Farm

Happy Holidays

I’ve taken a prolonged hiatus from this blog.  Life has a way of diverting one’s focus.  2016 is down to just a few days, and the year’s passing is that of a blur.

Some highlights:

I got a new job.  Jordan got a new job.  The garden took a back-burner.

A few house projects were started.

Enjoying the new fire pit!

Enjoying the new fire pit!

The puppies grew larger!

The chickens got more comfortable with their new home and have found every hole in the fence…they are now free-range.

Pretty Girl!

Pretty Girl!

Most outgoing

Most outgoing

The Bounty!

The Bounty!

Loving their new digs!

Loving their new digs!

Wilbur and Max are doing well and we hope soon those two will be co-habitating.

img_2990

Max helping clear out the corn stalks

img_0258

Happy pig in the sun

We had a wonderful respite at the beach again, thanks to a year of anticipation and a good friend for watching our farm, allowing us a worry-free break.

Our backyard!

Our backyard!

The place for shell seeking

The place for shell seeking

The two water dogs

The two water dogs

Sunset after glorious sunset

Sunset after glorious sunset

But the seed catalogs are rolling in and we are already plotting and scheming for the next year.

From our farm to you and your family, Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year!

img_0453
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a chicken!

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a chicken or two!

 

Hidden treasure!

Shed

Shed

This morning’s photo is of our “chicken coup” shed door. There is a hidden treasure in this photo.

Can you find it?

Ok. Here is some help…

A ha!

A ha!

Nice camouflage! He is located just above the green lichens halfway up the left side of the door jamb.

Fun.

Quick look tells me it might be a Gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor). It’s super cute.

Farm update

What a busy weekend. We’ve taken on a Saturday market in Pearisburg, VA which reduces our time to devote to garden chores to mainly Sunday. Hours of weed whacking and mowing later, I’ve some crop updates to provide…

The weed pressure this season is nearly overwhelming. For certain, it is frustrating to me to fail to stay on top of things. Likewise, the major rains in June and early July prohibited many of our succession plantings. What does it all mean?

Well, here is the so-so news:

  • Our crop of red onions is pretty much a loss due to extreme competition with weeds. I will start bringing some to markets, but the bulbs will be small.
  • Our offerings of carrots may be compromised as well. I have yet to plant my last row. Our main crop accidentally got tilled under. Our only growing row of carrots is very weedy. I hope we have some for you (and some fall ones for us to overwinter) come September.
  • I missed my planting window for fall potatoes. Will put some in the ground this week and hope they have time to develop.
  • I did not plant successions of squashes or cucumbers. That means we have few plants in the ground. These offerings will be less than in years past. If I can, I will plant some seeds this week and see if we can squeeze in some late offerings.
  • I will have a gap in my lettuce production again this year. I hope to have loose leaf lettuce this week, possibly into next week.
  • Cabbage worms and harlequin bugs abound. The kales are going strong, but you will start to notice some imperfections. That is except for the “Redbor” variety…my new favorite. Not only a stunningly beautiful plant and leaf (dark green/purple frilly leaves with purple veins), this kale seems to thumb its nose at bugs.

The good news:

  • It has been fairly sunny, hot and dry these couple of weeks. We hope that our tomato plants that are loaded with green tomatoes decides it is a good time to have them turn red! our cherry tomatoes are going strong as are our yellow “Taxi” tomatoes. Still waiting for some red slicers, though.
  • Our beans are producing great. There is a little bean beetle presence, but the plants, overall, are healthy and productive. I need to get some canning done!
  • Our corn is tasseling now. May be some sweet corn is in our future, too!
  • Golden and red beets are coming along. I hope to get those rows weeded ASAP so the plants will get some sun and fill out more.

We are working as hard as we can to keep things going. Each season is different, which keeps it all challenging AND interesting.

Still, you got to be able to catch your breath and enjoy what’s around you…like a lovely sunset after a hard day’s work!

Gratuitous sunset photo

Gratuitous sunset photo

Greens – a thought about them and a recipe for slaw

For some, this time of year is boring. Lack luster. Dull. Uninteresting. Insert adjective of choice.

I mean, who could possibly love greens?

What is the use of cool season crops? Why bother? Just bring on the main show. The summer crops. The fun stuff.

To those folks, I ask…are you sure? Why are you not excited for greens? How can this disdain exist? Greens are the harbinger of spring. They mark the end of winter doldrums…the first of freshness. They are the epitome of freshness.

Personally, greens are some of my favorite crops which encompass anything from the delicate and luscious spring mescluns to the heartier cabbages, collards, chard and kales (oh my, kales! YUM!).

So, I implore you not to discount the greens. Give them a try. There are too many great things that can be done with them…from a simple, refreshing salad

Spring lettuce mesclun with gorgonzola, walnuts, craisins, oil and balsamic

Spring lettuce mesclun with gorgonzola, walnuts, craisins, oil and balsamic

To crisp cole slaws:

Kale and Cabbage Coleslaw with Marcona Almonds

(Many thanks, Patsy, for the recipe…we cannot wait to try it this weekend.)

Give greens a try, won’t you? Once summer rolls around, the delicate and the refreshing will be missed.