning of the summer crop planting. The tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, cucumbers, and squash all got planted. I'm starting to dream about those cherokee purple tomatoes I grew last year; they were the best tomatoes I have EVER eaten. Everything seems to be growing really well. I even found the baby arugula. We were about to give up on it, but after tasting every tiny plant in the bed I found it really was there, just tiny and indistenguishable from other weeds until it gets bigger. The lettuce is starting to get enormous so I took some to the tailgate market last Saturday. It was a hit! We were the first farm to sell locally grown procude for the season. Today we sold more lettuce and spinach. The spinach was gone within an hour. The boxes are going to start going out the first of June. I've put them off a week to let the shallots and radishes catch up. So the first box should have fresh oregano, green leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, red leaf lettuce, shallots, radishes, and spinach. Today was also our first volunteer day at the farm. We had a great turnout and got all the sweet potatoe hills weeded. (btw, the day after I planted sweet potatoes they got hit by frost. not to worry, they are hardy plants and are now growing leaves once again.) They were growing more grass than my lawn at home, but now they are pristine again, for now. It's not easy cultivating new ground. My friend Susi said she had a dream about the farm and it was incredibly abundant and beautiful. So far, that seems to be the case. I'll try to get some pictures on here soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

....caught up?

Don't know if it's possible, I'm afraid to say it, am I really caught up? Maybe for today anyway. My fellow farmers and I have been planting like mad. Breaking new ground is NOT easy. There is this terrible fescue grass that grows in enormous clumps that I swear weigh as much as I do. Tractors and tillers do not break them up, so the only thing to do is dig them up by hand and physically remove them from the field without removing too much soil. Ugh. But, on a better note, it seems that spring has returned. The weather's a little cooler, but I'm not really getting any of those "April showers". That would be helpful.

Friday, April 2, 2010

whole lot of sowing..

Just as I suspected, the cold weather seemed to disappear overnight. Suddenly, it's spring and I'm getting sunburned again. There's so much to sow it's hard to keep up, but the garden is looking great. The garlic plants that we planted last October look fantastic; the cabbage plants are growing fast; spinach and carrot seeds are starting to come up, leek seeds in my basement are coming up, and a whole lot of lettuce was planted this week. Today I'm on my way to pick up some asparagus crowns from Bill Mayes, a local farmer/entrepreneur. He no longer wants them, and I am happy to take them off his hands! This will save us a few years of waiting for crowns to develop. We still have potatoes to plant asap and more starts next week (Broccoli and Cauliflower). Well, gotta get goin', daylight's a waste'n...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring is here!

Spring is FINALLY here! As usual, the weather in the mountains is unpredictable though. It snowed yesterday, and is like 65 degrees today! go figure. The farming is already underway, no thanks to the excessive amounts of precipitation. There's already some cabbage, spinach, carrots, and shallots planted! If the field will dry out, we'll be able to get it plowed and ready to plant potatoes.

Check out the website, it's been updated with the sign up sheet. Notice that we are teaming up with Busy Bee Farms this year to offer beef and chicken.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Community Shares"