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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Week 18 August 6-11

Harvest

This week we continued to harvest an insane amount of Okra. In case you've forgotten, that means wearing something over your arms to protect you from the prickly, itchy leaves, gloves, and a hat to try and keep the leaves out of your face. Then you wade your way through because our rows are (in my opinion) too close together. Harvesting okra is a full-contact sport. 




This is what you see at eye level when you "go in"


Curly-Q Okra
The 80 some pounds of Okra we harvested on Thursday were still in bins in the truck when we got caught in a massive downpour. We got 4 inches of rain in one hour. To save the soggy okra we laid it out on table cloths in the barn and turned the fans on it for a few hours. Thank goodness that worked, I don't know how could have spared all that Okra! (jk)

Drying Rain Soaked Okra

The rest of our take this week included the usual peppers and eggplant, about 80 pounds of tomatoes from one row in a hoop house (the other 3 rows should be coming online soon), Hakurei Turnips, Okinawa Spinach, Lady Peas, Purple Hull Peas, McGahee Peas (a local heirloom variety protected by our very own Ricky), Arugula, the last of the melons (SO SAD!), the first of the African Squash, and Cucumbers. Things are slowing down in general, even the eggplant and peppers. 


Bountiful Colors


Production and Distribution


What do you do when you have more Okra than you can hope to sell? You can it. Tuesday we pickled Okra with Chef Andrew in the Burge Kitchen. For me that meant 6 hours stuffing Okra in pint jars Tetris style. Of the 220 pounds we brought in we were only able to pickle about 70 pounds in 6 hours. Gah!


You pack it raw and then add the pickling liquid which is part water, part Apple Cider Vinegar. I will be posting the recipe soon.

The Okra has to pickle for at least 3 weeks. I'll let you know how it turns out. For now I just know it looks real pretty.




We made one delivery this week to our local farm specialty grocery store, Noring Farms on Floyd


And I got to go to Market this Saturday.





Maintenance




Water, water, everywhere. Our pump house for Jeff Cook Field was trampled by the neighboring cows. It seems they weren't too fond of that pesky fence between them and the pump, so they knocked it over. Maybe there was already a leak and they were thirsty? There's no telling why they did it but it seemed intentional. The timing couldn't have been worse because we discovered this as we were setting up irrigation for the 2 fields we had Just planted. Unable to repair it quickly and unable to water the new seeds we prayed for rain. 









And we got it, the next day, 4 inches in one hour. Perhaps we should have been more specific in our request. We are not sure how much damage the rain did but chances are good it washed away some of the seeds we planted the day before.











Have you ever "borrowed" and extension cord from an important appliance and forgotten to put it back? Like say, a refrigerator full of duck eggs? Well, that happened some time last year and now this fridge is a bonafide bio hazard. I'm happy to say this happened before I arrived and that I will have nothing to do with cleaning it out. Cory says he'll be cleaning it out next week. If there is anything you need to tell Cory or scores you need to settle, you may want to do it before he opens this bad boy up.




Other maintenance tasks this week: sinking T-posts and trellising tomatoes in the hoop houses, weeded the hoop houses, turned under the last planting of melons for the year :(

Planting

If you've read this far you know we did some planting this week. We direct seeded brassicas, endive, beets and some other fall crops Monday morning for about 5 hours. Tuesday we went back to set up irrigation and discovered there was no water because the neighboring cows took out the pump house. We covered a few of the rows with cloth row cover and ran most of the drip tape while Daniel tried to fix the pump. He got it back together but the pressure was not good enough to actually irrigate anything. Perhaps the pressure switch is gone. We will have to get back to this next week. For better or worse we got a deluge of a rainstorm the next day. Whatever seeds it didn't wash away certainly got enough water (for now). 


A few months ago Cory purchases a few hundred Blackberry and Raspberry plants. Since then they have been living just outside the greenhouse where we water them when it doesn't rain and they filled out their gallon pots with healthy root balls. They are now ready to go in the ground. We spent a few hours laying out irrigation and landscaping fabric for their new forever home in Main House field. We then planted them assembly line style. One person cut a hole in the fabric at every water emitter, the next person dug the hole and the third person placed and tucked in each transplant. By Friday evening we got half of the blackberries in the ground. Hopefully we get to the rest next week. 

Daniel digs, Cory plants behind



Half way down the row


Farm Life

You can see his tail in the foreground






I saw a Beaver! This things was almost as big as Puddy. He was in the road on the way to the barn and ran off into the brush when I drove up. He waddled in about 10 feet then turned around, sat up on his hind legs and looked at me. 

I see you!

More Bugs. There were a ton of tobacco hornworms, where else but on the tobacco. And this cool spiny spider. 



We are also on some sort of flight path. A huge Skein of Geese flew over while we were working in pasture field one day. The pictures are okay but I wish you could have heard the racket they made. It was impressive. Interestingly,  a group of geese is referred to as a gaggle only when on the ground, a skein when in flight.





Friday fiesta was hosted by our resident Chef Andrew. He loves "gourmet southern" and made us an amazing mac n cheese featuring our eggplant. Eggplant in Mac N Cheese? Yes, please. With it we had a delicious arugula salad with our Hakurei Turnips (both fresh/raw and pickled in ginger from last year), and tempura Okra. It's like fried Okra, only fancier and it melts in your mouth. Bravo Chef!

Fancy Friday

Puddy Time

Friday was not too hot so Puddy came out to work with us after lunch. She was great help. 


Riding shotgun in the farm truck

Helping keep the spacing on the Blackberries

Selecting choice sunflowers for market

Add caption


Special Guest: This little Hot Dog is the mascot for the Hot Dog vendor at Market. I'm glad Puddy wasn't there, she might have been confused and tried to eat him. 


1 comment:

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE BEAVER!!!!!



    Steph

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