It was a rather windy start to the day.
Most everything stood up fine against the strong gusts, but one small hoop house decided to take flight. Starting out on the southern side of our permanent hoop house, it tumbled up and over and continued down the property, headed due north. Thankfully it got caught in an old tree skeleton, stopping it from continuing into the neighbor’s house.
I snapped this photo after we had removed what was left of the plastic.
As it traveled over the large hoop-house, it left some holes in the roof. Also, it ripped up some raised beds and damaged one of the gooseberry bushes, but we are mostly thankful it didn’t fly across the street into someone’s garage.
The second of the smaller movable hoop-houses was still in place, but was rising off it’s posts, so we made sure to secure it down before it followed after the first one.
In other news, Janice has been working her tail off ordering seeds, drawing maps, and writing out the planting schedules. The last of the seeds are in the mail and some have even been started upstairs under the lights. The winter hiatus is over. Before long, Spring will be upon us and along with it, the rush to get everything in ground.
Until next time,
Come one, Come all to the last volunteer day of the season on October 10th from 9:00 until 12:00. The weather should be cool and comfortable. We will be doing some clean-up and end of the season preparation work. Bring your gloves and enjoy the morning outside on the farm!
See ya Saturday!
Even though this is the Second Saturday of the month, there will be no volunteer day this week. I know this changes all your weekend plans, but please bear with me this one time. Might I suggest you go on MAP’s Tour de Farms (http://www.tourdefarmsbuffalo.org/) instead and support local agriculture that way?
Our stand will also be closed this Saturday. You will have to get your garlic, potatoes, and greens elsewhere this week.
Please don’t be too despondent, there will be two more weeks of stand sales after this weekend, and as long as we get some rain we’ll have produce then (perhaps you’d like to come by and haul water?). The stand will close officially for the season at the end of September.
Feel free to implore your gods for rain…
Your hot and sweaty local farmer,
A major landmark on our street has been removed. Now, when we look to the South, we no longer see vulgar graffiti, but rather St. Stanislaus church – quite a shift.
That leaves only one house, an occupied one, remaining on our block of Wilson St.
The weather has been pleasant, albeit damp. But, thanks to our wonderful new raised bed system out in the field, nothing is suffering from too much water. Things are looking mighty nice. We have enjoyed meals made with a few red tomatoes, some yummy new potatoes, fresh peas, baby cabbage, delicious Walla Walla onions.
The okra seems to be very, very sad this year, even though I put it in the hoop house for extra heat and better soil. I don’t know what it’s problem is, but I will be surprised if we get more than a handful. Each year something is wildly successful and something is a fail.
My photographer took some pictures from around the farm. Remember, she is the flower lady, so her camera is irresistibly drawn to the flowers. I must give credit where credit is due: Titus and Mark also contributed some pictures.
Don’t forget that this week is the Second Saturday Work Day. Come out, lend a hand, and enjoy the farm! The work day starts at 9:00 and ends at noon. We are also opening up our stand this Saturday from 10:00 until 12:30. You will have to come and see for yourself what goodies we have available this week, as I don’t have a definite idea what will be left after CSA harvests on Thursday (I’m not that organized!). You can also see the cute little shed Bob the Beekeeper donated to us. It was built by Bob McCarthy, a former Buffalo Public School teacher and given to Bob Brockman, the beekeeper. Now it graces our farm site and will be useful for our farm stand.
See you Saturday!
Lots is happening! My shoulder is mostly functional. Our CSA season has begun. We have rearranged almost the entire farm. We have added another mini hoop house. Here is a short photo tour of the current state of the farm.
We planted 40 grapes along the street side of the farm to create a living fence.
We planted our tomatoes in landscape material to better control the weeds.
We did the same thing with our potatoes. We won’t have to hill them or weed them. This was a new idea, so we’ll see how it all works out. Last year was a potato failure, so we can only get better, right? The plants look pretty healthy, so that’s encouraging.
We’ve spent hours creating new raised beds in our growing spaces, establishing ten different plots so we can rotate our crops, allowing several years to go by before plants of the same family are grown in the same area. We were able to purchase machinery for this purpose last fall making (relatively) short work of bed making (and rock removal).
Some beds needed to be made by hand, so the children got pretty efficient at clearing out weeds, measuring straight lines, shoveling dirt from the aisles, and adding in peat. The hoop houses got the raised bed treatment as occupied rows were harvested and the area was emptied out. Once the beds (or section of bed) were made, the next crop could be planted.
The raised beds and the landscape fabric under the tomatoes and squash make it easier to keep up with the weeds. Last year, we lost our onions to the weeds. Not so this year! Mark is busy with the hoe keeping opportunist plants at bay.
We added a second mini hoop house to contain our cucumbers and eggplant. We lined the ends with fine insect netting in an attempt to keep out the cucumber beetles and the flea beetles, the culprits that wreaked so much havoc among my cukes and eggplants last year.
All the white fabric is protecting my susceptible plants from those pesky flea beetles.
The first mini hoop house was used over the winter to cover carrots and greens, then moved in April to cover early tomatoes, then moved in late May to cover the peppers for the summer.
In the midst of all the big stuff, I just keep on planting and Murrey keeps his vigil.
Keturah, the flower lady and the photographer, decided to get a job off the farm this year. You can say, “Hi!” to her at Five Points Bakery. The sad news is that our big flower garden will be missing and there will be no beautiful bouquets. The good news is that there are still some flowers growing around the place.
The farm is looking good right now. It’s rained. It’s shined. It’s warmed. It’s been weeded. It’s been planted. Come check it out! This week is our Second Saturday Volunteer Day from 9:00 until 12:00. There is definitely something to do! Please come and join us.
See you then!
So, living in the city makes it easy to use my bicycle as my primary mode of transportation. Generally, the rides are pretty non-eventful. However, not every ride is predictable and life likes to shake things up a bit, just to keep us on our toes. What started out as a lovely, timely commute to my daughter’s dance class last Wednesday was one of those surprise rides.
Unbeknownst to us, there was a house on Colvin Ave getting remodeled in which lived a beautiful golden retriever who was not very impressed with the construction going on in his house. As the dry-waller was carting his tools and equipment to his van at the end of the day, he left open the front door long enough for the aforementioned retriever to dash out, escaping the noise and confusion of his home and racing straight out across the road where there happened to be a break in the traffic. At that precise moment, my daughter and I were blithely wheeling our way to dance, never suspecting that the danger was to come from the side in the form of grace and beauty and not from behind in the form of an idiot, impatient driver. So, I collided with grace and beauty, and all the impatient idiots were totally absent at that moment (thankfully!). I landed in a heap in the road, and, to make a long story short (which, as you have noticed, I am not) instead of going to dance class, Mark came and picked us up in the truck, and we all went to Urgent Care to learn that my right collar-bone was fractured.
I am learning to do a remarkable number of things with my left arm.
As farmers, spring is about the busiest time of the year, with definite time constraints. It is a most inconvenient time to be without the use of my right arm, but, you know, things could have been a lot worse. There happened to be a break in the traffic at that moment, so neither the dog, nor I was hit by a car; the only injury I sustained was my shoulder – no abraisions, no head injury; the dog appeared to sustain no injuries; I do not live alone, so I have been blessed with help and support. I have much to be thankful for.
Another thing to be thankful for is that this Saturday is Second Saturday Volunteer Day at the farm! Yay!! So please, come on out and give us a hand with spring chores. The weather has been getting warmer and the sun has been shining – who wants to be stuck inside?! Come to the farm on Saturday, May 9, from 9:00 until 12:00.
See you soon!