Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Helpers

Last week Danielle (who Josie has been friends with for a few years) brought her one year old daughter, Sadie, and her lovable dog, Ollie, out to the farm to help do some planting.

Ollie and Jaxxy get along great, they spent almost the whole day sprinting around the farm. Most dogs don't have the energy to tolerate Jaxxy's playfulness - but Ollie does. He can't get enough!After some tea and a little time to catch up, we sent the dogs out to play and headed over to the garden to with our flats of cabbage. We are growing four types this year: Golden Acre, Early Jersey Wakefield, Mammoth Red Rock, and Frigga Savoy. We should have some early and some later, as long as we can keep those pesky cabbage worms off of them.

Sadie did a great job. We brought over a shovel for her to play with and even found a big red ball in the grass near the garden!
We got four rows of cabbage planted, one for each variety. So far, they have been tolerating the freezing cold nights pretty well. Hopefully they make it through tonight - we are hoping its the last night in the 20s.

After a long morning of planting and a little snack, Sadie was almost ready for her nap. We were so happy to have them come out and work with us!
After they left, we spent the afternoon planting the rest of the spring crops. Peas, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, pak choi, parsley, radishes, and kohlrabi. Josie's mom came out to help too!
When we were done, we covered the cabbage and lettuce with row covers to help keep pests out. They help keep the moths that lay the cabbage worm eggs from finding the plants and will hopefully keep the rabbits and groundhogs from finding the baby lettuces.
We had a really productive day, thanks Danielle and Sadie!

A Video About Us!

Our friend Jo Isrealson made a video for us from some footage she took last season. We are really excited, it turned out great! Thanks Jo!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

Spring is on its way and we are SO ready. We can't wait for warmer weather and all that comes with it. Things on the farm are really picking up, we have had a very busy week! Besides getting the tilling done, there are several other things that we've started as well.
The time has come to start hardening off the seedlings. "Hardening off" means preparing them for conditions outside. Since they have spent their short lives indoors, they are tender and can be easily scalded by sun or damaged by cold. We start to harden them off by bringing them outside during the day and bringing them in at night. After about a week they start spending the night outside too.
Between daily watering and bringing 60 trays outside and then back inside - the seedlings have become quite time consuming. Here they are outside, look how big they have gotten!
This week we also got our high tunnel ready for spring. We took everything out, dug the beds out by hand and ready for planting. Here it is all ready to go! The soil was really nice from all the compost we added last year. Tons of earthworms. We also got all our tables in position for the seedlings to come out in the next week or so. Hopefully we can get the tomatoes and cucumbers in soon too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Acre

The acre.
This year, in addition to the space we used last year, we have rented an acre. This is both very exciting and intimidating. Partly because our farming technique is almost entirely done by hand. We use the tractor for tilling, and sometimes for shaping beds, but everything else is done by hand. One acre is approximately 208 feet 8.5 inches by 208 feet 8.5 inches - or 43,560 square feet.
The acre is split into two half-acre lots. Yesterday, we went over and marked out the space so we could get to tilling first thing this morning.

This is the view of the lots from the small dirt road down to the property. They are on either side of the trees in the center of the photo.

This pole marks the corner of one of the half-acre lots, before tilling.

And we're off!

We took turns tilling. Its helpful to have two people. One on the tractor and one following behind to pick up rocks. Rocks can break the tiller. I'm excited that I finally learned how to use the tiller! (Thanks, Dad!)

The same pole after tilling. We did one pass on both halves today. After it dries out and rests a little, we'll do a second pass.

We found surprisingly few rocks, but some of them were huge.

The view behind the acre.

All finished! It took about 4 hours.

Both half-acre lots, can't wait to get them planted!