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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 10

This week's post is going to be abbreviated because it is already late and if I wait any longer it will be time for next week's already. So here you go. A week in pictures.

Let's start with a little time lapse. Here is the main field right after I tilled it and what it looks like now. What a difference a couple of months make.


The big story this week was Strawberries. I harvested and delivered 100lbs of Strawberries. 


33lbs of Strawberries

Red Sails Lettuce

Mustard Greens, Kale, Spinach, Choi, Arugula

Pac Choi

More Strawberries

Still More Strawberries

Production and Distribution

My wash station up until this week has been an improvised combination of buckets and bins.

Double washing Mustard Greens

But this weekend David and I built an outdoor washing table which will be great for all kinds of roots, anything durable and big. Inside David put together a few sinks and a washing machine that I can use to spin water off of greens. He even did the plumbing. The stable is slowly becoming a real packing house. 

David tacking down the mesh

Finished wash table

Cultivation and Maintenance

I transplanted the last of our tomato seedlings this week and covered the smallest ones to give them a chance to get bigger before the flea beetles find them. This is agribond floating row cover. It allows light and water to get through but keeps out the creepy crawlies.

Compost pile is getting bigger


We had a little mix up with our last delivery of tomato seedlings and they ended up sitting in a box inside the postoffice for a week. Once we realized they were there I went to get them, fully expecting them to be dead. Well, they were alive. They had gotten quite leggy but were decidedly green and not dead. So, I planted them along with a few more that I bought from a neighboring farmer at Radix Farm.

Tomato and Tomatillo seedlings
Seeded bed
I also direct seeded a bed of lettuce and arugula with the four point seeder and the help of my friend and all star volunteer, Kathy.

Eating Well

Strawberry, Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad-Grillfish

Bread Pudding with a Strawberry Sauce at Logan Tavern

Grillfish featuring Hakurei turnips and radishes with crab

Spinach and Strawberry Salad at Logan Tavern

The Pig's take on Kale topped with Sardines

Strawberry and goat cheese salad with pea tendrils, The Pig

Puddy Time

Wet Dog

Puddy is really into the Strawberries

And now for something Completely Different

I attended the March against Monsanto last Saturday. We met in front of the White House and marched to Monsanto's Office building where they run their lobbying from. Here are a few pictures and a link to some coverage including an interview I gave. 

If you watched the video you may have noticed the misspelling. I blame Lane. Here he is, eating Face Bacon from the pig.

"I don't know how to spell 'Afraid' but I like Bacon"

Sunday, May 19, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 9

Awesome Graphic from Logan Tavern

Our Rose Bush is blooming
Sage Blossoms
My first few weeks here I spent a lot of time emailing, texting and calling my mentors in Georgia. Nicholas of Crystal Organic Farm saw a few pictures of the farm and told me to put half of it in cover crop because I wouldn't be able to keep up with the whole thing. This week I started to wonder if he was right (of course he was right, he's a farming genius). Everything is growing which means everything needs to be weeded and harvested in a timely manner. Yikes. I have felt behind all week and I'm pretty sure that's not going to change until October. Anyone out there reading this blog is MORE than welcome to come volunteer for a day, or a week, or a year. I'll feed you and send you home with fresh food. Plus you get to hang out with me at this beautiful farm. What could be better? Still need convincing? Swimsuit season is coming up and if you work at the farm once or twice a week it will totally save you money because you won't need a gym membership. But for real, if you are interested in volunteering or even just a tour shoot me an email


Radish Micro Greens

There is so much food growing right now. It's starting to become a challenge to harvest it all. I don't think it will be long before I am making twice weekly deliveries. Here are some highlights from this week. 

Scarlett Queen Turnips

Scarlett Queens

62 lbs of turnips

Green Strawberries

Mint, Sage, Thyme, Oregano

Broccoli Microgreens

Mustard Greens


Other harvests this week: Spinach, Radishes, Arugula.

Production and Distribution

On Monday we participated in a fundraiser for Food and Friends. The event was called Chef's Best and it was at the Washington Hilton

We loaded up Flora (the truck) with food, our sign, and hay

All 5 Restaurants set up and served small dishes

Sweet Sign Featuring the farm

Chef Milanes of Grillfish prepping his plates

Pickled Radishes from the farm

Impressive fruit carving at a nearby table
The main event in the ballroom. Good Eats.

Saturday's Restaurant Delivery

This week I picked up the first full compost bin from Commissary and swapped it out for an empty bin. It was HEAVY and full of veggies that will feed the farm in the future. 

Cultivation and Maintenance

I did a little more paper wrangling this week for our NRCS grant and visited this building more than once. 

Then I picked up a truck load of mulch from a local hardwood lumber yard. 

Asparagus Mulched!

Tailgate Surprise!
After I mulched the asparagus I went to close the truck tailgate and Surprise! It fell off. Turns out it's removable and if you are parked just right on a hill you can accidentally remove it by trying to close it with a little mulch stuck in the hinge. I about peed my pants when the whole thing came crashing down with my hand on the handle. For a second I thought I broke the truck. But no worries, Flora is fine. After I realized it would be a lot easier on flat ground I moved her up the hill, cleared out the mulch, and was able to muscle the tailgate back onto it's hinge. Phew....

 First compost load ready to go on the pile. I dumped it on with the tractor and covered it with hay to get the right green to brown ration. Ever wonder how to make your own compost? Check out this link.

Not my groundhog. I haven't seen him myself yet. 
Groundhog Day! It's happend. The Groundhogs I have been warned of are back. Sunday morning on my daily walk about I discovered this damage on the green beans. In my experience this looked like deer damage but a deer would have left prints on the wet ground. Luckily David was out and recognized it as groundhog damage. They are big and so eat from the top just like a deer. They also love beans. We took steps immediately because they can do a lot of damage really fast. 

Groundhog damage

Trap. Apparently they love apples. 

I put that $#!t on everything!

I also took put some hot sauce in a spray bottle with some water and sprayed it on everything in the area I thought a groundhog might like to eat. If he makes it past the trap hopefully he won't like what he finds.


Since I harvested all the Microgreens this week I went ahead and planted some more. Green Magic Broccoli, Arugula, D'Avignon Radishes, and some Sweet Corn. I also direct seeded some things into the fields; Collard Greens, Fennel, Cilantro, and second succession of Cucumbers. 

Eating Well

Microgreens garnish this lovely dish

Grillfish finally got the first Microgreens. I think now that I have grown them once I can manage to grow them  smarter next time and get more yield. They really are beautiful and have an intense flavor. 

Radish Greens under crab

Logan Tavern Delivery of Radishes and Spinach
Logan Tavern makes another gorgeous salad
with farm fresh Spinach and Radishes

Radishes and Greens from the farm with Sardines at The Pig
The Pig's take on a Spinach Salad

 Puddy Time
Poor Puddy had one or two ticks almost every day this week. :(  It's really unfortunate because A) They gross me out and I hate having to deal with them. B) Puddy is such a big baby she gets scared when I restrain her so it's always a struggle. I did figure out that if I give her a treat first and have some others nearby but just out of reach she will let me roll her over, pin her down and pull out a tick while she stares longingly at her munchies. Of course she gets a handful when we are done and lots of love and kisses. We're getting better at it but it's really a drag for both of us. I ordered some new medicine to try and started putting garlic oil on her food again. It seemed to help in GA.