Monday, September 24, 2012

September 25th and 28th: Greenhouse

A Greenhouse Weekend

 We toughed out a drizzly Saturday morning and got all 4 layers of plastic on the greenhouse!  (2 on each end and 2 on the top)  Blessed with no wind, although taking a couple of hours longer than I hoped, the process went pretty smooth. 
We put the end plastic on first.  I decided to try and put 2 layers of plastic on the ends.  It won't be airtight, but I am hoping it will add a bit more insulation.

Next we put on the top 2 layers.  There is a blower that will blow air between these 2 layers to add insulation.  Then we cut out holes for the doors, vents and fan.  Then we reattached the vents and placed the exhaust fan. 
I still have a few more steps to go: build 2 doors, lots of benches, run electric and hook up the heater/propane, but I am getting there...and I THINK it will be done before it's time to start seedlings again next year. 
October 6th from 10-2
Potluck Lunch
This Week's Harvest: lettuce, sorrel, leeks, potatoes, beets, fennel, turnips, tomatoes, peppers, dill, cilantro, sage, oregano 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sept. 18th and 21st: Patting the Pigs

We've all got the Fall Itch

 This is a great way to rub down callouses and dry skin on my hands : )
This weekend was a wonderful beginning to fall.  We spent lots of time with the animals moving them around and of course scratching them behind the ears.  Well maybe not the turkeys... and the cows don't let me pat them but I did feed them a few apples : )

Fall brings beautiful peppers!!!
This Week's Harvest: lettuce, cabbage, chard, onions, garlic, hakueri turnips, carrots, edemame, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, last of the cukes/summer squash, dill, cilantro, parsley and lots of basil!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 11th and 14th: Bugs

Fall Caterpillars

Even though the air is still warm, fall certainly feels like it is moving in.  At least by looking at the gardens I can tell summer is coming to an end.  The cukes and squashes are all getting tired.  The green beans are slower to mature and veggies like potatoes, carrots and onions are calling out my name, asking to be harvested for winter storage.  It is the time of year that my body naturally starts to slow down and I welcome the darkness earlier in the day.  I sometimes let my guard down to weeds and insects, but am on high alert for warnings of frost. 
Fall brings a whole new set of farm tasks...and bugs.  There is much much much to clean up in the fields this fall...many bugs like to overwinter in plant debris. And with this year's record insects, I want to give them as little chance as possible to survive.  I have always been sensitive to insect bites and stings.  Nothing life threatening, but I generally swell up, itch and look hideous for a few days.  Some of you may have seen my neck a couple of weeks ago--swollen, bumpy and oozy from a Hickory Tussuck caterpillar that landed on my neck.  Well Saturday that was topped by some Brown Tail hairs that landed on my shirt and were inadvertently rubbed onto my eye.  Yowza do i look like a goon!  I will spare you a photo...and hopefully by Tuesday's pick up the swelling will have subsided enough that I can actually see.  May you all blessed never to cross the path of  either of these hairy little creatures:
Hickory Tussock

Brown Tailed  
Now these next few photos are of caterpillars I see in our fields often but luckily are not hairy or dangerous to humans and I find pretty spectacular!  (well touching is ok, but I wouldn't eat them!)

Black Swallow Tail
I find this guy on my parsley and dill plants.  When you get too close to them they put out 2 little orange antennas from their head and omit a funny smell. 

Tobacco Hornworm
Many of you were introduced to these this year on your tomatoes.  They love, no devour, anything in the Solanaceae family--peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, tomatilloes

Luckily for us we have lots of milkweed in our back field so we always have these guys around.  This year there are more than usual and they are all over the PYO garden.  Beautiful.
Note that all of the bad bugs, critters or diseases in my blogs are refered to as him, he or guys : )
This Week's Harvest: lettuce, leeks, potatoes, beets, greenbeans, edamame soybeans, cukes, summer squash, tomatoes, dill, parsley, basil, mint, sage and caterpillars (just kidding)
Last Nights Dinner
Sorry no photos, but we ate yummy gazpacho and summer squash soup with parsley mint pitou

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sept 4th and 7th: end of summer

The Last Summer Planting

So this is it, the last transplants of the year.  Hopefully they will have time to grow nice and sweet for the last month of pick ups.  I have been spoiled by warm falls and an extended growing season these past few years!  I must say the warmth has been welcome and I am not looking forward to frosty mornings and having to cover plants.  Not yet anyway.  Maine goes by the September 15th rule, meaning this is the potential date for the first frost.  It makes the season seem so short!  Lately though we have been golden until about mid October, a whole extra month of growing for sensitive crops like basil, tomatoes and squashes.  I am hoping for that extra month this year as I had to replant the winter squash this year, putting in in the ground quite late, and although there are nice sized squashes out there they are far from being mature...

 A Weekend of Relaxing!

Zach and I (and Simon) were able to get away this weekend and celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!  We always try and celebrate with a little camping/canoeing trip and this year we were blessed with warm sunny weather and calm winds on Pierce Pond.  We saw tons of loons, a bald eagle, a Cooper's hawk and an otter (we think, it was from pretty far away).  Lots of swimming, reading and paddling...hence the very late blog post : )
This week's harvest: carrots, peppers, tomatoes, chard, lettuce, greenbeans, summer squash, cukes, hakurei turnip, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil and corn for full shares 
Last Night's Dinner:  A camping feast worth having at home...potatoes, greenbeans, peppers, sausage, a bit of cheese and a bottle of wine of course