Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Playing finding waldo in the spinach bed and a few days of fun in nyc.

What a strange spring it has been dry hot cold frost got no rain lots of rain cold hot cold hot needless to say this isn't optimal conditions to grow anything well except weeds the weeds seem to be doing fine. It is taking forever for things to germinate I seeded beets the first week of May and they are just finally starting to pop seriously over 3 weeks to germinate that's just crazy talk. Same goes for the spinach I know I planted it I know its there now I just have to find it. Its like looking for freaking Waldo. So far radishes are my favorite thing to plant this year you put them in they pop in a couple of days nice and reliably and they don't seem to really care about the weather.

First Radishes of the year!

In other farm news we got 5 new chickens this week they are so super cute I love juvenile birds they looks so alien with their little bodies and big feet! So far only one is getting bullied by the two older hens but hopefully that wont last long. I hate to see anything picked on but I realize it is the nature of things. They should start laying by this fall and then I can get my nano-egg business back off the ground!

New chicken! All feet!
So after a few days of hard manual labor my mom and I took off for a few days in NYC. Nice days spent looking at art and eating great food and drinking nice wine followed by some of the best ballet I have seen in my life accompanied by more great food and drink. It was a nice change of scenery and I am lucky to be able to leave Tommy behind to take care of things while I go have some fun. Hes a good egg. Here are some pictures taken in the Met first time I brought a camera in and I totally geeked out.

falcon (I think) landing outside the members dining room looking over central park

Think I need to try and do and painting of this
Funny thing on this one my camera kept telling me the subject was blinking his eye!
floating heads in space.
mom and a tushy

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day one of vacation planting potatoes and lulu in the grass.

So today was the first day of vacation well the first day of vacation from my day job. And let me tell you I am tired. I slept in today mainly because I was having some really great dreams and I didn't want to wake up. But eventually you have to get up if you know what I mean. So once a very large iced coffee was procured it was time to finally plant the potatoes. I know I know its late but sometimes things get in the ground when they get in the ground. I have tried to learn to roll with it. Maybe it will be good that they get in late maybe it will be a disaster I don't know only time will tell. It almost broke me to get these in I think I even burst into tears at one point but I gathered myself back together and continued to work on. Sometimes you have to dig deep seriously deep. I cant tell you how dirty I was. When I plant I plant hands on I have no problem sitting in the dirt if that's what feels right hell I have even been known to lay down in the dirt to get it done. I have a soon to be patented butt scooch method of planting when I have time you can sometimes see that pattern of my bum scooching through the dirt making a pattern all its own. Today there was no time to butt scooch I had to plant like a grown up. Dammit. Can't tell you how dirty I was when I came in. I got in the tub with only a few inches of water because I didn't have the patience to wait after I scrubbed I had to let the water drain out and start over again the water was so dirty. Again its a good thing i like playing in the dirt. I sure am good at it.

So on to everything else that needs to be planted....more radishes, more lettuce, kale, more beets, more chard, beans, celery, parsley, more cabbage, cukes, zukes, tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers and I there are probably things I am forgetting. Hopefully can get it done in a day and a half but I doubt it the mower died today too which will make tilling more difficult if we cant get the grass/weeds down first and now we don't have a way to get the dirt from the pile in the driveway into the raised beds in the high tunnel. Tomatoes/peppers/eggplant are dying to get in I just hope we can find a way to make it happen. I guess a wheel barrow by hand is going to be how it happens.

But on a lighter note here are some pictures of the progress so far and a few of the pups watching me work from the shady nook of the apple trees.
Lulu under the apple trees.

Booker watching lulu under the apple trees


radishes almost ready

salad mix

snow peas


Booker in the foreground and if you look hard enough you can see Lulu  playing tiger in the grass

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kindred spirits a beautiful dusk sky and the farm down the road.

Photography is becoming an increasing creative outlet for me. I took these pictures tonight after coming home from visiting a friends farm down the road (well down a couple of roads but you know what I mean). Check out her blog sometime its very interesting I like how she combines her family, faith, and farming together in a new modern twist on being sustainable  I met Missy last year doing a farmers market together and although I am quite a few years her senior and am an atheist (for the most part sometimes an agnostic depending on my mood) I feel we are in Anne Shirley speak kindred spirits. That's one of the great things about getting older you start to leave labels behind and not worry about who's younger and who's older who believes in god and who isn't quite sure.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You can't place an order with Mother Nature.

I cant remember when the it rained last. And this time of year that is not a good thing but fingers crossed looks like we will have a few days of rain coming up forecast looks like anywhere from 1/4" to and 1 1/2" whatever it is I will take it. I don't really mind watering by hand but when I have to do it after work it lessens my ability to get anything else done and trust me there is A LOT that needs doing. So far we have managed to plant 4 new apple trees, a nice row of peas, a row of beets, transplanted a flat of swiss chard, and a nice bed of leaf lettuce, radishes, arugula, spinach and head lettuce. The swiss chard and lettuce I had to transplant in the bright sun which I hate doing but fingers crossed things are still alive out there and are showing signs of new growth.

progress so far and a pretty sunset

So what's on the to do list? Oh boy you had to ask! Potatoes, onions, and shallots are going in next I keep saying that I will do a row of potatoes every night when I get home but somehow its just not happening. So hopefully all that will get in the ground on Saturday (again large amounts of iced coffee and the promise of naps will be needed) and on Sunday I can transplant broccoli, cabbage, celery and parsley as well as get the raised beds finished in the high tunnel so we can transplant the absolutely gorgeous tomatoes we have ready to go. Seriously some of the best looking tomatoes I have ever grown and I have been starting my own tomatoes since college. 
what we have left to do oh boy you would think its never been tilled!
Trying to wrap my pea little brain around succession planting this year and to my credit I have managed to get not one but two plantings of peas in! I plan on one more or maybe even two depending on time and weather. I need to start some more head lettuce in flats tonight and keep that up every week or so for the next couple of weeks also need to plant more radish and leaf lettuce this week just need to find a place to put them! 

Always a new challenge ahead or something new to learn about or something new to grow one of the things I like best about this little endeavor of ours. One thing you need to do when you are growing food is roll with the punches you just have no idea what Mother Nature has in store for you. I started the year out praying for a few sunny days only to have weeks of sun show up but you cant say to nature hey that's not quite what I meant didn't you read between the lines I meant some nice sunny days interrupted periodically by nice soaking rain showers. And now I have been hoping and hoping for rain and in looking at the forecast it now looks like we might not see the sun for another week or two. As the ancient chinese proverb states be careful what you wish for!

Happy Farming everyone!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

When did I get 3 chins and finally its planting time!

The planting has finally begun! The weekend before last we put some of the snow peas in. I am super excited this year I will have not only the normal run of the mill green ones but purple and yellow too. Now that would make one hell of an exciting stir-fry don't you think? We planted about a 1/4 of the bed figuring I would sow every two weeks hopefully for a nice succession of snow peas. As usual here's hoping and fingers crossed the earthworms don't eat them!

The pea fence on the left and the radish, lettuce, arugula bed on the right before planting.
Me inoculating the peas while Booker watches see what I mean about the chins?
This past weekend I transplanted some spinach and seeded some radish, lettuce, and arugula. And now the work really begins the potatoes and shallots have arrived which means we have a ton or work ahead of us this weekend. We did really well with potatoes last year at market and I never got to actually eat any which is frankly ridiculous so this year we are planting maybe three times as much frankly I cannot remember. So along with the potatoes we are going to try and get the onions, shallots, carrots, chard, head lettuce, cabbage, celery, and beets in as well. That is an huge amount for me to get in the ground in one weekend but hopefully with enough ice coffee and with the promise of naps at the end of it all I can get it done. Tommy better get tilling we need some rows done!

Here are some pics!


pea row with dairy farm in background

first of six raised beds finished for the high tunnel

Lucky to have lots of planes near by that love to buzz the house.

farmer and tractor
booker and stick
Lulu smiling.