Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28th and 31st: Greenbeans

Green bean Picking Machines!

"Plunk, plunk, plunk!"  That is the sound (well sort of) that green beans makes hitting the bottom of a empty bucket.  Yesterday we picked over 200lbs of beans...it took us 5 hours!  Despite the fact that the deer have nibbled nearly all the leaves off, this planting pumped out beans this week.  We never even made it to the other 400 feet of beans.  I made a few phone calls and hopefully there will be a gleaning crew here today (although it's raining) from Lots to Gardens in Lewiston.  If they do come and pick, they can easily get 80lbs 

I love picking beans (my farmer friend in NY thinks I'm nuts: ).  At this time of year the soft plants and fruit are a nice relief from prickly cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini.  They don't turn you green like tomato plants or make you feel like you are in a maze like the corn.  Although I certainly do not need 200lbs in a picking, I really wanted to pick these 3 rows so they will keep producing nice beans for a few more weeks.  So.....
Green bean it up!!!
Pick up will be big this week.  Please just take what your family can eat.  Whatever is left goes to the foodbank.  For those of you who have friends and family drooling over your fresh produce, there will be beans and summer squash out for sale for $2/lb which you can purchase for them.
This Week's bounty: beans, beets with greens, hakurei turnips with greens, onions, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, melons, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, sage, and a few ears of corn!
(corn is not as productive as I would like...you may have to scrape it off the ear to add it to a dish, or suppliment from the market if everyone in the family wants an ear.)
**The lettuce may have to skip a week or two.  And the zukes are s..l..o..w..i..n..g down.  I realize the ones in the bin look a little shotty--they are fresh I promise, it's just that time of year.
Last Night's Dinner:
Scalloped summer squash and potatoes.  Sliced summer squash, potatoes, zucchini, onions layered with cheese and a bit of milk.  Topped with tomatoes and cheese.  Baked,covered, at 350 for an hour, then broiled a few minutes to crisp up the top.

Emailed from a shareholder...I must say Paula's presentation and lighting is much better than any of ours!!!  I believe all of these veggies were tossed in olive oil and herbs then roasted.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 21st and 24th: The Fields

The Fields

So this week I thought I would give you a virtual tour of the farm! The pictures do not nearly give it justice, so please feel free to walk around the farm on your own. You are more than welcome to.

Most fields are half an acre in size...about 100'x200'.  Some vary a little here and there, but for the most part I try and keep them the same for planning, planting and reuse of fabric (it can all be cut to the same length and used interchangeably).  I am starting to get a little greedy and want for more space, so some fields have gotten a little wider.  This does not effect my reuse of fabric so much, but it does make the irrigation header a little short.  Shoot.

Each field has a name.  This again helps in planning, but it also helps when talking about what work needs to be done and where, data recording as to where things have been planted, sprayed, fertilized, irrigated, harvested etc.  

The farm is divided into what we call "the Front Field" and "The Back Field".  The front field is where the community barn, hoophouse are and the back field is up over the "little ridge".  We will start with the Front Field first...

Martha's Field
This field is one of my favorites.  It can get a bit soggy in spots, but for the most part it has nice soil and is pleasant to work in. It was supposed to be resting this year, but our 9 inch rain storm early in the season threw me for a loop and I had to move some things around.  It now has some winter carrots in it and the 2nd planting of green beans.  The tall corn looking stuff is a cover crop called sorghum sudan grass--great for adding organic matter and competing out weeds. Martha's field is located just behind our neighbor's house from whom we bought this property. It had been in Martha's family for generations and farmed out in different capacities: hay, corn, chickens and gardens.  Sadly, Martha died nearly 4 years ago today and she is greatly loved and missed.

The Sink Hole
This field is located right next to Martha's field, close to the "little ridge".  It is quite rocky/gravelly and looses nutrients quickly.  And right in the middle of the field there is a wet spot that people (and tractors) have been known to sink in.  I am not sure if the water just drains there from the ridge or if there is a little spring, but when everywhere else dries out enough to walk/drive in it is still treacherous.  This year it's growing your onions, parsley, chard and winter squash.

Now onto the Back field...

The Flat Field
This field, pictured on the right and where the pigs are.  It is our flattest field, hence the name.  This field was in PYO strawberries for the last few years and became very weedy.  I was excited to put the pigs here this year and am excited to have this field back into production in 2013.

The Long Field
This is the field pictured on the left.  Named the long filed because it is 270' in length on the left and then narrows back down to 200' on the right. This view coming up over the little ridge is usually one of my favorites.  Again the photos do not do it justice.  This is where I had the garlic this year and now I have plastic over it trying to kill a few of those jerky nematodes.  But it is also growing your broccoli, beets, melons and corn.  

The Sandy Field
This field is in the way back corner and is SUPER sandy.  I for some reason put all my important crops in it this year (beans, tomatoes, zukes, cukes, carrots) and after I seeded it all worried that it would not grow since it is so dry.  But behold! the new irrigation gave it some water and it has been pumping out nice veg for the last month.  Thank goodness!!!

The Pine Tree Field
Apply named since there is a pine tree growing right in the middle of it : )  The tree was huge and is right beside an enormous rock, so rather than moving it, we worked around it.  This field is also in the way back beside the sandy field.  It has some sandy parts, but is not near so much as the sandy field.  It holds the asparagus, potatoes and peas.  Some of it is in cover crop after the rain washed all the corn away and had to be reseeded in the Long field. 

That's it, the virtual tour...but do come walk around, it is much more pleasing to the eye than pixelated computer color.  

 Ahhh this cooler weather has felt sooooooooooooooo wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The humidity was wearing us down (dog, cats, people, plants...).
And that nice rain--whew!
We needed it. 1.55 inches over 3 days, very nice.

There are still a few out there. 
Glean for free, walk and graze, eat 'em up!!!

This Week's Harvest:  lettuce, cukes, zukes, ss, chard, kale, melons, peppers! cabbage...

soon to come...corn!

Last Night's Dinner:
(well side dish)
Chopped summer squash (raw), cukes, peppers, onions, dill, cilantro and basil, olive oil and salt
crunchy, refreshing, yummy!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14th and 17th: The Totes

Crates, Buckets and the Ford 

(ahh if only I could have captured the aroma of this harvest in the picture!)
This time of year harvesting is a daily task: cukes, zukes and melons.  Tomatoes and greenbeans every 3 days.  Zach brought home a pile of pickle buckets from a deli and I would argue that they have been the most used item on this farm.  We fill them with everything; weeds, rocks, soil, seed, compost, nutrients...and the clean ones are used for harvesting beans, cukes, zukes, melons, corn, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and peas.  Then the items are gently placed or poured into the black crates.  These crates are my prize possession.  Good harvest crates, at a reasonable price, are hard to find, and I lucked out with these.  Although I would love to get about 100 more of them!  And then the there's the Ford. This truck was my grandfather's, equipped with the works: power steering, windows (although one is broken), locks and A/C.  It's been a great truck and my preference between the two I have, but when it rains it gets stuck, really stuck and I have to move to the 4x4.

The turkeys are out and loving it!!!

This week's Bounty: lettuce, carrots, greenbeans, summer squash, zucchini, melons, chinese cabbage, beets, parsley, basil, dill, cilantro, potatoes, tomatoes and cukes!

Last night's Dinner:  Angel Hair Pasta Primavera.  Mmmmm!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7th and 10th: The Greenhouse

The GreenHouse

Well despite the heat, we pounded posts on Saturday and erected the bows on Sunday.  Monday evening we finished one end wall and now we have one end wall left...and then of course the plastic which hopefully won't mimic the days of childhood gym class playing with the parachute.  This house will be heated by propane in the late winter months and will be used to start seedlings for transplanting.  I will miss my time at MidCoast with Dale, but I am excited to have greenhouse space here to play in.  There is much I have to learn about temperature control, but I am hoping the curve will be minor.  The other addition will be time spent watering--three times a day on hot ones like this!

The farm, although humid, is thriving.  The farmer, although very hot, is happy.  Bugs have loosened their grip on some plants and have reared their nasty heads on others, but all in all I am feeling abundant.  A feeling that is full of thankfulness, wonder and peace. 

This Week's Abundance: lettuce, turnips, chard, new potatoes!, baby rainbow carrots, cabbage, red scallions/onions, summer squash, zukes, a few tomatoes, a few eggplant for those who love it, greenbeans, parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro sage and cukes of course

In the not so distant future...peppers and melons!

Last Night's Dinner:

Editor's Note...I know the photos don't look that appetizing, but both meals tasted great!!!!

Baked chicken with turnips and new potatoes baked right in with the bird.  Sauteed greenbeans with basil.

Leftover chicken, in panko (Japanese breadcrumbs).  More new potatoes.  Sauteed broccoli, beet greens and garlic.  And a sweet and sour sauce!