Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Feels like summer

The latest update from the farm: Summer is here!  The hayfield is head high, bobolinks and redwing blackbirds keep me company in the fields with summer trills, winter rye is heading up, the potatoes have sprouted, and the garden's on the go...
Jim helped mow and I tilled in the winter's cover crop last week-- almost all the field is prepped and ready for upcoming cucurbit transplants later this week.
 Under the reemay: red and yellow onions and shallots; green, purple and pole beans; successions of lettuce (head and leaf), mustard greens, arugula, radish, carrot, fennel, dill, and some direct-seeded flowers
 Sugar snap and snow peas happily climbing the trellises, in the foreground: turnips, beets and cilantro
 Looking down the trellises... 120 bed feet of peas-- already knee high.  Flowers should be coming in the next week or so.
 Garlic (below the pea trellises, south side of the field) mulched with this year's winter rye stalks-- five varieties.  I look forward to some taste testing!
Elephant garlic...  I cannot WAIT for these to come on.  Prepare yourself for mild garlic cloves (toes) the size of figs.  Hooray!!

Other garden news-- the few garlic plants up around the little house already have scapes-- almost a month early.  I harvested the first garden flowers, too-- lupine, lady's mantle, mint, and a few spare astrantia.  With the erratic spring weather, we are strangely ahead and behind in different ways.  Inside (up the hill in S. Londonderry,) I've got 3500+ seedlings, many of which are new-to-me flower varieties for Katie and Rob (lisianthus, craspedia, balloon flower, and more.)

In other news, we got in a quick but great visit to brother Brad and sister-in-law Jen's new house (lots of mud, caulk, and primer) in Boston.  Most importantly, we got to meet the newest Osterhout, Miss Emma Bryn.  At two months she's a tiny peanut, but sweet as ever.  And, you can already tell she's got the workings of a discerning, prize-winning palate a la Osterhout!

CSA is on and I'm looking forward to growing food for you as always.  We're looking to an estimated start date of Thursday, June 21st (with a slim chance we may have to wait one more week), and I'll finalize that with you CSA members this week.  Can't wait!  Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 CSA is full

The farm is no longer accepting share registration for the 2012 season as CSA membership is full.  Please contact Mego for more details.  Thank you!

Monday, May 7, 2012

You say Potato, I say Potato, too!

Here's sending a big thanks to my brave, brilliant, and hilarious group of advisory girls who came down the hill on Sunday to help with potato planting at the farm.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 Transplanting onions and shallots-- some new varieties this year: Rossa di Lunga as an Italian red storage type, and Prince in place of the old standard, Copra.  
 After a quick tutorial on proper shovel usage/technique, the girls were unstoppable with the trenches.
 We planted over 250' of Yukon Golds (I was a bit late on my ordering this spring, so we'll have to wait for next year for the Kennebecs and Adirondack Reds)... with an eventual yield of around 500# of potatoes, hoping all goes well.
 The intrepid farm crew.  What am I going to do without you seniors (and Canadians!) next year?  
Elle, we missed you!
 The freshly-transplanted onions and shallots all covered up in anticipation of heavy rain moving in Tuesday.  Surrounding the reemay row covers, the winter rye is happily cover-cropping away, providing "green manure" when it gets tilled and worked back into the soil.  I'm going to try leaving some of the winter rye in the aisles between beds this year and mowing it at intervals-- which really just translates to spending a lot of time sharpening rusty push mower blades.  The upshots are better moisture-holding capacity, and creating super-mini microclimates that may also serve as mini-windblocks.  Plus, I'll take any headstart for growth that I can get on switchgrass!
To the left, you can just make out two rows of sugar snap and snow peas.
Parting shot: Jim Hand-- Angle of Repose.  That's one happy guy.

Connecting the Dots with 350.org

May 5th was 350.org's "Connecting the Dots" day, and students in Environmental Science collected their thoughts and reflections on the impact of Hurricane Irene in Southern Vermont.  The idea behind the day of action is that climate change, when viewed through a localized scope, can sometimes just feel like the weather in a region is a little "off"... but when we connect the dots from around the world, these erratic events demonstrate predictable patterns that support some serious climate issues.  Read more at www.350.org
 Our dot compiled images from volunteer efforts in Wilmington and Jamaica, VT, as well as personal reflections.  A poignant comment: "I watched my childhood home get destroyed."

 On Saturday, Jim and Marilyn organized a hike out to Lye Brook Falls in Manchester, VT.  The hike used to be notable for culminating in one of the longest waterfalls in the state (approx. 125, though not free-falling.)  Post-Irene, though, the most impressive characteristic is the enormous landslide that opened up during the storm.
 To give a sense of scale: there are two men sitting on the horizontal log in the middle of this photo...
 Looking down from about the midway point.
Thomas, with his climate dot, looking upslope
Putting our dots together.  Photo credit for this shot goes to Hubert Schriebel