Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blog Has Moved

We are happy to let you know that we haven't stopped blogging, we've just relocated the blog. You can now find it as part of our farm's website.

Happy reading!

Monday, December 13, 2010


We got our first snow fall before we had completely cleared the fields. Here some hoops and row cover get squished by the fluffy wet stuff. Winter always hits fast... our last post was just about harvesting the last of the carrots in 70 degree weather!
There are a lot of winter jobs that keep us plenty busy. There are office jobs like reapplying for our organic certification, signing up CSA members, planning our vegetable plantings and ordering seeds. Then there are farm maintenance projects that we finally have time to do like tractor and equipment maintenance and getting a heater hung in our greenhouse. Even without the heater hooked up yet, Ben reports that the greenhouse is very pleasant to work in despite the bitter cold winds outside.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Glorious Fall

This has been a great fall weather wise. Last week we enjoyed working in 70 degree weather!
While our CSA is over and we've stopped going to market, there is still life in our fields. Here we have cauliflower and broccoli raab, two cool weather loving crops growing well.

We spent time harvesting the last few carrots in the field. It's quite a process. We have to water the carrots so that they pull out of the ground. We tried forking the carrots, but got tired of going to Sears with our broken forks to exchange for new ones.

Here we have our freshly dug carrots.

And here they are all washed and bagged, ready to sell
We grew a new variety for us, an heirloom called Red Cored Chantenay, and we love it! It grows well in our soil and has a great sweet flavor. We'll be growing it again for sure.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This week we got our garlic in the ground. Unfortunately the freshly planted garlic field doesn't really look much different than it did before we put hundreds of cloves of garlic in the ground, but all of these beds that you can see will be full of tasty garlic by the end of next June.

Before we could even venture out to the fields to plant the garlic we had to crack open each head and break it into individual cloves.

Then we laid the cloves out in rows...

And plunged each clove three or four inches into the soil.

As you can see we got lucky this year and were planting garlic in nice warm and dry weather. This is not always the case. Of course the task is not finished yet. We are waiting on some straw to mulch the garlic. This keeps the cloves from heaving out of the ground as everything freezes and thaws throughout the winter.

We planted five times as much garlic as we did last year because the taste of fresh garlic beats anything that you can get in the store. Come visit us next August and you can taste the difference!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A little more summer

The past couple weeks we've alternated between fall-like and summer-like days. Today is a summer-like day. We're back to running irrigation constantly and trying to get harvest done early in the morning before the sun starts to really bear down on us. At the same time we actually have time for some farm tasks that aren't in the field, like cleaning out the chicken coop. Here's the coop with fresh, clean straw.

We have been waiting for the ideal opportunity to clean out the coop before the winter. The weather has been perfect for this task because we want everything to be nice and dry because dry straw is lighter than wet straw. The chickens seem to appreciate the clean coop, but they appreciate any greens that we toss them (in this picture they've just gotten some carrot tops) even more!

Without much rainfall most of the trees in our area have already begun to drop their leaves. We didn't really get many fall colors this season. Instead most of the trees look like these.

While the warm temperatures have made for an underwhelming leaf season, they have meant that we've still got lots of flowers around the farm. Here are some that are love these October days. This is ageratum.

And scabiosa (or pincusion).

And finally, marigolds.

In addition to flowers the broccoli is starting to come on. For the sake of our broccoli and cauliflower we are hoping for some cooler weather even if we are enjoying the warm sunny temperatures ourselves!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First frost?

Tonight just may bring our first frost of the season. While this would kill the tomatoes and peppers (most of which are still alive even if they are producing very, very slowly at this point in the season) all of the other crops growing on the farm now don't mind a little bit of cold. In fact many of the crops that we have out in the field won't grow very well in warmer weather so we welcome the cold. In addition to cool weather crops the spiders are thriving right now on the farm. There are many of them in the tomato field and this one has scored the ultimate prize, a big tomato hornworm.

This broccoli is one of the crops that doesn't grow well in the summer heat. In fact it is just now getting cool enough for us to have nice broccoli. Here is broccoli that is just about ready to harvest...

and here's our best-looking broccoli crop so far which won't be ready for another two or three weeks.

This is a plant that is closely related to broccoli. It is broccoli raab (or rabe or rapini, etc.), and is spicier than traditional broccoli with smaller florets and more tender green leaves. The broccoli raab is closer and is a brighter green while the broccoli is behind.

Another green that we are growing is this rainbow kale. This is a new variety of kale that we found in one of our seed catalogs that was the result of crossing Tuscan kale with red kale. We really like it because it has a nice color to it with big leaves. Not to mention that it tastes great too!

Finally, we've always been amazed that we haven't had problems with deer eating our crops. Well, unfortunately they have found the lettuce. Since we didn't have a very large planting of it, we've just covered it all with remay which will deter the deer for this year, but we may have to come up with a different fix next season.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It is about 30 degrees cooler than last week at this time! That's caused us to adjust significantly. On Monday morning as we got ready to harvest for the CSA not only did we have to find warm clothes, but we were also searching out raincoats so that we could at least attempt to stay dry. As you can see Emily doesn't look very dry, but of all the rainy weather tasks picking peppers isn't too bad since you don't have to dig anything out of the ground!

The carrots didn't come out of the ground this clean, but once the mud has been sprayed off they are ready to enjoy. At least that is the way that Evan seems to like them best. By the way, he did not manage to finish all of that carrot.

We didn't harvest these greens on Monday because they are just starting to produce. They are a plant called Hon Tsai Tai and while the leaves can be eaten they are generally grown for their flowering stems. These are a sweet, succulent treat in the spring and fall.

Finally we've got some spinach that is just getting its first true leaves. Since the weather was hot and dry we put more seed down than we usually would. In the patches that germinated well we've got lots of plants, but there are patches that aren't as good. We are trying to be better about taking notes of everything that happens during the year so that we can plan for it next year. Sometimes it is frustrating that when something is unexpected we can't correct for it until the next year, but as we grow on our land year after year we are definitely learning how to be prepared for many eventualities.