Thursday, October 22, 2009

Garlic planting tomorrow and an ode to brussel sprouts

Did you think we'd forgotten you for the shifting of the season? No! We miss you! Things here are good. The season is certainly shifting. We're cleaning up the gardens and organizing the outbuildings. Harvesting some for various wholesale accounts and wrapping our heads around the possibility of putting up a seedling greenhouse to go online this Spring. We also need to plant roughly 2400 garlic seeds (cloves) for 2010, and we plan to start

Please come and join us if you are able and so inclined. We would be happy to have you.
Also, we have brussel sprouts. We planted nearly 400 plants this Spring and intended to have them for everyone in the CSA with some additional for wholesale. They, however, were among the crops (also, notably, sweet corn, peppers, eggplant, and winter squash) which really suffered for the cold, wet early summer. However. . . .we did save a few plants and they have matured respectably. If anyone is a brussel sprout fan (I am!) and would like to come by the farm for some, please do. (Belfast and Camden sproutheads, we could make arrangements).

Here's the ode, as promised:
Oh fine, tender sprout
for our pleasure you unfold
in dappled light
resist temptation to overwhelm
You are no tomato! No!
we worship your humility and
prepare you with heavy cream (and nutmeg)

Take care, Prentice (and co.)

And some new pictures. . .

Hannah driving Allis Chalmers G in from prepping garlic beds. Late October. Picture by Joseph.

Joseph took this picture of Hannah peeking out from behind the bolted parsley.

This is Hannah incorporating compost and amendments in next year's garlic beds.

The chickens have been helping with the garden cleanup. Their eggs will be showing up at the Belfast Coop and at Farmers Fare (Rockport) soon. They are always available from the green dairy fridge in the shop, too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our last distributions of 2009!
Friday, October 9th in Belfast and Tuesday, October 13th at the Farm.

Thank you for being a part of our farm!!!


This link can help you store all these vegetables for the weeks ahead. Some like it cool, moist, dry, etc, so if you are not sure, take a look!

A note about winter squash. We are big squash fans, so it is enough to make us cry to see the dozen or so bushel boxes of winter squash that our farm produced this year. It should have been, could have been, dozens and dozens of bushel boxes. Last year we loaded a trailer towed behind the tractor with pumpkins and winter squash . This year we planted 6X that amount! You have heard enough about the cool temps, cold, wet soils and held back seedlings. . .let's just say, the winter squash crop took the biggest hit. You will all get a few varieties.

Also, conspicuously absent or rare were a few other vegetables: Peppers, sweet corn, eggplant. We grew LOTS of all of these but they, too, seriously underperformed this season. Each fall we tally what we distributed to "basic" and "abundant" shares and calculate a relative share value. We believe, despite the few "failed" crops, that the CSA distributions were bountiful and diverse and still afforded all of you a good value.

To put a brighter spin on things, may crops did well! We trialed many zinnias this year and had hundreds of blooms each week to sell to our wholesale accounts.

Prentice and I are already looking forward to next year.

Did you ever watch that pig video? Well, Prentice has been at it again.

What do we do when we aren't tending, picking, cleaning, packing or delivering vegetables?

Hang out together in the woods. The woods ask nothing of us. They provide playthings, beauty, space, quiet and so much more. Here is our "Special Spot" in the woods of Village Farm. Developing the trails through the 80 acre woodlot is a goal of ours in the years ahead. Quite a few neighbors enjoy daily walks on the existing trails but we envision a few miles of loops that could be used by many more people. If you like to walk, snowshoe or X-Country ski, you are invited to use the trails anytime!!

Prentice and I will be facilitating a discussion at the Belfast Library on Nov 3rd (election night) after the film, Fresh, The Movie. See the trailer here. We would love to see any CSA members there and we would hope that you might participate in the discussion about the CSA concept and how it worked (or didn't) for you.

Other than that, we have more harvesting of root crops still to do. Planting garlic, cleaning up the barnyard and we will be constructing a heated greenhouse this fall. The four pigs and a steer or two will go to slaughter, we will dig our trees that we sell through FEDCO Trees, and we will do some more preserving (applesauce, jam from frozen berries, greens and pesto to the freezer. . . ) Prentice will fill his winter days with some woodworking projects and I will settle into winter bookkeeping, farm planning and boy tending.


We look forward to collating your comments and suggestions that come through the evaluation/survey form and will be in touch with a 2009 wrap up letter when we can "do the numbers." We will also be in touch in early 2010 with CSA information and offerings for next year. We are thinking about a 2010 Flower Share and will most likely have seedlings for pre-order and sale at the farm.

Eggs are rolling in and though the Rhode Island Reds' eggs are not full sized yet, we are pricing the dozens lower to reflect that. Stop by anytime and grab some from the fridge in the shop (money box on top of the fridge) or be in touch and we can rendezvous in Belfast on Thursdays.

As always, be in touch with thoughts or questions. We love hearing from you.

We are grateful for your support and patronage this season. We are also grateful for the wonderful efforts put in by our farm crew: Andy, Amanda, Laura and Hannah. Some of you pitched in at our work parties and we hosted 50 or so college students from Colby and Unity for brief work sessions. Many hands!! Friends and family delivered meals around Abe's birth and as always, our parents helped in all ways imaginable.

Best wishes for a lovely fall and winter,

Polly, Prentice and all at Village Farm

Friday, October 2, 2009

Work Party postponed!

Due to the rainy forecast for tomorrow, we are postponing the Work Party from tomorrow to Wednesday afternoon, October 14th from 3-6 p.m..

Hope to see many of you Tuesday (October 6) for the Autumn Potluck at the Farm starting at 5 p.m. Always a good time . . .

Take care, Polly