Full and By Farm: Some Dry Days

Spotted Salamander (Credit: Sara Kurak)

It was a great week for getting caught up on outdoor work. The brisk wind dried the saturated soil out quickly and the long sunny days help raise the ground temperatures a bit—it's still surprisingly cold out there but at least it's plantable now. I'm doing a big push today and tomorrow to make ridges and seed all of the spring crops that are overdue. The spring greens that I transplanted last week thrived in their rainy, overcast first days and look great. We have a bit of time to wait, but … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Surprise Visitors

Heifers on Parade (Credit: Sara Kurak)

Our first real taste of spring this week, and everyone's spirits are riding high in the sunshine and warm temperatures. The spring that seemed to never be coming has firmly taken hold. We dug into the ground for the first time yesterday, discing in a meager cover crop that never really took hold in the fall. We're preparing land for a wee, little orchard of 35 apple trees. The vegetable field is waiting its turn now for harrowing and ridge making. The soil is still too cold for seeding, but the … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Great Sugaring

Night Time Boil (Credit: Sara Kurak)

We've had a run of perfectly warm days and cool nights—setting us up for great sugaring weather this past week. The evaporator has been burning late, night after night. Day after day we've had great runs and we need the bulk tank empty first thing in the morning for the trip up to the sugarbush to collect, and to get started boiling once again. We were planning for a collection this morning, and to boil during the share pick up tonight, but nature threw a big, sloppy, snowy, wet hurdle in. So, … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Tapping the Sugarbush

James's photo this week shows Josh, Sara, Lightning and Rosa after seeding a section of the veggie field to cover crop for the winter. (Credit: James Graves)

Monday was a glorious day for tapping—our coats, vests, gloves and hats being dropped like bread crumbs along the path in the sugarbush. Within minutes of drilling, each hole was already welling up with sap, a tap was put in, the bucket hung and the sweet plunking sound of the first drops were hitting the bottom. We've spent much of the last few days getting all the pieces in place for our first good run—rolling out the old evaporator, a cobbled together piece that barely makes the 20 foot … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Lists of Work

James boiling sap to make maple syrup at Full and By Farm. (Credit: Sara Kurak)

Thanks to those who came out Friday to stomp on bean pods and free up the beautifully colored beans. We wrapped up quickly, with all of the threshing and winnowing done by lunch time. After a delicious chili and corn bread meal prepared by Cara, we were back at it, sorting and cleaning the beans for CSA pick up. The extra hands made quick work of a project that had been dragging on for us. I had the wonderful sensation of feeling caught up with work yesterday. This happens two or three times … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Work Party Friday

Full and By Farm cupola in winter and logo (collage)

Work party friday — come help us put a big dent in the piles of drying bean pods! The beans have been up in the hay mow since fall, drying out in their pods and on the vines. We're looking for all the help that we can get to thresh the beans from the vines and then winnow out the chaff. It's a fun job, especially with a good group of folks. The party starts at 9am, with a break for a hearty, bean inspired lunch. Come for as little or as much of the day as you can. The hay mow is indoors, but not … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Sloggin’ Through Snow Drifts

Full and By Farm cupola in winter and logo (collage)

Another cold and snowy week—a week sloggin' through snow drifts, feeding out hay and keeping water running. We've been really fortunate this year, with such bitterly cold temperatures, to have no water problems (knock on wood) yet. The animals have been great, the fully insulated and heated bank barn has been a toasty dream and the veggie storage has been happily above freezing with no portable heaters, electric cords and constant checking to make sure it isn't too warm or too cold. Seed … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Ice Dominates Barnyard

Horse at Full and By Farm (Credit: virtualdavis)

Another cold but sunny day. The animals and farmers are all shuffling around cautiously this week, trying not to slip on the vast swaths of ice that dominate the barnyard thanks to last weekend's thaw-rain-freeze combo. The slow shuffle pace is in contrast to the heightened rush Cara and I feel to get everything done with Sara and Josh away for a week and a half. It'll be our turn before we know it! New: Sweet Potatoes, Kale and Cornmeal New in the veggie share this week: sweet potatoes, kale … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Avoiding the Cold

Pigs at Full and By Farm (Credit: virtualdavis)

It's a lovely blue bird day out there—a nice break from the windy, frosty days and nights of late. The cows and horses are soaking up the sun's heat in their thick coats, warming their blood and saving what they can for the cold nights to come. We've been doing what construction we can outside, fiddling with nails and screws in between numb fingers. Stomping our feet to keep the blood flowing. And looking for excuses to work inside. Despite the cold James has managed progress on the entrance … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Moving Heifer Calves

Snowy Morning with Calves at Full and By (Credit: Sara Kurak)

This is the last pick-up of the regular season share, and a warm one it is. The perfect day for washing up roots outdoors. Whoops, that was the last farm note. Today we are grateful the water is still running and the animals are up and about—wearing their silky fur coats and thick hides. They are much better suited to this than we are, all bundled up with face masks on and warmers in our gloves, wishing for indoor projects. Today's high of 16 is going to feel balmy after the cold start. Still, … [Read more...]