Saturday, April 24, 2010

May became June!!

Greetings from Village Farm.

( I began this post nearly a month ago and true to May-form, I am posting it, finally-- on June 4th!!)

Boy, is it ever May! This is the month when it ALL lines up in front of us: all the rows to be plowed and amended, all the seedlings to be planted, all the seedlings to be sold, all the animals to be fenced. And on and on.

We are getting the proverbial "job done" . . .as all jobs are ever done: day by day, row by row, and seedling by seedling.

These are our Chinese Weeder Geese. Actually, they are Andy Smith's. Andy was a 2009 apprentice who will be returning for another year with us in 2010. And Andy is into projects and experiments. So--There are a lot of high hopes for these big-little goslings. We plan to fence them in our tree nursery and never have to weed a single sprout. Technically, they are totally herbivorous and supposedly stick to green things growing from the ground, not from trees (good for our trees and shrubs in the nursery). Un-technically, they are cute, hilarious and easy keepers. We will report back.

Work in the greenhouse continues. This picture is from Early April. We have been very fortunate to have Alicia Billman working with us for the last week or so. She just graduated from Unity College. We are so enjoying her company and fine work. We are sad that she is only available to work with us for a few weeks!! She will be here for another week before heading off to new adventures, like getting married. Thank you and best wishes to Alicia!

Hannah and Andy both returned to the farm this week and have made quick work of the backlog of transplanting, seeding and greenhouse work. I hesitate to say "caught up" , but there, I said it. . .we are feeling caught up.

Now I am writing on June 4th:
Ha Ha Ha Ha!! "Caught up?!?!?" It really was early May when I wrote all that. We are up to our eyeballs in transplants that need planting and are trying to keep up with all the direct seeded crops like carrots, greens, sunflowers and cilantro that need planting every 10-14 days.

The rain, gentle and fine, has been wonderful for all the gardens and resident plants. The crew got the irrigation pump and pipe working last week so we are equipped to irrigate if need be in the future.

Last year, we posted a few videos that became cult favorites amongst some relatives and CSA members. Prentice has been up to some more video-ing tricks and he is quite fond of this one.

Prentice and Joseph have a project this year: Bees. I have witnessed Prentice reading from "Beekeeping for Dummies", aloud, to Joseph, in some unlikely spots over the last few months. They have been studying up: in the hammock , the tub, at the breakfast table. Ten years ago, some generous and thoughtful family members gave Prentice and me a whole bee set up, "soup to nuts." Everything except the bees, right? Well, we FINALLY ordered some bees! They arrived a couple of weeks ago and are doing great at the Village Farm!! Neighbor and great bee guy, Brian Jones has been of enormous assistance and encouragement, so thank you, Brian!!
The CSA will be starting up in a couple of weeks. Exact dates still need to be nailed down. Hard to know when that spinach and beet greens, cilantro and broccoli will be ready! We will contact all CSA members very soon with a first distributuion date. I know you all must be getting very hungry.
All the best from here,
Polly for all at Village Farm

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring spring spring!

Spring greetings to one and all!

The Village Farm people have been busy these
days of early spring. Joseph, Ben and Prentice collected some sap from the maples across the street in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery and boiled it down outside. It is dark and delicious. As you can see, Joseph was amply prepared for anything that might happen while tending the sap.

Sorry about the funky formatting in this blog. It seems to be beyond me to get the pictures and text exactly where I want them.

In March, Prentice and I took an excellent workshop on farm business management with Richard Wiswall of Cate Farm in Vermont. We got a lot of gems from Richard and from his new book including a renewed appreciation for
1. A clean office and desk (not perfected--yet!)
2. Dropping low-profit ventures (pork) and picking up high(er) profit ventures (seedlings)
3. THE FAMILY FARM. We are the real deal. Here is a picture of Prentice filling out our MOFGA organic certification paperwork. (It seemed like 200 pages of it.) Oh, and Ben is by his feet but not in the picture.

Our (new) greenhouse is up and going and I will have some luscious green seedling pictures to share soon. The morning we put the plastic on got a tad windy as we were buttoning up the sides. Some great neighbors helped lay the two layers of plastic on and Andy Smith even came out from Colby. Did we tell you that he will be joining our farm crew for a second season? We could not be happier about that!

We are still enjoying many fruits and roots of
last year's harvest. I put parsnips and peas in the red lentil curry this evening. The freezer is still green with spinach, broccoli, beans and peas frozen last summer and there are still carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage and bottled kim chi coming out of our root cellar = the cemetery's crypt/tomb.

Word is getting out that we are using the crypt as a
root cellar. A fellow called this week to come photograph our vegetables in there! Sure!!

I am reading Michael Pollan's newest book,
Food Rules, in preparation for a talk I am giving on being an organic farmer and the environmental attributes of local food. What a great hero for the good food/real food/local food movement he is!
Three cheers for Michael!!

Many CSA members have signed up or let us know that they will be signing up for 2010. As always, your recommendations to your friends, family and coworkers are the best publicity for our farm. We are aiming for 50 households this year, so point folks to our website or call for a brochure. We are looking forward to growing food for our community for another season.

All the best from Village Farm,