|Spring. This was early May. Now in early June it looks so much more full and lush.|
We did some new things this month including a shiitake mushroom class and getting chickens! Check it out...
|Herbs: savory, oregano, thyme, lemon balm|
|first shiitake flush of the year|
|Strawberries! At one point we harvested 80 pounds in two days!|
|My favorite, hakurei turnips|
|Peonies and English Lavender|
|Sugar Snap and Snow Peas aka harvest snack|
|first cucumber in mid May|
|First Sour Cherries from the orchard|
|Chicken Radish (actually a d'avignon)|
|Red Sails Lettuce|
|Spring Delivery to The Pig: Hakurei Turnips, Strawberries, |
Broccoli Rabe, Asparagus, Radishes
Production and Cultivation
|Beets and Lettuce interplanted. It is working well but I think could|
stand to be spaced a bit wider.
|Flame weeding- mixed results so far,|
I have to get the hang of it and figure out best timing
|Coolbot in action|
|Cool room partitioned with greenhouse plastic. The front half is cool,|
the back half is cold. This way we can keep part of the room colder
and put the produce in whichever half is appropriate
|Cucumbers under row cover to exclude pests|
|Zucchini, also under row cover|
|Once the cucs and zucs flowered the row cover was removed|
to let pollinators in. Trellising cucumbers up
|First cucumbers, much earlier in the hoop house|
Shiitake Mushroom Class
|Fresh cut logs from our woods (they have to be live and you|
have to inoculate them within 3 weeks)
|First step is to drill holes in the log 6" apart along the length|
3" apart around, in a diamond pattern
|Next you inject the inoculate into the holes with a special tool|
|Then you seal the holes with cheese wax|
|We labeled each log with the date and either a student's name|
or a number so we can track production
|Moved all the bolts to the swamp for their|
|And here they will sit for 6-8 months while the mushroom organism colonizes|
For more info and to grow your own shiitakes at home check out this useful document from the Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education)
We are getting a small flock of chickens and a family of guinea hens. It started with the idea to get the guineas so that they can free range and help keep the tick and other pest populations under control. We needed to build a place for them to be safe at night which we settled on doing in one of the stable stalls. Since we were already building a bird house we decided to get some laying hens for fun and fresh eggs.
The chicks were hatched out by a friend and are living in their nursery pen for now. As soon as the room is finished and safe from predators they will have the whole room to roam. Next step will be to build them an outdoor pen. The guineas are still eggs at this point in an incubator with the same friend.
|Soon to be bird house|
We finished up some summer transplanting this month. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tomatillos all went into the field under black landscape fabric. This will serve to preserve moisture in the soil, block weeds and keep them warm. For the tomatoes it helps to keep soil from splashing up on them when it rains since that is one way they get diseased.
|Irrigation is laid out under the fabric|
|Indigo Rose transplant with good strong roots|
|Tomatillos and Eggplant. We are following the contour of|
our infamous hill here, that's why it's not quite a straight line
May was all about our restaurants figuring out what to do with all those Strawberries. Here are few of the dishes that I got to sample:
|Kentucky Buck Cocktail from Grillfish|
|My strawberry cocktail and Lane's oysters|
|This cheesecake was spectacular. The strawberries were pureed|
into the cheesecake, cooked into the sauce and topped it off too
|Commissary made their own strawberry jam|
David, Chef Bonk and I took an afternoon trip to Union Kitchen. They are an incubator kitchen in DC. What does that mean? They have a huge commercial kitchen facility with all different areas set up for different food preparation. The layouts, equipment and even temperature vary as you move through their huge complex. They sell memberships to small food companies who can't afford their own commercial kitchen. Membership allows them to store food and have stations to prepare it. When we arrived there were food trucks lined up loading their prepared food to take out into the city. We saw everything from salads to dog biscuits to chocolate being prepared inside. And the best part? We got to do a tasting!
|District Cheese had a plate of chèvre to sample|
|Element Shrub creates delicious mixes of fruit and herbs by preserving it with|
vinegar and sugar like they did in colonial days. These were amazing.
|Langdon Wood Barrel Aged Maple Syrup|
|Chups are out to start a ketchup revolution. They want to remind everyone|
that you can make catchup out of any fruit and they had some great flavors.
Spicy pineapple was my favorite.
We also sampled corned beef and pastrami (I didn't but the guys said it was the best they had had in the city) from Singer's Significant Meats, bitters from Embitterment, and my favorite, chocolate from Undone Chocolate.
Field TripThe Beddow Montessori School of Waldorf came out for a field trip this month. We did a tour and they picked a pint of strawberries each to take home. Their favorite part was finding the edible herbs and of course sampling the strawberries.
|Beddow Montessori School field trip|
Puddy Time (and other critters)
|Fly patrol in the greenhouse|
|rodent control, sunning and trying to blend in with the hoses|
|This guy lives in the stables now|