18 03 2009

All the chickens have been consolidated in the coop in the field.  No more having to collect eggs from two different places.  Soon we are going to get another 25 pullets to add to this chicken palace after they grow into hens.  Somehow, we managed to lose 3 chickens when combining the two coops.  Well, shit.

The field is looking sandy.  But good nonetheless.  The drip irrigation lines are being laid down in their respective spots.  A flawless irrigation set up this year would be a blessing.  It is only a slightly more educated guess than last year.  It really looks like we could grow stuff well here.

Got some big lights to get a jump on our tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.  We need to get our tomatillo seeds in the mail soon so we can plant them for transplant.

More drip line action.  More sandy ass soil.

BEAR CRAWL.  Hope she does the crab next!

Also, hailing from the Greater Chicagoland area, Tim has joined our outfit this growing season.  He lives in the garage.  Don’t get us started about the garage.


Ours for the Gleaning

15 09 2008

When you’re a farm just starting out, you drool over other people’s more established gardens. You network and bargain as best you can to get your hands on their fruit extras. Usually it’s pretty easy and people beg you to get their stuff before it goes to waste.

Hopefully you all can remember that we do actually have an orchard planted. To date probably the most sustainable investment we’ve made in our future. We planted a huge variety of fruit but of course, the only problem is, it’s hard to share it with our CSA members when for this year we have to pick the blossoms off the trees so they can turn their focus elsewhere and make some deep roots. What a fitting metaphor.

But what we have been doing this week, is gleaning! (from wikipedia:)

“Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.”

We have three friends (not farmers) who’ve basically begged us to gather their fruit. So we got some pears, green grapes, plums, and melons. We should point out that none of these are at all certified organic, like us. We’ll get into that later, but in the meantime the really old fruit trees and vines have adapted and are contiually adapting in ways that continue to overwhelm their landowners with fruit.

So we picked from them on Chad’s Birthday.

Speaking of birthdays… We’ve had a slew of them recently! Starting with Kirby’s then a week later Gabrielle’s. The pictures of Sadie with Grandpa and Great Aunt Maureen are from that one. Then Dr. Calvert’s and Chad’s. Gabe got Chad a sweet iphone for his birthday so now we’ll finally be able to blog from the field! Just what farming should be like.

Enjoy the photos and stay tuned for more!

Squash of Summer & Sunburn

14 07 2008

A quick post to brag and show some sunburn.

UFO Squash:

The side with Shade:

Shady Side

Shady Side

Without SPF 50

Without SPF 50

But the color we’re really waiting for is RED (and orange, pink, purple, “black”, and blood…) Talking about tomatoes of course. Our Thai Pink Eggs are probably going to be the first ones to transition, as they already have a slight pink hue to them. But the others are just gaining in size.

Meanwhile, it’s yellow and green with peppers and squash. We’re snagging the sunburned ones for ourselves as they aren’t good enough for our loyal CSA members. A quick brainstorm also decided that for next year we’ll use a fertilizer with a bit more N in it to promote leaf growth for shade on those blazing afternoons.

Irrigation continues to twease our peace with busts and the like. The t-tape is doing well, but our hops will need tending to. We replaced a giant stretch with our last geyser because the water pressure had expanded the line almost a full size (we could fit the new line into the old one). Then a few days later, that line blew while Ben was in the shower soaped up, so a quick rinse and a curse and a walk down to the field revealed that the hops will have to be watered with hose until the replacements arrive. A friendly call to our irrigation peeps got us the information that we should turn the whole system off at the well-house. 300′ of bunk irrigation tube later, we call that a valuable lesson.

Other than that, it’s hot, smoky from area wildfires, and tomorrow we’re gonna float down the river a bit before a fun family bar-b-que. Chad’s making pork belly.

This is just out of Control

24 06 2008

And we love it, every damn bit of it.
Baby in Bed

this is my new daughter Sadie. She is absolutely amazing. With her arrival, she is the beginning, and everything else is following suit. Our farm, after much patience and slow growing has taken off. Everything is green, everything is growing. We are fulfilling, although haphazardly, what we came to do. And just in time for Sadie. She is an awesome person. YEAH.
Even though Sadie cannot see the best in her infancy, what we are doing is for her, cause she is us. But this is what We see.

These are our hops. Along with barley, they will make beer. As of now we have not planted barley, but it will take until next year for our hops to reach production size. Even though we lost some, the ones that are growing are growing with vigor. But for hops, vigorousness comes with vertical growth. And boy howdy do we need to get stable trellising to support our hops. Baby needs beer, damnit.


Our peas, after much calamity with Pea Leaf Weevil (asshole), the struggle for the survival of our peas have produced delicious results. We could have had more peas if it was not for pests, but what we do have is enough, and we are happy with the flavor. So sweet. We tried to put these is our CSA boxes but we forgot. Oops. Our members will get their comeuppance this week.
Speaking of our CSA, this Friday will mark the 3rd, count it 3rd, week of our CSA. Our members are happy, and they are going to get it (vegetable-wise) pretty soon here.

tom row

this here is around 150 plants of tomatoes, between 15 and 20 varieties. Can you say, “Oh Snap!” Hooray for local production. Take that you salmonella laden, mono culture, corporate agribusiness piece of shit tomatoes.
and peppers, oh my

Finally if there was not enough birthing between babies, and vegetables. PUPPY!