Thursday, June 7, 2012

We Are Busier than This Blog Makes it Seem

We have been working hard and accomplishing much.  Blogging has fallen to the bottom of the priority list, so I am way behind.  I'll write a quick catch-up post now and tour you around the farm. Then, back to work!

The garden is growing great!  It is so luxurious to have the entire garden space plus the high tunnel greenhouse to plant in this year. It has been kind of hard to decide what to plant where, however.  Here are the sugar snap peas,  French green beans, with a few Lacinato kale and  Biondi di Lyon chard I transplanted from the  greenhouse early this spring.
Lettuces and spinach.
I finally got all the winter crops harvested and  pulled out of the high tunnel.  The chard, kale, scallions  and leeks just would not stop producing, so I had to steel myself and yank them out anyway. The two long rows on the right are about 70 assorted tomato plants, nearly all started from seed.  The bottom center area has a few tender herbs that were started inside for early harvest plus those exuberant pansies from last fall. The bottom left corner has bush-habit zucchinis (I put them in the greenhouse for an early crop of squash blossoms.) Beyond them are sweet potatoes and a few Jimmy Nardello sweet red peppers. I still have the  back left corner to plant --I want to try growing peanuts to make our own peanut butter, but I haven't found any raw peanuts to plant yet.

We have installed 4-foot tall fence around the inside perimeter of the greenhouse to keep the chickens and rabbits out - notice the great garage sale gate Rog added for easy entrance.
Just outside the greenhouse is the new pond constructed  in the silo foundation -- our future aquaponics system.  Rog built a dock across one side. In the aquaponics system it will provide a surface for  standing to tend and harvest the plants above and to tend and harvest the fish below. For now, it is a nice place to lounge and pretend you are at the (14 foot diameter) lake and it gives the fish some shade and shelter from predatory birds.
We planted several fruit trees this spring (2 cherries, 2 pears, a plum and a Reliance peach that is supposed to survive zone 4 winters.) One of the cherries had a tasty and picturesque little crop of berries last week.
The birds gobbled most of them the second they got ripe, however.
Remember that robin nest inside my future garden shed? The shed is located conveniently a few feet from the cherry tree and strawberry bed. The baby robins fledged a week and a half ago; here is one on the wheelbarrow just waiting for the cherries to ripen.
Those birds are not going to get our precious strawberries! I covered them with netting, clothes-pinned to the metal hoops from the high tunnel row covers.  We are only getting a few handfuls of strawberries a day, but they are delicious.
We are already in the third week of our mini CSA program.  I was  worried I wouldn't have much variety to include in the first few boxes, but I am pleased with the boxes so far. Last week's box had leeks, chard, lettuce, spinach, sugar snap peas, rhubarb, a mixture of edible flowers, and little bundle of savory herbs.
Yesterday's box had leeks, sugar snap peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, garlic scapes, chives and the first few baby zucchinis. I am getting more efficient at harvesting, cleaning and assembling.
Our younger daughter Cadence is home from Prague for a few weeks (she has been attending  film school there and soon will be teaching for a year.)  She dived right into baking for the Farmers Market last week, jet lag and all. Wood Fired sourdough bread, hot out of the  clay oven.
Spinach-Leek-Walnut turnovers. She will be doing market again this weekend, then we will probably be done for the summer. Rog and I simply do not have enough time to devote to it by ourselves.

Yesterday after harvesting the CSA boxes, I was a power-washing maniac. First, I cleaned the chicken coop, shoveling out the bedding, power washing and shop-vacuuming the inside of the coop, sanitizing the middle room for turkey poults that arrive today, and spreading new bedding.  I even washed the windows.

Then, I power-washed the trailer upon which chickens had been roosting all winter in the barn- I need it to pick up a load of hay tonight and it was too disgusting to drive down the road.

Finally, I  power washed the milking parlor. I always try to keep it clean, but I wanted to see how the power washer worked on the milk board we installed last year--very sweet! I put in fresh wood chips and washed the dusty window.  LaFonda seemed pretty happy about the maid service this morning --
and she paused to sniff at and admire the new cow art I had hung on the wall for her.  I found this large, framed vintage print at an antique store a couple weeks ago and fell in love with it. (Happily, it was only $9.)
This weekend is the season's grand  opening of the farm store. I have been working hard to get ready - planting and weeding outside
and setting up displays of fun new merchandise (local art and Profound Objects) inside. I still have plenty more to do in the store - not to mention I need to cleanup my disheveled and sadly neglected house for this weekend's visit of four dear high school friends --so, I better quit blogging now and get to work!

P. S.  We'd LOVE to see you at Squash Blossom Farm this weekend for the Grand opening, Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.  Get a special discount on a Profound Object and on Sunday, listen/dance to The Nodding Wild Onions, beginning at 2 p.m.


Marie said...

wow ... I'm pooped reading about it all -- have a great grand opening weekend!

Bethany Ringdal said...

oh boy, does this every make me homesick! Maybe we'll find some time to visit in the fall. We're leading staff training right now, and trying to fit gardening into time when we should be sleeping; I'm remembering in envy when gardening was my JOB!

Jocelyn said...

Beautiful! Everything is beautiful! I truly enjoyed looking at your pictures and reading your post. Thank you for sharing!

Snooks said...

Busy is an understatement. My goodness. With all that you have done it seems like there would not have been enough time to accomplish it all. I wish I could be so productive. Love all the pictures and updates to things you have done. Lovely garden and I can smell that bread!

@ 3Beeze Homestead

Bee Girl said...

Everything looks amazing! I hope your opening weekend is more successful than you could ever imagine! Remember to breathe and trust that it will all turn out perfectly :-)