Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Winter Shares

Just a reminder that the deadline to sign up for the winter share AND receive a 5% discount is coming up on October 31st! 

Click here for a registration form and prices!

If you have any questions feel free to send me an email

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Look Back

About a year ago Kevin and I moved our farm here to this land that has become Groundworks Farm.  There was nothing here and we set about the task of building a farm, something that Kevin had done once before but on a smaller scale.  

First we spread manure, then we had the ground plowed and we planted cover crops of oats and rye.  We built the greenhouse next to our house, and planted garlic.  We made plans and reorganized the barn.  We built the cooler by our house.  We welcomed 11 piglets onto the farm.  We began to plan and map out the future of the farm and we went out seeking members, people to grow the food for.  

Then spring arrived and everything that had been a plan began to take real form.  Baby chicks arrived, and more pigs.  I spent hours, and days in the greenhouse, seeding tiny plants that would grow into tomato and eggplants, lettuce and kale, everything that you have received in your share for the past 5 months came from tiny seeds that I planted in the ground or into trays and then transplanted out into the fields.  June arrived and with the chance of a frost well behind us we raced to transplant all of the frost sensitive crops. From there on we weeded, harvested and cared for the vegetables all season.  Now the season is coming to a close and we are preparing the ground for another season.  We are turning in old crops, pulling up plants and planting cover crops.  As I write this, despite the encroaching darkness Kevin is out on the tractor, turning up ground that we grew on this year so we can plant cover crops on it and rejuvenate the land for future use.  The farm, which seemed a year ago like a piece of land, now feels like a living thing.  I understand so much more about it now than I did then.  I cannot even begin to think how much more this land can continue to teach us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Frost on the Farm

These pretty little flowers survived two nights of frost
The frost finally arrived, blackening basil plants, leaving the flower garden a bit darker, and killing off several other things as well.  However, most crops affected by the frost were nearing the end of their lives anyway.  The tomatoes, already diseased and rotting, were already begging us to pull them out of the ground.  The eggplants have had a good solid run and we hope you have enjoyed them and found many ways to cook them. Prior to the frost we stripped the eggplant plants of their fruits as well as the peppers.  We covered some of the basil and brought out a large cover to protect the greens for the winter share, which are spring seedlings right now.  I woke in the morning to a frost covered world, but it seems to have come at a perfect time.  Now the air is crisp and the sun is shining.  The mosquitoes are nowhere to be seen.  Today we dug up sweet potatoes, beautiful treasures that have been hidden under the soil all summer.  Then we dug the celeriac, or celery root, and took it to the root cellar.  As I type this I can smell celery from the scent the plants left on my hands.  We continue to harvest and fill our root cellar with delicious storage crops for the late fall and winter.       

Friday, October 7, 2011

Potato Digging and Dreaming

Our main focus this week has been harvesting potatoes.  Back in May we planted the potatoes, making small holes in the ground and dropping in seed potatoes cut to the size of a golf ball.  These little pieces or potato sprout to form a plant and then many more potatoes below the ground. The rule of thumb is that you should yield about 10 lbs of potatoes for every pound that you plant.  We grew ours under plastic mulch for weed control and this week we pulled the mulch up, drove a tractor implement through which stirs up the ground and then we crawled through on our hands and knees digging up the potatoes.  There is a very simple machine, a potato harvester which will dig up the potatoes and lay them on the surface of the soil.  We have been dreaming about owning one this week as we crawled through the potatoes, yet the time was well spent. As we pulled back the soil and placed the potatoes on the surface we began to discuss plans for the future, what kind of farm we want to have, what we have done well this season, what we would like to change.  As we crawl along in the soil, watching the leaves slowly change colors and seeing the first geese make their way south, I found that while we would have spent less time with a fancy machine to do all the work, it is nice to have a good space for dreaming and it seems the potatoes are our dreaming space.