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Fall is coming on strong, as the summer crops peak. What to do? Just work a little harder, longer and stronger, knowing that rain will come, things will slow down. There will be time next to the wood stove, with a book and a cup of tea. But for now, it’s go, go, go. So glad we are up to it. And thanks to everyone that works for us or buys produce from our farm. We couldn’t do it without you.

Today we were presented with a beautiful fall day, lots of big fluffy clouds, lilting through a big sky, over hill and dale, casting moving shadows on the undulations below. With just a hint of moisture, as the clouds misted the fields, dampening the dust, sweetening the soil and doubling the scents. It’s teaming with life out there!

These kabocha winter squash are close to harvest.

These kabocha winter squash are close to harvest.

Shallots dry under a big oak.

Shallots dry under a big oak.

Rhazes, our new red little gem lettuce

Rhazes, our new red little gem lettuce

Brasiccas ready to go out into the field.

Brasiccas ready to go out into the field.

Yellow wax beans

Yellow wax beans

Rosa bianca eggplant

Rosa bianca eggplant

Lots of San Marzano roma tomatoes, perfect for sauce.

Lots of San Marzano roma tomatoes, perfect for sauce.

We've been gapping with our beet crops, but these are almost big enough to harvest.

We’ve been gapping with our beet crops, but these are almost big enough to harvest.

Celery and fennel, first planting.

Celery and fennel, first planting.

Fennel and celery root, next planting

Fennel and celery root, next planting

Broccoli

Broccoli

Picchu berries, a new crazy delicious berry, we're trialling.

Picchu berries, a new crazy delicious berry, we’re trialling.

Cherry tomatoes are dropping.

Cherry tomatoes are dropping.

Leeks and onions

Leeks and onions

Carrots in the foreground. It didn't rain enough to keep the irrigation from happening.

Carrots in the foreground. It didn’t rain enough to keep the irrigation from happening.

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Summer crops are almost here!

IMG_5935Today’s sky was unusual for around here. The thin clouds hung around all day, allowing for a very easy-on-the-eyes day and a perfect day to take pictures. And since it’s been a month since my last post, this is long overdue. I apologize for my absence. My unorganized self is fully to blame.

Garlic chives in bud

Garlic chives in bud

Winter squash field

Winter squash field

Picked over beans, in the foreground. The next crop is flowering in the background.

Picked over beans, in the foreground. The next crop is flowering in the background.

Shaggy asparagus

Shaggy asparagus

Couldn't resist two watermelon pictures...

Couldn’t resist two watermelon pictures…

Sugar baby melon

Sugar baby melon

Two charentais melons

Two charentais melons

Allysum, marigolds and tomatillos

Allysum, marigolds and tomatillos

The first tomatoes are sizing up!

The first tomatoes are sizing up!

Flowering cilantro is humming with bees.

Flowering cilantro is humming with bees.

Onion beds are such an extraordinary color.

Onion beds are such an extraordinary color.

Sunflower sprout flats, after harvest.

Pea shoot flats, after harvest. We’ll harvest the soil too.

Shishito peppers are quite a bit shorter than their more famous cousin, the pardon. And full of flowers.

Shishito peppers are quite a bit shorter than their more famous cousin, the Padron. They’re full of flowers.

Red raspberries

Red raspberries

Watering the carrots deeply

Watering the carrots deeply

Lettuce and frisee with corn, tomatoes and sunflowers in the distance.

Lettuce and frisee with corn, tomatoes and sunflowers in the distance.


Busy Spring

IMG_5555The words “busy” and “spring” are synonymous on a farm.

Fields are drying quickly and the cover crop wants to be “harvested” and turned into the soil, creating an instant carbon boost helping with fertility and soil structure. Once mowed the debris from the crop digests for several weeks or until it’s structure is all but gone allowing the finished bed to be even and smooth.

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Furrows help dry the soil.

The cover crop consists of bell beans, austrian peas and oats.

The cover crop consists of bell beans, Austrian peas, barley and oats.

Then the field will be rototilled. Sometimes when a field is tilled, the soil moisture is still too high to plant. To speed drying, furrows are made with shovels on the tractor.

Once a field is flat and weed-free, it’s ready to be planted. And there are many transplants lined up waiting for space.

Transplants and irrigation supplies

Transplants and irrigation supplies

The whole crew works the plantings. The irrigation has to be set up. Most everything is on drip lines which have to be pulled and hooked up to the water supply. Some crops require covers. For example, the first tomatoes and peppers (Padron) are in and covered.

Additionally, many things are being harvested at this time of year, adding to the day’s diversity and the community’s health. We are so happy to be able to grow this excellent food.

The artichokes are finishing.

The artichokes are finishing.

These carrots are just beginning to be harvested.

These carrots on drip lines are just beginning to be harvested.

Asparagus harvest today

Asparagus harvest today

Picking peas and sage in flower

Picking peas and sage in flower

Raspberries with lava beans in the background

Raspberries with fava beans in the background

The first peppers in the field have their own greenhouses to give them a little boost.

The first peppers in the field have their own greenhouses to give them a little boost.

Spring purplette onions

Spring purplette onions

 

Even the sweet peas at home are growing like crazy.

Even the sweet peas at home are growing like crazy.


Summer

The next carrots are looking lush

The next carrots are looking lush.

Oh yes, Summer is here.

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Rows of tomatoes are finally bearing fruit.

There are so many changes on the farm. Let me share just a few. The season is just getting started.

Celery root is up and pushing.

Celery root is up and pushing.

Winter squash is setting fruit.

Winter squash is setting fruit.

Onions drying under a giant oak.

Onions drying under a giant oak.

Cracked melons litter the field. You can smell their sweetness.

Cracked Charentais melons litter the field. You can smell their sweetness.

The foreground field has a turned-in summer cover crop (buckwheat). It's digesting nicely.

The foreground field is digesting a turned-in summer cover crop of buckwheat. 

 

 


After Hours

The garden beside our house is wild these days. Quite a greeting as you venture into the farm.

The garden beside our house is wild these days. Quite a greeting as you venture into the farm.

The farm is in full swing right now and looks beautiful, every corner cared for and organized. Some crops are finishing (broccoli and cauliflower), others are coming into their glory days. The crew is working full days. It’s nice to have easy weather now, 70-80 degrees F. They are striving to keep up with the needs for the whole farm plus pick and pack far more produce. We’ve dropped the salad mix from our “product line” for the second year to help even out the workload.

Paul is always working to restore and improve soils. The rock crusher has been busy lately. It makes a quite nice pinging chorus if you are far enough away. As you approach you can feel the ground vibrating through your shoes and dirt and rocks are flying everywhere.

Growing heirloom tomatoes under the greenhouse tables. We just had our first ripe pink brandywine, last night!

Coming Soon! Heirloom tomatoes growing under the greenhouse tables. We just had our first, ripe, pink Brandywine, last night!

Rows of red onions are drying in the shade. Properly grown and cured dry onions should be good through the winter.

Rows of red onions are drying in the shade. Properly grown and cured dry onions should be good through the winter.

Summer cover crop, buckwheat, has emerged after just 4 days!

Summer cover crop, buckwheat, has emerged after just 4 days!

The area has just been rock crushed. Paul is setting up the beds with a "bed shaper".

I see a painting...

I see a painting…

One of the inescapable features of our landscape is the old Shamrock cement plant to our west. Some friends of ours just bought it! I've always wanted to paint it's portrait!

One of the inescapable features of our landscape is the old Shamrock cement plant to our west. Some friends of ours just bought it! I’ve always wanted to paint it’s portrait!


Spring Ramps Up

Diversification is beautiful

Diversification is beautiful

Today is Thursday. It’s pick for the farmers’ market tomorrow morning day. It’s pick for the restaurant orders day. The crew began at 7 today, the first 7 am start of the year. (They will most likely go back to an 8 start when daylight savings time ends, in November.) Even so, Paul wonders if there will be enough time to finish all the picking (and packing) today. And we are facing the loss of one of our stellar field workers at the end of this week. That’s farming.

Picking spinach

Picking spinach

Artichokes

Artichokes

Spring onions

Spring onions

Lettuce rows

Lettuce rows

Paul has begun working up the ground on the new 4 acres that has been settling with cover crop. Some of the soil is rock free (phew!) and beautiful. Most of it, we expect will turn up rocky and sticky, with a high-clay content. Finding some problem free ground is exciting.

 

Anyone out there know of someone that wants to work for us? Please get in touch with us!

The new ground with a stripe of beautiful fluffy soil.

The new ground with a stripe of beautiful fluffy soil and wow, isn’t that oak glorious.

 

 

 


Pushin’ in February

Peas

Peas

So much is happening. The weather, the great dictator of what happens on the farm, has been very generous to us. It must have been over 70 degrees F. today. Beautiful. We’re planting spinach, turnips, radishes, lettuce, pea seeds in the field. Once planted, some are covered. We may plant beets and carrots this week.

Tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings

The greenhouse is starting to really fill up with freshly planted flats, some covered, some not. The first planting of tomatoes have blasted out of their flats and pushed the remay into puffy pillows. So have the peppers. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, fennel and onions were all started in the greenhouse flats last week or before.Greenhouse

Lettuce, chard, kales and collard are all being transplanted. Once in the field, they are also covered to insure against wild weather swings. We hope they will feel secure enough to take off.

Covered beds and open ground

Covered beds and open ground

Sprinklers

Running the water

The irrigation system is engaged with the warm dry weather. The final bit of field turning is almost complete as the pipes are hooked up.Pipe

There is an experiment in the new field with planting oats, wheat and barley, side-by-side. Which will be the most beneficial to this soil? We’ll see.

Wheat, Barley and Oats

Wheat, Barley and Oats

The Farm Stand signposts are all that remain of last summer's bounty.

The signposts are all that remain of last summer’s Farm Stand.

Brussels sprouts, covered bed and beyond the farm

Brussels sprouts, covered bed and beyond the farm

 

Daikon radishes are being harvested out of the cover crop between the rows of regrowing artichokes.

Daikon radishes are being harvested out of the cover crop between the rows of regrowing artichokes.


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