Thursday, April 18, 2013

Curious Minds Want to Know (aka Hi Mom!)

Talked to my mom the other day.
She wanted to know why she hadn't heard from us in a while.  
"Been really busy in the greenhouses."
She replied, "Well, put up some pictures so we can see!"

And this is the real drag about living 400 miles from your family. 
The other drag being that we can't share this glorious bounty with them!

So here is your proof, Ma, that you and Pop successfully cultivated a green thumb in your little girl.

Here is the first bed Moose and i have tackled in the AG.
Planted are Early New York storage onions, Walla Walla's, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Here in the second bed of the AG, we cleared last fall, and planted Musik garlic.  Transplanted a type of red lettuce that was the only seed to germinate out of last year's mesclun packet.  These were started in February.

Here's a head from last year's Jericho lettuce that I let go to seed during the summer.
You can see where I'll be taking the short hauls this year. :)

"Sugar" snap peas (under the string) have started germinating along with the French Breakfast radishes (upper left corner) and Bull's Blood beets (lower left corner).

Moving on to the seed nursery...

The tomatoes are slo-o-o-wly being potted up (aka taking over everything).
These are the Galina and Yellow Pear cheery toms.

Snow White cherry toms and Sheboygan paste toms

and more Yellow Pear and Black Cherry toms.
The idea this year is to have a mixed cherry tom basket to offer.
Practicing this stuff now in case Lil Farmer Mac wants to work a farmer's market next year.

The bell peppers.

And more onions. 
I got this great idea from a podcast I listen to from Chicken Thistle Farm in NY state.
Use these bunched like this to grow bunching onions that are easily harvested.  
I seeded up a combo of red, yellow, and white onions this way.

In Rosie's greenhouse, Moose has been starting on his potato tower. 
Plans to finish it next week when he is on vacation.
Yellow Finns are going in here.

And there you are...a photo update. 
I'll leave you with one last one...

She said she wasn't going to smile until a customer showed up. 
A discussion ensued about how her Irish dancing in the parking lot to draw attention to our eggs might be a better advertising strategy. :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happenings :: April 2013

Spring is humming right along here on the farm.  
Hope you are finding ways to enjoy the season.

Mr. Farmer Mac is weary with weed detail.  He is hammering away at the unwanted vegetation in the large greenhouse, affectionately referred to as the Abominable Growman, or AG.  Hammering is actually not the gist of it...he's having to pull everything by hand, as the ground is way too wet to use a shovel out there.  He has done an amazing job in a short amount of time he's got outside of his day job, and our seedlings (and Mrs. Farmer Mac) are grateful for it!  You're the berries, Mr. Farmer Mac!  xo, Mrs. Farmer Mac

Last weekend while I was planting the onion seedlings in the AG, I noticed our chives were in desperate need of a haircut.  I took a handful in and mixed them in my scrambled eggs.  They tasted heavenly of sweet onion and early spring.  Also tried my hand at drying them.  After chopping them up and placing them on a stoneware plate, I set the plate on our propane stove's grill.  I couldn't believe how quickly they dried in just a few hours!  So the jar of dried chives is full again, but there are still more chives to be had.

Our surplus is your gain...  

Today is the first day we will be stocking packages of chives in the cooler for sale.  What better combination to celebrate spring that enjoying chives in omelets or shirred eggs?  Early this morning, I headed out to harvest, armed with a kitchen knife in one hand and a mason jar of water in the other, and proceeded to fill it with lush, onion-y goodness. Oh, how I long for the ease of a system where we could clean a bundle, tie it with string, and place in a vase of fresh water for the taking. will find the bundles enclosed in a plastic baggie in the cooler. Having compared quantity to the kind customers would find at the grocers, I believe we have them reasonably prices at $3 per package.   Let us know what you think.  We *love* feedback.

Next up was seedling duty in the Mini.  
Galina and Yellow Pear cherry tomatoes are growing up so fast!

Since March, these lovelies have been receiving extra TLC.  All their lounging under grow lights, drinking rainwater has paid off, and I am slowly transplanting them to their individual pots.  They grow so quickly and healthy in the organic potting mix that includes worm castings.  We'll give them another month under the lights in their climate controlled oasis, then they will be planted out in the AG.  I love this time of year...when you walk outside to tend to chores, and you return with your hands smelling of tomatoes and dirt.  Second best only to picking a tom right off the vine and popping it in your mouth, of course.

While I wasn't insane enough to start 300 tomato seeds like I did last year, it looks like there is potential for a tomato start sale this year.  I will let you know when that may be on our Facebook page.

After the chores are done, I like to reward myself with a little adventure in plant exploration around the farm.  I am still trying to learn all these varieties of plants we have here.  I think I've identified dock and loads of spearmint over in the formal gardens.  More time on The Google is needed.

Was happy to discover that our citrus trees and olive plant are budding!  If you need a real pick me up, get yourself a flowering Bearss lime tree (or come smell ours!)  Those flowers smell every bit as wonderful as a pile of freshly squeezed limes!

Please be a juicy lime someday?
And invite your friends to join you!

Potential olives?!?
Very excited to see what olive flowers look like.  

What is your favorite sign of spring?  How do you like to use herbs in your cooking?