Full and By Farm: Up to Our Eyeballs

Full and By Farm, October 10, 2013 (Photo: virtualDavis)

It's been a few weeks since I've managed a note. We've been up to our eyeballs in weeds, fall transplanting and seeding, haymaking, and pasture moving, with little time to spare for writing. Luckily it's not just the weeds that have kicked into high gear lately. The heat, sun and little bursts of rain have moved the veggies along quickly too, many are still small for the date but are making up for lost time. It's like starting to feed a child who has been malnourished for ten years—there are … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: More Rain This Week

Full and By Farm Bull Ray

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but more rain this week has been taking its toll on the vegetable fields and hay crop. We really need a solid week to dry out, and then a second week to get caught up on cultivating and to get a start on this year's haymaking. The kale plants look more like a groovy psychedelic painting than legitimate vegetables—the coloring smoothly transitioning from vibrant green, to mellow blueish purple into straight up magenta as the level of stress goes up in … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Rain and Then Some

Piglets at Full and By Farm, Spring 2015 (Credit: Sara Kurak)

Three and a half inches of rain answered our needs and then some. It also stopped us in our tracks during this busiest of planting times, postponing lots of seeding, transplanting and weed control till next week. It's still a boggy mess out there in the vegetable fields, the warm sun and wind that are coming our way should help out, I'm hoping the bits of rain here and there in the forecast pass us by for a short spell. The cold temps that came with the rain storm also laid the asparagus out. … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Grants, Greens, & Volunteers

Full and By Farm Weather Vane (Photo: virtualDavis)

We're still glowing from yesterday's news that we are going to receive a grant from New York State for construction of our new pole barn. We're one of 19 farms across the state to win funding (one of three great farms in the North Country). We can now move full-tilt into construction mode, fitting the work in around cows, vegetables and hay making, of course. Plans are to construct the bents over the course of the summer and have a big, old-fashioned barn raising in August. We'll let you know … [Read more...]

Full and By Farm: Three Season in Two Weeks

Full and By Farm Bull Ray

In the two weeks since I wrote the last farm note I feel like we have lived through three seasons. It's been a wacky start to the growing year—passing straight from the frozen soil of winter to the high eighties of summer and finally retreating to some springlike chilly nights and warm days. It's been confusing knowing what to plant, the early season favorites of spinach and peas don't tolerate hot weather real well. It seems we skipped right passed the cool weather ideal for seeding and growing … [Read more...]

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...]