It's been a great week! But also a little crazy! Lizzie had a friend reunion and 8 friends from various locations showed up on the farm along with 3 dogs for a weekend of fun festivities. But we definitely put them to work too!
We also have officially finished our lambing season with 30 lambs from 15 moms, 11 sets of twins, 2 singles, and 2 sets of triplets. Sadly, we have another rejected baby who we have had to bottle feed. At first all seemed well, but after 48 hours or so we noticed his mom was rejecting him. We started bottle feeding every few hours starting last Saturday and we've been doing this ever since. He's not growing super fast and he lacks spunk. We're hoping this is temporary and he starts to improve soon. Jesse is out of town this weekend and was particularly sad to leave "his baby", although I thought he meant me, he was referring to his little lamb baby. He's also now referring to himself as its mom. It will be interesting to see how he acts when we have our own baby one day! Ha!
Orchestrating the garden is a task that I, Lizzie, have taken over this year. I can think of no other job that compares to it. It is rewarding and challenging, full of frustration and satisfaction. Our garden is a little larger than 1.5 acres. It's not a huge space by farming standards. But we farm biointensively, maximizing our growing space by using fewer machines and more human labor. Our beds are roughly 30 inches wide with 18 inch paths. We have adopted a system used by Jean Martin Fortier, a Quebecois who grows for a 140 family CSA on just 1.5 acres. We are no where near that level of production yet, but we are learning how to create more with less, as he does, without the large machines most farms require.
I think this image of carrots helps explain the benefit of planting the way we do. We plant 5 rows of carrots in a 30 inch bed, making the carrot rows about 5 inches apart. The carrots require a lot of care as they germinate but once they reach a certain size, their canopy shade out any competing weeds. Last year we planted one row of carrots every 5 feet because we were using larger (borrowed, except for our old International 140) tractors. This past winter we chose to invest in a 2 wheel-tractor, allowing us to create raised beds that we didn't have to plow up every year. This machine also has many implements that allow us to prepare beds for planting with minimal impact to the soil structure. It has changed the way we farm and manage our gardens. We couldn't be happier with this set up. Though out the season I hope to delve a little more into what farming entails. I think it's important for everyone to realize the amount of effort that goes into your food.
We've been so grateful for our help this past week too! Julia and Audrey have been amazing helpers. And have helped us get really caught up in the garden. Although I know being caught up is a fleeting thing, the moments when I've looked upon the garden and felt proud are there. I also can't say enough good things about Devan, our long-term WWOOFer. Devan has put in some LONG days with us with zero complaint, she's becoming a hoeing queen, she's an ace at harvesting and she's running washing station like a champ. All this while carefully parenting her amazing 6 year old daughter, Nico. We are so grateful for the WWOOF program and the wonderful people they send our way.
We have no upcoming events at this time.
Without further ado. here's your CSA list this week!
As we enter the first month of summer I would like to encourage you to try some of these veggies grilled!
Here are a few recipes.
I haven't tried this exact recipe but it looks really good!
Here's a pizza recipe I invented (except for the quick crust) after a long day of tomato planting.
add tomato sauce or basil pesto as the base, slice kohlrabi, turnips, massaged kale, green onions, garlic scapes, and homemade mozzarella (or store bought) and bake! I'm not a complicated cook. But I love throwing whatever veggies I have onto whatever I feel like eating.
Some veggies to look forward to: leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, more head lettuce, summer squash, cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes of course!!
Well, that's all folks!
Love your farmers,
Lizzie, Jesse, Tony, Devan, Becca, Julia, Audrey, Nico, Winnie (goose chaser), Stormy (mole puncher), cows, sheeps, and ducks