Sunday, June 23, 2013

sunburned with hands stained with dirt another day in paradise.

So we were hoping to get the tiller back today so we can till and finish planting but apparently even Tim our farm machine guy needs a Sunday off every once in awhile. So instead of planting I had to switch gears and weed which trust me there is plenty which needs weeding. Especially the potatoes which are looking the best I have ever grown but are in danger of being compromised by the weeds but only a few more rows to do and then when the tiller comes back we can till down the rows and finish it up. I think I planted 3 or 4 times more potatoes than I have ever had they are great sellers for us and of course being a good chunk Irish I like my potatoes in fact as a child one of my nicknames was spud. Put a plate of french fries in front of me and you had a quiet happy child. My parents learned it quick and I earned the nickname quickly.
potato plant just getting ready to flower and yes i consider that weeded deal.
In other farm news (good news) the broccoli is starting to form heads and the beans are up and if I do say so myself its some of the prettiest beans I have ever planted. Just when I start to get frustrated and scared that I am falling too far behind a little hope will appear and my heart and head calm. Nothing like seeing something stating to make progress to reaffirm your faith that everything thing will be okay.
beans beans beans almost 100% germination oh happy day

Broccoli just forming a head only time now!
In other good news the chickens finally seem to be almost moving as one flock and maybe just maybe the range war is over. I noticed today that all 6 were moving (almost) as a unit with the babies in the front and the big girls following. That would make me happy to say the least. I know its a situation that will solve itself but its still causing me a bit of stress. So things are coming along but I am shockingly behind on some things ahead of schedule on others and holding my own on more. But like I have said time and time again when you are trying to farm even on the small micro scale I am you learn quickly that you are not in control. Not in control whatsoever and all you can really do is just change your plans fast enough to try and get something done when you are thrown curve balls one right after the other. But then just when you are getting over whelmed and you start to tell yourself to give up and stop torturing yourself you see signs of progress like the broccoli and the beans and you take a deep breath and a hot shower and pour yourself a glass of wine and think everything might not be what you thought but it is what it is and that's enough.
what the tiller has in store for us when it gets back from the shop hopefully tomorrow. cant wait to finish planting
Cant wait to finish planting well not really finish planting still have the late summer and fall planting to consider and then the plans for winter and then of course it starts all over again. I just looked in the mirror and I have one hell of a pink face I guess I forgot to put sunscreen on again as well as forgot to put gloves on. My hands are literally stained with dirt worse than ever before a shower didn't help I tried hydrogen peroxide and that didn't help then I made a scrub of hydrogen peroxide and salt and that at least made a dent. The problem is my hands are so sore from pulling 240 feet of weeds that its hard to scrub them! Oh well hopefully no one will look at my hands tomorrow at work and they will just make fun of the sunburn.

Peace and light everyone.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

First day at market this season and its just a name.

small but sweet offering.

Today was the first day at market for this season and as usual I was pretty nervous. I am prone to being nervous and I guess that's pretty normal in today's world its a pretty nervous kind of place. It shouldn't be the kind of nervous place it is because I think its hyped to be more than it is and I am trying to get over  it and realize bad things and good things and inconvenient things happen everyday nothing you can do but roll with it. And even when you get over one obstacle in life another one will probably take its place. When I wake up in the middle of the night and worry (like I am sure we all do) I have a mantra I say to myself first of all I call myself baby girl and say baby girl is there any thing you can do about any of this right now at this time at night and I say no...and then I say well think about something nice and a good place in your brain and go there because if there's nothing you can do about a problem right then or right now there is no sense in worrying about it. Now it doesn't always work but it helps some. 

Back to today things started off strangely they re-did the park that the market it at so everything looked a bit different and then another hiccup we brought the umbrella the umbrella stand but not the umbrella pole but thankfully we were able to relocate to the best spot ever full shade which was a good thing since all I pretty much had was lettuce and radishes and without shade would have been toast. And then Tommy wasn't feeling well got sick and went back to the car so as you can tell this day wasn't getting off to the best of starts. But I feel good I held it together I figured we were just selling some lettuce not solving any major problems and just let it roll. And it turned out fine. The day was absolutely undeniable fantastically omg unbelievably gorgeous the kind of days you dream about in the dead of winter or hell just last week. Sunny blue skies no rain and not hot with a light breeze now that's what I am talking about.  I didn't have a heck of a lot of stuff this week but what I did have was well received and even people that didn't like vegetable or made the face like yuck vegetables (hello farmers market what did you think i would sell blocks of concrete) laughed and giggled over the name of our farm and it made me feel good that at least at some level I was engaging someone. Although one guy looked at the sign read it aloud "3 Dogs Barking Farms" said it once again "3 Dogs Barking Farms" looked at me and said "3 Dogs Barking Farms" then looked at me and said I dont get it. I said it just a name. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

trying not to panic looking up at the sky.

hopefully a sign of things to come our first snow pea.
rain oh more rain oh look more rain...seriously rain? I am starting to panic I still have planting to do and all its doing is raining and not little spring showers but RAIN like inches and inches of rain. The Hudson is starting to swell and that is starting to worry me too I think we will be okay but if that River comes up over the road we are done. But there's nothing I can do about it now is there?

I have the day off tomorrow so I can hopefully get the rest of the warm weather crops in and start looking to plant for late summer and fall. I can only imagine how messy I am going to get. I have a picture of myself maybe looking like a mud monster. I just hope I can find ground that's dry enough to plant in but at this point but seriously what choice do I have?

Our first market is on Saturday and it looks like it actually might be sunny. But I wont hold my breath. We don't have a ton of stuff ready but we should be okay with lettuce mix, head lettuce and radishes and maybe a little spinach.

I will take pictures tomorrow of what I look like after I have been out planting. Now I usually don't mind getting dirty and hands on in the dirt but I think tomorrow I just might even surpass any level of messiness I have achieved in the past.

More to follow!

head lettuce ready for market actually it started out as lettuce mix but looked good I let it grow.

first zucchini!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

spinning my wheels waiting for summer

Wow what a weird spring it's been. I think I said that already but it bears repeating. I feel like I am falling behind planting wise stupid things keep slowing me down. I looked at the weather report yesterday and saw that more rain is coming later this week and it could be a couple of inches so I texted my husband tommy and said can you finish tilling the main bed before it rains so I can at least get everything in the ground? So after ignoring the text and making me beg for help he goes out to start the tiller and guess what no go. So he calls Falls Farm and says hey I need to drop off our tiller do you have one we can rent and of course they say yes but then we realize that his suv which the tiller fits in is in the shop so we have to wait until hopefully today to drop it off and pick up the rental. Fingers crossed this happens today and we can get everything tilled so I can spend the next days planting and getting everyone in the freaking ground. Feels like one of those cant win for losing kind of seasons.

There are always moments when I get overwhelmed sometimes many times a day and there are even times when I question why am I trying to do this. Why am I trying to have a micro-farm when I have a full time job why am I torturing myself? I cant answer that I really cant I just know that even as frustrated as I get and upset and worried and stressed this little enterprise called 3 Dogs Barking Farms makes me very happy. Maybe its being part of a community of people that think one of the ways to solve the myriad of problems the world faces is by growing food, maybe its the sense of accomplishment you get when you grow something from seed to table, or maybe its the zen like comfort of getting your hands in the soil. I don't know whatever it is it works for me.

Well so far it works for me we will see how the rest of the season goes with this whacky weather. But maybe the weather has always been whacky and you just don't really notice until it means something to you. I don't know how many times I day I now check and I even bought myself a rain gauge. Trying to grow stuff you find yourself geeking out over the weather and then you read everyone else's posts and status updates and you realize you are not alone and are in good company. Back to needing patience when growing food you can have all your plans written down or in your head or in spreadsheets you can have time frames time lines charts graphs but your plans don't really matter when it comes to mother nature and  the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune okay okay too dramatic basically cant control when your tiller breaks.

But I do love doing this I love the planning (I really love the planning), I love writing this blog and taking pictures of progress and even pictures of failures (always some of those), I love having my hands and sometimes other limbs in the dirt, I love watching things grow, I don't really like harvesting its hard work but it kind of has to get done or whats the point right, and I kind of don't mind weeding except when all you can see is weeds and you start to cry.  I even love how hard it is I have a little speech I give myself I say "be strong to survive" borrowed from last of the mohicans. Not sure why but it strengthens my resolve to finish what I am doing. I know I am a geek.