It is Full Tilt Spring here on the Village Farm and in the words of our dairy farmer friend, Jeff Bragg, "There is never enough time in May." And, I add, there's a LOT going on to report to our blog followers! All this rain has slowed our planting and transplanting down to a full stop but there is never a shortage of other building, greenhouse and harvesting tasks to do.
We got all of our alliums (onions, leeks and shallots) in before this week of rain as well as first sowings of radishes, carrots, salad greens, salad turnips, beets, herbs and lettuce. That was a bit of a push and even Ben, aged four, was out after dinner one night helping get the seeds in the ground. We don't work after dinner very often but in this case, staring down a week of rain, we thought every minute of daylight should be used to get our crops in the ground. There is no driving on our fields now, or even walking, really. Much too muddy. And so we are waiting for some sun and a warm breeze to dry things out (again!).
A few photo collages to capture more comings and goings. . .First the arrivals.
- Two days ago a big bull calf was born to Charlotte, our Shorthorn beef mama. His name is Chico (in keeping with the custom of naming offspring with the first letter of their mother's first name) and he is a strapping and thrifty guy. He and Charlotte are in a box stall in the barn now, despite being born into that luscious green grass. They get a chance to bond away from the other herd members this way. They will be out to pasture within the next few days.
- The new bulk grain bin is coming together thanks to Tony, a.k.a. Pop, Prentice's father who has been working all the metal and hundreds of nuts and bolts into a gigantic bin. Quite the erector set.
- The plum trees are in bloom, tragically, as there seem to be NO pollinators out and about. . .so no or very few plums this year for the Grassi boys.
- 120 chicks that will graze and laze and grow on VF's lush pastures and make the tastiest chickens for our customers. (Let us know if you would like to be on the chicken list. . .)
- Leroy. He has already been introduced via our facebook feed but here is a picture of the sweet guy. He is about three weeks old now. We are awaiting one more calf in the next week.
- And the "cuban" (cube+cabin), the newest intern dwelling.
And the departures. . .
- We were all sad to see Laura head back to Alabama. She was here for a bit over a month and a few weeks into her stay, she realized she had made a mistake. A growing season in Maine wasn't adding up for her. She wants to farm in Alabama or Georgia and is on her way back there now to begin that adventure again. We were priveleged by her company, help, humor and sincerity and we wish her the very best.
- Sold! Our old plow truck to Ginger and Daniel at Freedom Farm. . .Trucky served us well for 10 years and is off to a second or third or fourth life at another farm with its own snow removal issues.
- Seedlings are a huge spring effort for us. We produce all of our own for the 4-5 acres of VF vegetables but we sell thousands at the Belfast Coop each spring. We deliver van loads twice per week and trust that they are giving many, many a midcoast garden a great start in their own food growing efforts.
- Feeding hay. This was a picture from early April that I love and now that the cows are on grass, the twice daily chore of feeding out hay to the herd is a thing of the past. Until fall of course.
The CSA distributions will start sometime in June though we are waiting to see what the weather does in the coming week before announcing a start date. We still have a few shares left but are nearly full, so if you haven't signed up and would like to or would care to share the idea with a friend, we would love to be your farmers in 2011!!
It is May, and though we may be busy, we also find ourselves basking in the greens and the buds and the babies and all the glorious unknowns that the growing season ahead holds for us.
All the best from your friends,
The Village Farmers