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Sunday, May 10, 2015

April showers, dreams of peaches, and quality time with the Chefs

A little bit of springtime fun:


This April saw the end of the hoop house greens and the beginning of the spring harvest of perennials like Asparagus, Rhubarb and herbs. 

Our Chefs spent the day at the farm and cleaned out the Mizuna, Yukina and Spinach from the hoop house. 
Chefs harvesting and clearing beds

Harvesting Mizuna

Our perennial herbs are coming back strong

First Rhubarb and Spinach of the year

Production and Cultivation

Peaches, please!

The farm came with a peach tree. It's not too big but it has been plagued with problems. For one, each year it sets hundreds of fruit but they are all ruined by Plum Circulio. It is a snout nosed beetle who lays its eggs in the developing fruit. When they hatch the larvae eat the fruit from the inside. All our peaches in the history of the farm have just shriveled up on the tree. Last summer we painstakingly removed all the dead fruit and this year I cut off a bunch of unhealthy looking branches, fed the tree and have been spraying it with Surround to try and get a few of these fruits to be edible this year. Surround is an organic product made of refined kaolin clay (used in pottery). You coat the tree with this clay by mixing it with water and spraying it on. The clay deters pests by creating a very uncomfortable environment for them. 
Peach blossom

In full bloom

Surround applied after petal fall

Coated in clay it looks like a ghost tree

Beds, raised

We finished our raised beds this month by lining the bottoms with chicken wire (to keep out moles and voles) and cardboard (to suppress weeds) and filling them with soil and compost. 



"Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonderful things." Henry David Thoreau

We planted tons of things in April: Radishes, Arugula, Mustard Greens, Broccoli Rabe, Choi, Kale, Heirloom Tomatoes in the hoop house, Lettuce, Chard, Turnips, Carrots, Cucumbers, Squash, Zucchini, Green Beans, Melons, Winter Squash, and many many flowers. 

Volunteer extraordinaire, Frank, transplanting
Golden Beets

Tomatoes, Peppers and Basil almost ready to go out

Frank, Aida and Gayle taking a well earned break
after seeding this entire field of cucurbits

Aida lovingly transplanting heirloom tomatoes

Welcome back! 

April saw the return of some well-missed friends...


Soon to be Strawberries

Shiitake Mushrooms just popping out

Prep work 

Spring is a busy time with tons of prep work to convert the farm from its sleepy winter habits into summer's frenzy of food. 
Turning in cover crop where the field tomatoes will go

Upgrading the cool room with a cool bot- It's a computer
that tricks the AC into cooling the room way down

Screening our own compost to add to hoop house beds

Prepping beds, lots and lots of beds

Eating Well

Spinach (from the farm) egg strata and a bunny pancake for Easter Breakfast

I got to spend a few hours in the kitchen at The Pig hanging out with Chef Bonk. He taught me some knife skills (you should see me dice an onion!) and I got to watch him work with some of my produce.

Processing Rhubarb for a special sauce

Preparing a staff lunch with our Asparagus

Handmade gnocchi with garlic, cheese and
EatWell Natural Farm Asparagus

Chef and Farmer

Puddy Time

I get to hang out at the farm all day and
you don't! Pffffftttt......

Puddy's cousin Atka who spent
Easter with us (also my lovely sister!)

Rainy day farm life

Puddy approves of our new cart, it's a great shade-mobile

"Spring is nature's way of saying, let's party!" ~Robin Williams

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