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fall into winter

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As autumn turned and the heat become cold, long dusty days turned into grey hoodie weather, we continued with the harvest. Salad, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, rutabagas, carrots, beets. We planted our garlic out in new 2-row beds so they could be cultivated in 2014 with the straddle row. We labored for hours before hard frosts hit, scurrying to get as many roots into the cellar before the first snow–December 3rd. We finished our last batch of pigs for a while, sowed a couple acres of cover crop, and put the farm to bed for winter. The horses got their winter vacation and we did too. While I have enjoyed the rest, I anxiously await the hustle and excitement of the new growing season.

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Well I’ve fallen behind even further in updating but here’s another month of last summer’s photos. It is raining hard outside today and I’m getting over a cold, so I guess now is a good a time as any. September was also Joel’s last month on the farm, before he started the WWCC wine program. Before he left, he put together a few more garden carts and made a ball hitch for the forecart so we could pull a trailer full of squash. Below you can enjoy the video of him backing it into the barn–quite impressive. Here’s looking back fondly on last summer while this season gets ramped up.

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feasting in august

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My memory of August is similar to July. Hot, sweaty, and a bit of a blur. And eating a lot of amazing fruit. Amazing to see these photos now—especially photos of the brassica field—most of those plants are a slimy pile of foul goop after we hit 0F earlier this month with little snow to protect the plants. (more…)

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remembering july

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A hot, sweaty month… (more…)

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Emily & Liz arranging flowers in the farmstand
This year our good friends Nat & Matty built a new farmstand on the property, and it opened this summer, right when we started bursting with produce. It was built from rough cut black locust lumber from trees that Andy took down on various jobs this last year. We had a portable mill come early this year and prepare all the boards and studs. Then in the spring, our buddies dug a large hole along the driveway and built this structure halfway underground, covering the stand with top soil and native grasses and flowers. It helps keep the north-facing stand cool on the hot days, and serves as the on-farm CSA pickup and the flower arranging area on days the stand is closed, which helps free up the relatively cramped root cellar. It has been a welcome addition to our farm as a place to market more of our produce and flowers locally. We’ve had fairly steady customers, and hope it picks up more when the farmer’s market ends in a few weeks. Roots, tubers and garlic are some of our largest crops, and we are planting our hoophouses with winter salad, so we expect to offer food into December this year.

Open Wednesdays, Thursday, Fridays from 2-6pm. Cyclists get 10% off. Join the farmstand email list here.

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planet junior seeder

It has been a long time coming, but I finally tested out the Planet Junior horsedrawn seeder I purchased over 2 years ago. This past winter, John helped me put the finishing touches on the machine by building a steel tongue and setting it up with the double tree. Once back home this spring, I spent some time in the shop cleaning up the rusty gunk off as best I could by taking apart many pieces, grinding off the rust with wire brushes, painting them, then reassembling the machine. So finally this July I decided to test it out.

We had a small plot where we planned to sow a cowpea cover crop. Instead of broadcasting and incorporating using the cultimulcher or harrow, I used the planet junior by sliding the four shoes close together, then riding back and forth across the field overlapping the wheel base marks to give an even sowing.

The seeder can be used for most crops, including turnips, beets, carrots, peas, beans, corn, brassicas. The one consideration is that one must want a significant space seeded in order to make efficient use of the machine. At our scale, there aren’t many cash crops that would necessitate its use. But I am glad to have the tool in my shed for when I will want to use it.

The first sowing shown in this photos was unfortunately uneven, as seed came out at an acceptable rate in only two of the four hoppers. We are now bare fallowing the field where we had thought to sow this cover crop, hoping to germinate and kill some weed seeds before planting the garlic slated for planting in October.  I plan on trying out the seeder again soon after making some adjustments.

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Just in case you were wondering…sometimes we herd pigs too.

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