Tuesday, September 29, 2020


Walking around the farm this time of year is always a mix of feelings and the drought has made them more intense.  I enjoy the fall colors and strangely right as the season changes is when we get the highest yield of summer's best (tomatoes and peppers).  I guess the best way to describe my feeling is spending an immense amount of time planning for a big event, like a wedding, and then in a flash the day comes and goes and you wonder if it really ever happened. ...all the prep and labor to get plants in the ground, many that take all summer to grow, and then "whoosh" over night a freeze comes and half my work is erased.  BUT THEN, the wild asters and red maples brighten the field edges and fall crops, which I feel like can't be possibly be still growing in autumn's waning light and no rain, DO GROW and brighten our plates and palettes.

These cute little radishes are survivors.  Radishes are "supposed" to mature in 25 days.  I seeded these Aug 10th (nearly 50 days ago).  We have had .5" of rain since then.  The tops are only 2.5" tall but they actually made a sweet bulb.  

And this cover crop has amazingly grown so tall and lush in the drought.  The bits of moisture we have had the past few days are supplying much needed water to the bees and they and other insects are happily buzzing about in here.  This spot will be a new hoop house next year, so I am excited to be feeding the soil with some nice organic matter.

Oh my, this blog was a bit scattered. Sort of how I am feeling right now!  My brain has kept me awake he last several nights with worry and change and long to do lists.  Not much different than any of you I know.  So here's to a bright fall and crisp mornings!  May we all find grounding, peace and good food.

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, hot/sweet peppers, red/green cabbage, potato, leek, potato, celery, cauliflower, red/green tomato, parsley

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Our days are filled with harvesting and trying to still squeeze in other necessary tasks (like buttoning up the hoop house for freezing temps! and getting to important office work!) Although the drought has taken a bit of the brightness out of September, it does make for easy harvest.  The plants are less dirty which, most importantly, means we are leaving more soil in the fields rather than washing it off and losing it.  It also means getting the tractor and truck through the fields is less damaging to the soil structure and we will not get stuck - which may or may not have happened in the past 😏

I was worried this year's onions were going to be small due to lack of rain but they sized up nice and will store beautifully.  My dad helped build this pulley system allowing us to cure crops in the upstairs of the barn.  Thanks to him and Archimedes, we brought in over 2000lbs last week and hoisted them up to the barn loft with very little effort.

Simon helped harvest rainbow carrots yesterday.  They are the first of the fall and winter storage carrots we have harvested and they look great.  Generally by now we have pulled out about half the storage carrots and delivered them to the food bank (we have a contract with them) but we have been so busy with fresh harvest, we have not had time.  The weekend brought a killing frost and so nature has taken care of the cold sensitive crops (I was sad to say goodbye to the still gorgeous basil and flowers), so now we will move on to the storage and root crops.  Hoping 20 degree nights hold off for a bit longer!

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, celery, carrots, beets, broccoli, tomato, onion, peppers... 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sept 15th and 18th

 Sunny September

The farm runs with lots of generous help from my employees, work shares, trades and volunteers. Every day lends itself to a long list of tasks and some days I am not sure how we will get it all done; many days we don't!  But yesterday's list was important to complete.  Harvesting and covering cold sensitive plants as the forecast was predicting a low of 37.  It worked out perfectly.  Michael, a person I trade a share with was able to stay later into the evening and help me finish the majority of the list.  Of course days preceding the coldest nights always seem to be crazy windy, so wrestling fabric is always fun, and an extra set of hands is precious.  I used blankets to cover the cherry tomatoes and when the wind finally died down, I went out with my head lamp to make sure everything was still in place (only a few minor adjustments were needed, thank goodness).  It's hard to believe we are covering up for cooler weather after such a humid and heat filled summer, two of those days were just last week!

With the cooler weather shift, we have a veggie shift.  By now the cukes and zukes are tired, but the fall brassicas and squash are stepping up.  Eating seasonally is second nature to me now and I have not missed a cucumber, but I have been devouring melons and peppers.  Two fruits whose season is short and I seem to crave them when they are here.  I have also been super into tomatoes this year and am happy with the bountiful harvest.  We pulled in 600 lbs yesterday out of the field!  These tomatoes are slated for Turtle Rock Farm, who turns them into yummy specialty products (find them on FarmDrop!)

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, corn, melon, celery, pepper, soybean, parsnip, squash, tomato, onion, broccoli/cauliflower, parsley, basil and maybe some cilantro : )

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

September 9th and 11th

 Farm Colors

Every year there are crops that do well and others not so well.  And every day there are parts of the farm that catch my eye and others that make my stomach tighten.  It's amazing how every growing season carries it's own challenges and triumphs (or luck?) and that how one can be a farmer for over 20 years and so much of it is still up to Mother Nature.

Along with lovely tomatoes, the celery has been stellar this year.  Beautiful and sweet.  I went a little overboard on how many I planted, so I hope you are enjoying it because you will see it for the next several weeks :)   Also note that celery can be blanched and frozen for yummy winter soups and stews.

Summer lettuce has been a bit of a struggle but this new variety "Magenta" has been a delight.  A mini red romaine, light flavored and crunchy....perfect for blts!

I feel lucky to have another wonderful melon year!  The flavor is AMAZING!! and the size has been quite generous too.  They are a short season but such a treat!

The turkeys were not so sure of the colorful melons....they circled around them and clucked and gawked but none dared to try them.  Wow those turkeys are such Chickens!!

This lovely sunset kept me company on my long drive home from a cabbage delivery last Thursday night.  I had a moment wishing I were at the farm to enjoy the scene but then I was grateful to have a Maine family business to sell an incredible cabbage crop to (heads as big as basketballs!) who will turn it into some amazing kim chi!  

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, celery, peppers (sweet and hot), beans (yellow, green and dragon), beets, melon, tomato, basil ... 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 1st and 4th

 September Friends

The pigs have new neighbors!  We moved the turkeys out there last weekend and the pigs are both curious and a little unsure of their new friends.  When we move the turkeys, they get to roam free until we get the new space set up.  Some of their roaming has taken them into the pig pen, which is exciting until they notice a large hog is following them.  It is kind of funny to watch, but luckily the turkeys can fly because I do not put it past the pigs to take a curious nibble like they do to my boots and clothes every day : )

Yeah! lettuce!  The summer's heat and humidity definitely melted some of my mid summer lettuce plantings.  But with a little tlc and cooler days, these new plantings are coming around nicely.  Chuck thought so too.....shortly after we transplanted them, he munched some to the ground and we had to cover them with netting so he couldn't get into them anymore.  bad Chuck.

What a relief to get some rain.  We ended up with just under an inch.  Most things still look amazing, but some of certainly lost some vitality with the prolonged hot and dry.  Cucumbers and zucchini usually tire out around now, but it seems as though they have quit a week earlier than my usual date. We are certainly into the transition of fall veggies ... more cabbage, leeks, squash and garlic!