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Sunday, September 8, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 25

The weather this week was incredible!


These tomatoes have character

In the harvest bins this week: Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Leaf Lettuce, Squash, Beets, Chard, Kale, Sugar Baby Watermelon, Purslane, Green Beans, Peppers, Arugula, Choi, Basil

Our neighbor farmer also harvested his hay this week. He cut it on Thursday and left it on the ground to dry in the sun. Friday he came by and turned it over and fluffed it up to help it dry all the way through. Sunday he bailed it. This neighbor is a real asset because not only is he super neighborly and helpful, this land used to belong to his family so he has lots of stories about it. This week I learned of how he and his brother used to drag race their motorcycles through the rows of tobacco in this field. That is, until their dad caught them and made them quit. 
Hay just before cutting

Just after being cut and left to dry
Eventually we plan to farm this whole field!

Cutting the hay also made room for our new field. The same neighbor has a big tractor and lots of implements and is going to plow the new field for us and it will go into cover crop this winter to be ready for production in the spring.

Production and Distribution

This week my sidekick Gayle did all of the harvesting, washing and packing on Thursday so that I could work with a small crew to get a few big project done. She was completely self sufficient and awesome as usual. Thanks Gayle (and Chip!)!!!

Sugar Baby Watermelons to Commissary

Cultivation and Maintenance

Trellised the Shelling Peas


Peas and Spinach

Our mushroom Guru Jillian called to check in on the mushroom logs. We are looking for the ends to turn white with mycelial growth, which is happening. She plans to come by soon to soak the logs. I got impatient though and threw one in the pond over night. As of yesterday some of the holes where we put the inoculate in are swelling, which hopefully means mushrooms are fixing to pop out of them.

Mushroom logs

Mycelial Growth

Soaking a small log in the pond

 After 1 1/2" of rain on Sunday and a humid Monday, the rest of the week has been dry and sunny so I've been doing a lot of irrigating for the newly seeded and transplanted crops.

I had a crew of 3 extra helpers from the restaurants on Thursday. We pulled some old crops, cleaned and prepped some beds and tamed the strawberries.

Pulled out the Sunflowers
Cleaning and Mulching Strawberries
Cleaning and prepping beds


Direct seeded Spinach, Radishes, Arugula and Lettuce

The 1x4 and String help me lay out my beds for planting

Eating Well

Check out this article featuring Chef Bonk of The Pig on dehydrating as a way of preserving summer produce and meats.

"At the Pig — where they buy whole animals and try to avoid waste — Bonk dehydrates skin to make cracklings. “The process is pretty straightforward,” he says, “but it took me several attempts to understand the nuances of pork rinds to get consistent results.” Unlike produce, meats need to be first cooked to a temperature that kills bacteria and then kept at a certain temperature for drying safely."

Puddy Time

Puddy brought a friend to the farm this week. Tilford had a blast running really fast in laps around the farm and learned pretty quickly to stay off the food. 

Headed to work

Run, nap, repeat.

Tilford thinks he is a duck hunter

Yin and Yang

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