Monday, December 5, 2011

More hoophouse progress - day 2 construction

Hoops up. Perloins up. All hoops, perloins drilled and screwed together and to the wood base. Hose clamps at the crossings.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Laying out the bottom boards.
First hoop.
Side pipes up.
Design and construction crew.
One of many supervisors.


Big excitement around here. Robin is starting to build the hoophouse! He's been researching and gathering materials for months. Now the actually building is started and it looks awesome so far!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Early August in pictures

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Farm News in Pictures

Baby chicks born Sunday, July 3. One day old in picture.

Black currant, approximately 10% of the total harvest.

Scarlet Runner beans in full bloom.

Future cherry tomatoes.

Young fava beans.

Bees buzzing contentedly in the milkweed.

Pullets in the chick house.

Green hazelnuts, the first in several years.

The first of the raspberries!

The field all mulched, potatoes, plum tomatoes, winter squash.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Farming WEEK # 2 - Day 10

Monday, May 30
Extra farm day

Finally cooking the chicken I defrosted a couple of days ago. No time to cook!
Chickens - the Wyandotte rooster hopped the fence. By using food and hens as lures I got him into the smaller north chicken yard. So no rooster wars and no mixing the breeds outside of our breeding plan.
Planted the rest of the plum tomatoes. The ones from last night look amazingly settled in.
Planted 45 feet of Jumbo Pink Banana winter squash, for people and for chickens
Planted 1 1/2 rows of potatoes - Red Norland and Yukon Gold. Cut the rest of the Yukon Gold for later.
Lots of mosquitos!
3 quick blog posts about the last 3 days.
10:30 - I need breakfast!
Planted 75 feet of soybeans - Envy and Butterbeans
Filled in summer squashes where the transplants didn't take well.
Next year: Don't plant early squash inside, instead plant them outside with protection.
Started weeding the south end of the west garden
Break. Fold laundry.
CSA email and blog post.
Hit my energy wall. I guess 10 days straight of farming tuckered me out.



Monday, May 30, 2011

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 9

Sunday, May 29

Bath at last!
Chickens. Dishes.
Set out moonflower seedlings.
Planted 50 feet of winter squash, 11 varieties.
Set out 20 Rubine sprout plants.
There's room for some head lettuce, arugula and cilantro between the winter squashes.
Decided to set the rest of the sprouts in the spinach beds.
Decided to set the celery in the quicks bed.
Watered seedlings.
Thinned radishes.
Lunch and rest break.
Watered flower seedlings - oops, they were a bit limp.
Marked the rows and started planting 38 plum tomatoes - Gilbertie, Speckled Roman, Super San Marzano, Roman Candle, Black Plum, Orange Banana

Starting to both feel the weariness of day after day planting but also feel like I am creeping up on completing the main planting. I may just be hallucinating.

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 8

Saturday, May 28

Egg email
Sarah worked today. Dug sod in the eggplant area
Farm member Desiree worked today. Pulled big weeds in the cut flower garden and started a compost heap near it.
Spread fertilizer and lime in the cut flowers and eggplant
Got a phone call from Atlanta, Georgia about delivering a birthday surprise
Picked for the birthday, arranged, photoed and delivered
Emailed Paula about extra tomatoes
Paula and Karen came and got 5 plants and some eggs
Nancy came and bought eggs. Ruby scared woodchucks by peeing around the yard
Spread chicken compost (from their pen) on the eggplant and cuke area
Robin tilled the kale, shell beans, part of the field (tomatoes, potatoes and pumpkins) and the cut flower garden.
Tiller broke down...
Fertilizer to cukes.
Planted 22 feet of Cross Country cukes
More compost, lime and fertilizer to eggplant.
Set out 42 eggplant and 60 sweet peppers.

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 7

Friday, May 27

Blog post about yesterday
Went on a phone calling rampage
Arranged to borrow a tiller, ordered straw, left a message about manure, and ordered 7 fruit trees!
Expected trees (all dwarf) - quince, sour cherry, seckel pear, 2 sweet cherries and 2 pears
Talked to Kenny about farming. He recommends a daily siesta. They have lunch and naptime every day.
Recorded tomato layout
Robin set out the hot peppers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 6

Thursday, May 26

So busy today. Share # 1!
Picked spinach and lettuce.
Cleaned up the vegetable prep area
Moved the chicken fence to improve access to the eggplant area
Sarah came and finished planting the salad tomatoes!
Divided and prepped the shares.
Set up the shares by the garage.
Blog posts and farm share picture to FB
2:40 time for lunch
clean up from picking
pick up worked
Sort of took the afternoon off, tidying up inside, at least it felt like time off. Maybe that's because I didn't deliver the shares. Staying home and following through right away felt like goofing off.
farm visitors
rhubarb crisp, pick salad greens and broccoli side shoots
Robin came up and almost immediately started mowing the grass
Started hoeing the west garden


Thursday, May 26, 2011

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 5

Wednesday, May 25

called Martin Farm about compost, still not available, call next week...
blog post for Tuesday
Sarah came!
SB-A dug the flower border for the PYO, almost done
We cleared the upper tomato area, moved rocks, a few plants, excess composted chicken bedding and weeds
Composted chicken bedding to red raspberries
Moved eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and flowers to their planting areas
Spread plastic and agrabon to dry in the SUN!
Picked up a small refrigerator at a friend's house (for eggs)
Sorted tomatoes for planting - 15 cherry, 30 big, 15 medium
Rest. Food. Tea.
Planted 30 tomatoes.
Picked rhubarb and flowers at Karen's house
That's enough for me for one day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 4

Tuesday, May 24

called Community Action about the electrical savings program
emailed Half and Full Share people
blog post about day 3
one tree peony bud is starting to show pink!
set up the coop for chicks, new bedding, water, feeder, and set up the separating wall
moved the chicks to the coop
cleaned up chick mess on the porch

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 3

Monday, May 23

Fed the chickens
Consulted with Karen about rhubarb and moonflowers
Blog post
CSA email and blog post (this took a long time!)
Arranged a trade for an apartment sized frig - Yay!
Called Community Action about an electrical savings program.
Set up 15 teepees and planted pole beans - Rattlesnake, Goldmarie, Green Annellino, Annellino Giallo, Garden of Eden, Gold of Bacau, Kentucky Blue, Stortino, Northeaster, Neckergold, Kentucky Wonder and Kentucky Wonder Yellow Wax
Set out Tithonia plants
Planted the strawberry tower with Honeyoye strawberries.

(I am interested in learning more about growing fruit under cover. I got this strawberry tower a few years ago from Raintree Nursery. I tried it out but didn't water it regularly enough. Trying again this year. For more information, see All Season Fruit Company)

Hemming and hawing about what to plant next to the pole beans - cow peas? soybeans? cukes?
Looked for upcoming crops. Picked the first little radish!
Knitting, old BBC Sherlock Holmes, sleeping in the armchair


Monday, May 23, 2011

FARMING WEEK # 2 - Day 2


Sunday, May 22

Ann's birthday
Blog post
A few farm photos to FB
Yesterday I checked the planted bush beans and was pleased to find sprouting beans under the soil. Phew. There was a chance that the rain would have rotted them.
I've been clipping the wings on various escapee chickens. Yesterday none of them jumped the fence...
Dishes, breakfast, laundry
Laundry # 2, 3, 4
Planted bush beans - Royal Burgandy 55d, Dragon, Annellino di Trento, 25 feet each with fertilizer and inoculant
Used the broad fork in the pole bean area and decided to let it sit for a day before planting. In theory, to dry out a bit.
Hoed the extra early tomatoes and planted 50 feet of New Zealand spinach and Crackerjack marigolds in the same bed. I am hoping that the NZ spinach will turn into a living mulch.
Toured the whole garden thinking about the farm shares.
The field is pretty wet but I think I will be able to set out tomatoes at the upper edge.
I am getting a bit tired of the rain BUT it is a lovely change from drought.
Supper, movie, knitting, fold clothes, sleep


Sunday, May 22, 2011



Day 1 - Saturday, May 21

Hurray! Home again for a week straight with a chance of getting the planting in hand! I am not too, too, too badly behind to start out. Only the parsnips need planting of the early things and there is some transplanting and pruning that never got done but, hey, there's a lot that is checked off the list and in a timely fashion. AND my farm helper/working farm member/intern/nice person has arrived home from college and started working 3 mornings each week. Amazing. It is so encouraging to have someone around with whom I can talk over plans and share the to-do list! Thank you, Sarah! (And thank you, Robin, for all your help year round, including the listening and idea sharing. Plus the carpentering, tilling, mowing and now, chain sawing. I am sure am lucky you like doing that kind of thing!)

On the downside, it's been so rainy this month. The soil is wet and it isn't good to work it or walk on it when it's so wet. So I have to be patient. There is plenty to do, both inside and out but the main thing, the planting, sometimes just can't be done. Rain does help me to pace myself, which is good for my joints, muscles and general energy level. I just can't work those 12 hour days gardening any more. It makes me too sore and wiped out and then I lose work time. So, I try to be smart about it. (I had a birthday last week and I feel fine. Pretty darn spry for a 59 year old lady.)


So the details for Saturday:
Called Sarah to give her the day off because it was RAINING so hard.
Moved the eggplant, peppers, basil, and frost sensitive flowers outside to harden off.
Inventoried the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.
Inventoried the spaces I have for those plants.
Analyzed the above. It turns out that I only have 8 extra tomato plants. (I haven't figured out the others yet.) The plums will all fit in the field in 3 rows and the salad tomatoes will all fit in the PYO section and the upper garden.
Filled two more bags of trash, loaded the car, and went to the landfill with yet another load of junk from the garage. The garage floor is appearing!
By this time, the SUN was shining.
It kept shining while I was in town and through lunch at home. Then, when I started work, RAIN!
New bedding for the chicks. Admired chicks.
Weeded, fertilized, limed the PYO tomato bed. Planted 9 different tomatoes, mostly cherries. Mulched them.
Uncovered the early brassicas and lettuce tunnel. Uncovered the extra early tomato tunnel.
The RAIN stopped. CLOUDY.
Fertilized the early brassica beds and set out summer squash plants in between the brassicas.
Worked on the pea fence.
Marked the rows for 3 more rows of bush beans.

Basically the weather kept changing all day and my orientation kept changing along with it. I am really glad I got some plants in the ground. More tomorrow!
Watched "Sherlock" and really liked it although I fell asleep during the second episode.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011



One of my favorite daffodils - giant sized and easy to see up in the orchard.

Monday, May 2

oops, stiff again
dishes, bills,
blogging catch up
planted Swiss chard, 225 feet
watered seedlings
low energy today
planted leaf lettuce, 180 feet
planted spinach, 225 feet
planted a bunch of in a "nursery area" - a spot when I can grow up some seedlings outside and then move them, hopefully a spot where they are protected, safe and easy to care for - Fennel, kolrabi, sorrel, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, 5 kinds of scallions, four-o-clocks, 12 kinds of head lettuce

I am glad I pushed through my tired, low energy wall! Lots more to go on another day.
Back to gardening on my days off. This week's goals: set out the onions and leeks, plant parsnips and early flowers, prune and transplant raspberries, catch up on indoor planting and CSA communications, and oh yes!, twenty day old chicks are coming!

Nursery area