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Monday, April 22, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 5

Look Kate C., I'm already sweating in my new hat. Yay! Gross. 

We had a pretty warm week with light rains about every other day. Then Friday night we had a few windy thunderstorms and were under a tornado warning. The barn took a little damage but we fared well compared to the many downed trees I saw driving around. I got a lot mulched and planted this week and even made my first delivery. Things are really starting to take shape here so I have decided to start breaking the blog up into sections again. As always, I save the best for last. So, those of you who are in it for the cute dog pictures can scroll right on down to the end. ;)


Harvested this week:
Asparagus, Rhubarb, Assorted Mint and Sage

I harvested about this much Asparagus twice a day all week. At the end of the week it added up to 5 lbs and went to Grillfish.

Production and Distribution

Chef Milanes of Grilfish
This weeks harvest was small but it is a start. I will be letting all of the chefs know early in the week what I expect to harvest so that they can make their requests and come up with delicious dishes to feature the farm fresh food. This week Grillfish swooped in for the win and took it all. I can't wait to see what Chef Felipe Milanes comes up with. 

Mint and Sage

Delivery to Grillfish: Asparagus, Rhubarb, Mint and Sage

Cultivation and Maintenance

Ugh! Caterpillars! These tiny green caterpillars are on everything! I mean everything, not just the plants but the buildings, the fences, me... They are blowing around on their little silks and when they land on something they like they start to munch. I first noticed them on the baby apple trees. Thursday I spent about an hour picking them off by hand. What a pain. 
Caterpillar damage

Can you see them? There are 2, they are tiny. Look on
the right most leaf.
This one is brown and blue, possibly the same guy in another stage?

I put the new truck to good use this week. There is a lumber mill nearby that sells double shredded hardwood mulch and will load your truck up for a reasonable fee. I used the entire load in two days on the orchard, grapes, berries, asparagus, rhubarb and herb garden. I may go back for seconds. The hope is that time and effort spreading mulch now will help eliminate those things dealing with weeds later. It will also help hold moisture and stabilized the soil temperature. All good things.

Under the mulch in places I also put cardboard or newspaper. This is an additional weed barrier and like the mulch it will eventually break down, get eaten by earthworms and add organic matter to the soil. 

Watering in cardboard around the Muscadines

All the grapes mulched

Orchard Mulched
Raspberries Mulched

I ran out of cardboard and switched to 3 sheets of newspaper

Blackberries mulched
Here are some moments from the farm this week.

Strawberry blossom

Teeny Tiny Mushroom

Grape Leaf

Grape vine growing beautifuly

My friends the earthworms

Love them. 


Direct seeded into the fields this week:
Broccoli, Lettuce (several varieties), Cauliflower, Beets, Mustard Greens, Kale, Choi, Radishes (round 2), and Carrots

I also transplanted all of the perennial herbs from a row in the field to the new herb garden. Then I direct seeded a bunch of new herbs. Here is the beginning of the herb garden. You are seeing Sage (upper left), Oregano (upper right), Thyme (lower right), and Lavender (front and center). All of the sticks are where other herb were seeded. 

If you are ever asked to do farm work and you have a choice of tasks and transplanting herbs is one of the options, pick it. It was such pleasant work because everything just smelled wonderful, even the seeds. I think I'm going to like this herb garden. 

We had a whole lot of Thyme on our hands and I had this problem drop-off between two rows of Rhubarb. The whole field is on a hill but this particular spot was just a tiny cliff. It was covered in grass and I left some of that in place on purpose to help with erosion. However, I would rather a delicious herb than grass so I transplanted a few of the Thyme plants onto the tiny cliff. I am hoping they will like it there and help to hold the soil in place with their roots. I think the plants themselves may also help to slow down the flow of water. It's all one big experiment. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Thyme for erosion control?

My farming friend Kathy came to visit and help out on Saturday. Among other things she started some Cucumber, Squash and Zucchini seeds for us. Puddy helped. 

Just the like the good ol' days

Eating Well

When I transplanted the herbs I realized that the sage was growing really well and needed a good trimming back. I took off over a pound of the savory herb and took some home where I simmered it in butter and mixed it into my mashed potatoes. That was really yum. 

Sage Butter

The coffee was awesome.

Saturday morning after I made my delivery I had the chance to eat at one of the EatWell Restaurants for the first time. I can't believe I didn't order any vegetables but Blueberry Pancakes just sounded so good, and they were. My friend Kathy joined me and had the Veggie Burger which was recently ranked #4 in the city. That is quite an impressive rank in such a foodie town.

Really, really good pancakes.

Posted in the Commissary Restroom and
around the EatWell Restaurants

First on the list. This is at Logan Tavern.

We also took a stroll down the block to peek in at Logan Tavern.

Puddy Time

The new truck is Puddy approved. Thanks Katie for the fancy African blanket!
(Sorry I'm using it for my dirty farm dog :-/  )


  1. I don't know what the wierd looking bugs are but I'm guessing they eat catepillars.
    - Katie

    1. Close. They do eat a pest but it's not caterpillars. These bugs have been in the blog within the last 6 weeks but they looked a little different. This is the pupal phase of a common garden bug.


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