This week the horses are muddy, the chickens are muddy and the people are muddy. But mud brings lots of big changes around the farm. We planted our first fruit trees yesterday—34 delicious apples. We’re already salivating at the thought of sweet juicy apples for eating, baking and cider making.
On the west side of the road we’ve made a huge muddy mess clearing the ground, moving the blue cabin and getting started pouring piers for our new long-dreamed of equipment barn. Unfortunately none of the existing barns on the farm were built for equipment—the roofs are low, the doors small and the interiors all divided up. We’ve had most of our equipment stored in our neighbors barns up the road, which is a lot of back and forth every time we need to pull something out to use. The smaller equipment we have here is stacked three deep in the barns (inevitably the thing you need is always at the back) and the stuff that can bear it sits outside aging before it’s time. We have applied for a ridiculously long matching grant from the state to help with costs. There is no word yet, but the odds aren’t terribly in our favor. If that doesn’t come through, we’ll stretch the project out (a tactic we have lots of practice with) and build over several years. Fingers crossed that we can get it wrapped up sooner though. I’ll have some pictures out tonight of what the farm looked like in the early 80’s—there must have been three times the numbers of barns back then. Stayed tuned for info on a barn raising work party later in the summer!
I transplanted the first greens into a muddy field, under a dripping sky yesterday—lettuce, radicchio and tomorrow will be the chinese cabbage. The greenhouse is starting to fill in now, more green tops than brown soil and gray benches showing through. The celeriac germinated right on time this year, so we can expect to be eating full-sized roots next winter. Celeriac is notoriously a tricky germinator, last year we were still waiting for it to emerge at the time it should have been going into the ground. The soil has warmed up nicely but it is wet, wet, wet out there. Too wet to seed into. James stayed out late Sunday making ridges before the rains came so we are ready as soon as we have a short dry spell.
Extra special thanks to Maureen and Kevin who are up in the field as a write digging trenches for the new asparagus to be planted!
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: maple granola, green onion tops, carrots, beets, white and fingerling potatoes, celeriac, shallots, red and white onions, green and red cabbage, dried red chilies, wheat berries, whole wheat regular and pastry flour, corn meal, and dry beans. Unfortunately we are out of cooking onions for the year, but still have shallots, and this week green onion tops. Ramps will be out any week now followed quickly by garlic scapes and scallions.
In the meat share: Pork, broilers and stew birds in the freezer. Stock and organ meats from beef and chickens, lard and leaf lard. We are sad to report that we won’t have beef for a short while. We will butcher a fresh beef first thing in the summer, once the animals have been out grazing on the fresh, green grass. It won’t be long, now that the color is changing out there.