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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas from EatWell Natural Farm!!!

Remember when NBC4's Veronica Johnson came out to the farm to film a piece for the news? Well, it aired and you can see it here!

These past two weeks have seen a crazy range of weather. At the beginning we had lows in the teens and a few inches of snow. Now at the end we are tying the record high of 72. 

Flora didn't mind the snow

Farm frosted over

We had a thin layer of ice around the edge of the pond

We even had a light dusting of snow .

Snowy Parsley

Here's something new I'm trying. I covered a few crops with a couple inches of leaves to help insulate them from the cold. I learned about this from a workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair. It seems to work really well. So far I have tried it on the spinach and carrots. I harvested a few pounds of Spinach this week which was easy enough. I was able to quickly brush the leaves away, harvest and brush the leaves back over. The biggest drawback was that the spinach was dirtier than normal and took longer to wash.

Bed of Spinach covered in leaves

Eating Well

And that Spinach? Here's where it ended up. The Pig created this Risotto Fritter with Meat Ball and Sunny Side Up Duck Egg served with wilted Spinach. If you've never tried Duck Eggs, do yourself a favor. They are incredible and I'm sure perfectly complimented by my amazing spinach. :0)


I started building the Greenhouse this week. Shipments came in from Johnny's Select Seed and Nolt's Produce Supplies with the pipe bender, hardware and poly. My superstar volunteer Gayle and I made a trip to Lowes to pick up the rest. The structure is made of 1 3/8" Chain Link Fence Top Rail that is bent into bows and covered with a double layer of Poly. 

2x8x8 for the baseboards and 1 3/8" Fence Top Rail for the bows

This fan will inflate the area between the two layers of Poly

This is the Pipe Bender which I mounted to our wash table. I ordered it form Johnny's and it is designed to help you build 12' wide bows out of two pieces of 10' tubing. Our table wasn't quite sturdy enough so we had to lash it to the barn and then one of us would push against the table while the other bent the pipe.

Here's Gayle bending one pipe 

We switched off until we got them all bent

Each bent pipe is half a bow

Next we bolted the pipe together

First we drilled
Then bolted with hex bolts and nyloc nuts

All hardware and sharps get covered with tape so as not to tear the polly
All the bows complete

So we also got a larger diameter pipe that will be the ground posts. We had to cut them in half which we used this awesome pipe cutter for.
Pipe Cutter with two clean cuts

The next step for the greenhouse is to level out the ground where we are going to build it and build a small retaining wall just up the hill from it. We have a neighbor handyman who is going to take care of this while I'm on vacation for the next two weeks. Hopefully when I get back I will be able to put it together in one day. 


The Ramp seeds arrived so Gayle and I planted them right before this unseasonal warm snap. I am hoping that the few warm days are enough to break the dormancy of the seed and that they germinate this spring. If it's not then they won't germinate until Spring 2015. That would be a bummer because after they germinate it will take another 3 years before they set seed and we can start harvesting. 

Ramp Seeds! 1 oz
To plant the Ramps you pick a wooded spot, rake away the leaves, scatter them on the soil, push them into the soil and recover the area with leaves. Thats it. 

Puddy made sure no deer snuck up on us
Future Ramp Patch!

Puddy Time

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