The lush, green, humid atmosphere that the greenhouse has been working up to over the last few months has dissipated as the first round of seedlings moved out to the field. Once again the blacks and grays of the floor and metal benches dominate. Round two will be taking over soon though. The tomatoes are ready to be potted on to larger containers to grow out their roots, stem and leaves. Peppers, eggplants and melons are up but still small, the flats still mostly potting soil brown. Winter and summer squash have just been seeded and are waiting to germinate in tall stacks in the corner of the greenhouse. All of the summer brassicas and onions are in the field now, as well as spinach, lettuce, arugula and peas that have been directly sown. The cold and cloudy weather over the weekend and early week did not make us joyful, but the transplants love it. It is the perfect transition for the little seedlings to be introduced, stress-free to a big, exposed field and sky.
We took our first draft-for-hire job yesterday, discing a small field for members, Kelly and Dillon, over on Middle Road. The horses helped us load the disc onto a trailer, pulled the trailer to the site and disced the field, before reversing it all and coming back to the farm in the evening for a good roll in the pasture and dinner. They are up for more jobs in the area, within walking distance.
In the Pantry
Now that we have our farm logo ready, we have packaged up some of our bountiful crops from this spring and last fall for sale. We have wheat berries, whole wheat flour and maple syrup ready. They make great gifts for friends and family, and are a delicious addition to the non-veggie members pantry. Plus, they help the farm by bringing in extra income. Grab us at pick-up if you are interested.
Downsizing the Herd
We sold four steers and a heifer yesterday to downsize our herd and were rewarded with our first calf of the season early this morning. A nice, healthy bull calf.
Our sweet horse Abby is moving on today too. We’ve had Abby on loan for several years, doing great work for us on the farm. She has been waiting patiently for retirement since last summer, and will be returning to her real home now. I suspect she will be giving a lot of horseback rides to the kids in her family, but happily not pulling mowers, discs and cultivators around the fields in the hot, summer sun anymore. We will miss her calm, narcoleptic disposition. Abby was famous for falling asleep while stopping at the end of a row or while standing on three legs having a hoof trimmed. She could often be seen fast asleep with her head laying heavily on the hitching post, fat lip out and drooling.
We Need Egg Cartons
We’re still looking for egg cartons. If you have a stockpile on the top of your fridge or next to the mudroom door please bring them with you tonight.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: Nettles, potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, beets, parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, dried sage, wheat berries, whole wheat flour and dry beans. The first asparagus shoots are just up, we should have plenty for the share next week.
In the meat share: All cuts of pork and beef, half and whole broiler chickens in the freezer. Lard and leaf lard are available.
- Full and By Farm: Spring Has Finally Sprung (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Preparing Fields (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Dreaming of Spring (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)