Question for the farmer? Email

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 6 May 7-12

This week we were grateful to get rain a few days and work in some very humid, but not too hot weather. Part of Monday was spent getting the barn in order while Kathy and Cory did some accounting. With as much work as there is to do in the fields this is still a business and that side of things has to get done too. Next week I get to help work on organic certification plans. More on that as it happens.
The rest of the week was business as usual. New crops are cycling in and out. CSA boxes were filled and lots of food made it into Atlanta on Wednesday and Saturday. It was my week to go to Market which is always fun.
This week we harvested Asparagus, Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, English Peas (these plants do not like the heat and their season here is only a few weeks long), Arugula, the last of the Spring Onions at the beginning of the week followed by Onions (same plant, new phase) at the end of the week, Cilantro, Beets, Pac Choi, Komatsuna, Zucchini, Zephyr Squash, Cucumber, Red Romaine Lettuce, Garlic, Garlic Flowers, Broccolini, Radishes, and Sunflowers (Moulin Rouge, Pink Lemonade, Teddy Bear and one other pale yellow variety whose name I can't remember)
Mixed Beets

Burge Heirloom Elephant Garlic
Strawberry with and attitude

Market Harvest from Jeff Cook Field

Flowers! We harvested lots of flowers this week just in time for Mother's Day.

Garlic Flowers in the back, Teddy Bear Sunflowers up front and a glimpse of Pink Lemonade and Moulin Rouge Sunflowers in the green bucket. Interesting thing about the Garlic Flowers, we harvested way more than we could possibly sell in a week but we had to. They grow at the top of our heirloom Elephant Garlic and at a certain point you have to remove them. All of the plant's energy that is going into that flower is better spent (in our opinion) on growing a bigger garlic bulb. So, we cut them all off this week. Luckily they keep for over a month and look spectacular the whole time.

Teddy Bear Sunflowers in the Hoop House

Mother's Day Sun Flowers

Borage-Edible Flower

Borage- Edible Flower

Introducing Borage, an edible Flower.... Cory is growing one bed of these. It's a lot of plant for only a few little flowers. This week we harvested them for H&F Bottle Shop who will try and use them in some sort of cocktail concoction. They taste mildly of cucumber and are fun to eat because they are SO pretty. You only eat the petals.

Production and Distribution

In the CSA Box this week:
-1 pint Strawberries 
-2 heads Little Gem Lettuce (Crystal Organic Farm)
-1 bunch mixed Beets (Crystal and Burge)
-1 bunch Arugula
-2 heads baby Pac Choi
-1 bunch Spring Onions
-1 pint Peas (Sugar Snaps OR English)
-1 bunch Cilantro
-1 Burge Heirloom Garlic Flower
-1/2# baby Zucchini

Our Onions have matured beyond the Spring onion phase. Most of the tops of the plants have died and fallen over. On Thursday we pulled them all up and left them to cure in the sun. Friday we gathered them up and brought them back to the green house. Kathy and I carried all of them in 4 large harvest bins while the men harvested greens. Yes, that's right, let the women do the heavy lifting. :)
Now they are in the curing phase. They will stay in the green house for 2-3 weeks. They need indirect sunlight and good ventilation. When the leaves are dry and the outer skin is shrunken and papery they will be ready for cold storage and will stay good for months. 
We also harvested some of the garlic and it's curing in the green house as well. 

Onions Curing in the Greenhouse, Garlic on the far shelf

Onions Curing in the Greenhouse

Market Board

Market week for me! Here is what we had to offer this week:

Market days we get up around 5, meet at the barn around 6 to load up the van and arrive at market at 7:30. We are not allowed to sell to customers until the opening bell rings at 8:30.  We had almost a dozen people lined up at 8:20 waiting for the bell. It's flattering to think that they want your product so bad they will show up early and wait. All of these folks know Cory and are getting to know us apprentices. How cool to really know where your food comes from!

Customers waiting for the starting bell at Market
Selling Market left overs at Restaurant Eugene

We were able to bring more produce than we needed for market this week so after the closing bell at noon Cory and I drove over to Restaurant Euguene and Holeman and Finch with a bunch of onions, asian greens and garlic flowers. The chefs there bought almost everything and we were able to head back to the farm with only a few items unsold. It was pretty fun to sell produce out of the back of the van. Cory has built up a relationship with these two restaurants and they seemed really happy to see us and excited to get the goods. 

To Do and To Harvest
Every Monday we write up a list of things to do on the farm Here is what our to do list looks like on a Friday. At least there are some blank spots where we got some stuff done and were able to erase it. Everything else will probably make it onto next week's list, and the week after, until we get it done. 

One cool thing I got to do this week was take a  bug to our local Extension Agent. Extension Agents are part of the Cooperative Extension System which is a nation-wide non-credit educational system. There are local agents in every state who are affiliated with the state land grant universities. In our case it's The University of Georgia. They provide a link between the research done at UG and the public. Anyone can go to them with questions or concerns about agriculture and they either have or can find the answer. They are plugged into the latest research as well as what other farmers and gardeners in your area are doing or dealing with. We have see a big influx of a particular bug in our strawberries. There is no visible damage but ever since they appeared the fruit have gone soft. We are culling about half of the berries because they are too soft for packaging. It's a big loss on a very important crop. Cory didn't recognize the bug and neither did the Extension Agent so he sent it off to UGA. We hope to have an answer this week. 
While I was at the Extension Agent's Office I checkout out their library of free literature and picked up packets on canning, food safety and stain removal. I think everyone should find their local agent and go for a visit. They have lots of free information as well as free classes. Here is where you can go to find your local agent. 
Prepping Hoop House bed, adding compost

Some tasks we accomplished this week include: Weeded Asparagus to get rid of those beautiful purple flowers I admired last week. They are actually some left over cover crop called Hairy Vetch. We needed to get them out before they went to seed and became an ongoing intruder. We also weeded the new onion planting in Jeff Cook Field, prepped another Hoop House Bed, added more trellising to the Hoop House tomatoes (you have to keep adding layers as they grow taller).

Tomato Trellis- These guys are almost ready!!!
Tomato Pollen=Yellow arm hair

We started in the greenhouse-Summer Crisp Lettuce (which is supposed to hold up better to our summer heat) three varieties of cucumber, and Zephyr Squash.
Transplanted purchased raspberry plants into 1 gallon pots. We are excited about these because next year they should produce in the gap between strawberries and blackberries keeping us in fruit for late Spring.
Seaweed Fertilizer

We planted out a lot of transplants this week. Because of all the rain we could not run the tractor over the fields. When the soil is wet you get really bad compaction if you put that much weight on it. Compaction is no good because it makes the soil hard, decreases its ability to drain water and makes it difficult for roots to penetrate. So, we transplanted by hand. Without the transplanter adding water and fertilizer from it's tanks we had to dunk each tray of transplants in a water/fertilizer solution.
Dunking Transplant trays in seaweed fertilizer

Transplanted out in Main House Field: Zinnia, Lettuce, Tobacco (we can not sell this tobacco, it's just an experiment to see how it grows)

Transplanted out in Jeff Cook Field: Corn, Cucumbers, Pac Choi, Squash,

Directed seeded 2 kinds of beans and beets.

Farm Life 
Remember those little black bugs in the house? They seem to be on the decrease. Sprocket continues to take care of any flying or fast moving bugs and is also doing very well on his diet, thank you for asking.
I cooked Friday Lunch this week. I made a Vegetable Hot Pot and a Strawberry salad with a Lime-Cilantro dressing. Check out the recipes on my Recipes From the Farm Page. 
Here are some highlights from the week

Homemade Strawberry Jam

A friend from the Alliance bought some of our Strawberries a few weeks ago and made jam. She brought me a jar and I've been enjoying it with my fresh baked bread for breakfast. It's delicious!

On Wednesday after work Kathy, Jason, Puddy and I explored the hunt club a little.

Tower for Clay launcher

Reminder-This is a hunt club

Puddy mingling with the natives

Off Season "Sport"

Here are some of the perks of living on the farm:

What I get to see when I do dishes

Wild Flowers on my street

I have fresh flowers in my room all the time
A new section of the blog dedicated to those friends and family brave enough to come out for a visit! You too could be featured here. If you come on a weekday I may put you to work. However, if you just want to check it out and get a tour let me know and we can make it happen on a weekend. There is even a spare twin bed at the house if you want to make a few days of it. 
This week Lane's sister Robin came out with her husband Jeff and their kids Beckett, Finnegan and Eleanor. We toured a few fields and saw the horses but the highlight was the Rabbit Patch, a small playground on site. Beckett really enjoyed making his mom stay up "forever and ever." 

Jeff, Finn and Beckman

Robin, Beckett and Ella's Foot

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love feedback! Let me know what you liked about this entry or what you want to hear more about. Tell me what you're growing in your garden and which veggies you love the most. Anything goes!