Tuesday, August 27, 2019

August 27th and 30th


Sunday was incredible!! A beautiful day, fun music, amazing food and over 150 people!!  Thank you to all who came out to support Little Ridge Farm and to all who helped make this event a huge success!  It was fun to see old friends and meet new folks from the community and all over the state! I am honored you made our farm a part of your Sunday.

A bright shout out to Ashley Lentz of Healing Harbors who helped me think through this event and made the Posters, my tent crew: Martha, Joe, Dave, Lu, my superior Parking Crew: my Dad, my Godfather and Zach, my greeting and cleaning crew: Heidi, Angelina, Jean, Marcella and Lisa and my Clean up Crew: Gabe, Craig and Julia and my mom who fed us chicken late night!  And a thank you to all the vendors who came and celebrated with me: Side by Each Brewing, Healing Harbors, Winter Hill Farm, Gracie's Garden and Flux restaurant.  

Face Painting was a big hit!! 
There were bunnies and snakes and butterflies and flowers and lots and lots of sparkles!

And thank you to Terri Mason who created this amazing face in the hole board -- lots of fun : )

This farm has brought so much joy to myself and friends and family.  The love is felt here and I cannot thank you enough for your unending encouragement and support.  Here's to 10 Years and counting, I hope you will continue along for the ride!!!

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, kale, onion, zucchini, summer squash, cucumber, melon, pepper, beet, carrot, eggplant, tomato

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

August 20th and 23rd

10 Year Anniversary!

20 years ago I met a fellow in Pennsylvania who was looking for a farm hand.  I did a two week working interview with him and I think by day two I was in love with farming.  The farm was similar to the one I run now, CSA model but just a bit larger in size.  I worked there for 3 years, my learning curve was huge and from there I sought out farming opportunities; traveling through France, Argentina, Italy and ending up in Maine.  We came to Maine with no exact plan except knowing that one day I wanted to run my own farm.  We happened onto this piece of land and bit by bit built my dream.  YOU and the surrounding community have been a HUGE part in making it happen.  Neighbors, friends and family loaned me money, donated huge amounts of time and granted me unending support.  We are so excited to be celebrating 10 successful years and look forward to many more!!

Please join in our celebration and thanksgiving to you

This Sunday August 25th from 1-4pm

Check out our facebook page for a history of photos 
and more information

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, beans, summer squash, zucchini, sweet onion, cucumber, carrot, chard, hakurei, beet, kohl rabi, tomato, basil, dill hot pepper, melon (full shares)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August 13th and 16th

Summer Sweetness

So many crops are right on the edge of ripening; corn, melons, peppers... Every day I keep checking!  Soon we will be in summer's full tilt. Unfortunately the rain showers have all passed north of us and we are still frantically doing rain dances (ie irrigating).  I am thankful for what is ripe and delicious right now though, hopefully you too are enjoying summer's sweetness.  

This is me weeding and thinning winter turnips while Puffa works hard at relaxing.  Every few minutes I would need to move ahead to the next section of field and he would just get up, saunter forward and snuggle back up.  Not too bad for a office mate : )

PYO Cherry Tomatoes and Tomatillos open!  Enjoy these tasty treats!!  Picking them is like working in a candy store, with the candy just dripping from the walls!

We have been working hard at trying to keep up with the last of the weeds, harvest and irrigation.  And starting to prepare for fall seeding and planting (already?!) Prioritizing has been difficult as there is so much to do!  Hope you are enjoying the bounty!!

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, chard, cabbage, hakurei, new potatoes, beans, zucchini, summer squash, cucumber, tomato, eggplant, pepper, onion, basil, cilantro, parsley

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

August 6th and 9th

Ok, NOW we need some RAIN

The crops are really producing well, every week there is something new to harvest!  The majority of our day is spent harvesting; beans, cucumbers, summer squash...and soon melons!!  usually by now we have the weeds under control, but this year we seem to be overwhelmed still in a few areas.  if there is anyone who would like to get heir hands dirty for a few hours, let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.  Weeding can be very therapeutic and satisfying :) 

I can't believe I am saying it after the crazy wet spring we had, but we really need some rain.  'Tis the season that the clouds seem to skirt right around us.  If you do a rain dance, please be sure to be specific about where the raindrops fall : )


This year we are excited to be growing a new crop; hemp!
100% of this crop will be for a local company called Healing Harbors located in Durham, Maine.
A woman owned company with a superior product, we are proud to be working with them, be sure to check them out!

Hemp was classically grown for its fibers for clothing and rope.  It has also been found to have medicinal properties in its oil (CBD).  Hemp is NOT marijuana.  It has no properties that would make you "high" but it has medicinal value like any other herb or plant might (elderberries, echinacea, chamomile etc). Many people use it to help in muscle soreness, arthritis or insomnia.  It has also been known to help reduce seizures in animals and humans.  Here is some additional info:

When did I decide to grow Hemp? 
Last fall I was approached by one of my shareholders who runs a woman owned company called Healing Harbors located in Durham.  She wanted to see if I was interested in growing hemp for CBD oil for their product line.  They were excited for the potential to have a local, organic woman farmer.
For the last 3 years, I have been searching for opportunities to increase farm income & viability so that I may better compensate both my employees and myself for all of our hard work and in light of the unfortunate fact that my CSA numbers have been declining.  I have secured more wholesale vegetable avenues and researched other ideas around just veggies, but growing hemp seemed like a positive opportunity to continue to grow crops with greater profitability and for a good cause/good company.   

After careful consideration and several meetings with Stacey and Ashley of Healing Harbors, this winter I decided to give it a try.

Will I produce the oil?
The dried hemp flowers will be brought to a local extracting facility where the CBD oil will be extracted and given to Healing Harbors.

Organic seeds? Use of fertilizer?
The seeds were purchased from a hemp grower in Richmond, ME.  Hemp needs 50% less nitrogen than corn and less fertilizer than many crops I grow.  It will be fed a lower concentrate of my certified use fertilizer and crab shell flour that I use on all of my other crops.

In addition, I would like to add here that the growth of hemp is legal as well as the use/sale of CBD oil (LD630).  I have paid for and obtained a license from the state of Maine (see attachment).  There are rules I have to adhere to, for example any seed I use has to have a certificate proving that it tested below the allowable THC levels.  In the fall, a state inspector will come to the farm, collect samples and send them to a lab to again test to make sure any THC levels are below the allowable level.  In addition, Healing Harbors will take samples and do lab testing looking for any mold, bacteria or pesticide residue to make sure the crop I grow is of the highest quality for their product.

Do you have buyer? 
Yes.  Healing Harbors and I have signed a contract and all of the flowers I grow will be sold to them for extraction.

Will it be rotated with other crops, tilled in and or given to the livestock? 
This crop is certified organic by MOFGA, so it will be treated with the same rules and restrictions as all of my other crops.  I am growing .5 acre, so it will take up one entire field.  The location of this field will rotate around the farm in accordance with my current crop planning/rotations.

Hemp grows into a small tree-like woody shrub.  It will be too woody for me to til in, so I will clip the plants, burn them and possibly use the by product as bio char.

No hemp product will be fed to the livestock. 

What other benefits do you see by this crop (botanically/soil enhancing, etc..)with the other produce?
Hemp plants have a very deep root system which will help break up my clay soils.  It is naturally insect free so there will be no need for use of pesticides.  And as I mentioned earlier, it’s nutrient needs are less than many other crops, so even fertilizer (although organic) will be minimal.  It also has the potential to clean soils of heavy metals and other toxins.  Luckily I do not have toxins or heavy metals, but it is still considered to be a good soil purifier and a great plant to have in crop rotation for its deep roots and large canopy which shades out weeds.

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, red onions, scallions, zukes, summer squash, hakurei turnip, cukes, green beans! fennel bulb, eggplant, broccoli, basil cilantro...

If you still have a cabbage hanging out in your fridge, use it up as another is on its way!
Check out this recipe from a shareholder: