Thursday, April 30, 2009

dear licks,

we have an electric fence that surrounds the entire farm and is intended to keep various pests, namely deer, OUT.
there have been a few setbacks to getting this system up and running: first, the fence needed to be tightened, deer were getting in with no problem at all! next, the battery didn't work/needed to be sun-charged.

after some work and some trials (tim + devin volunteered to 'test' the fence while i nervously watched), we got the thing juiced up and shocky
-queue disco music: "it's electric.

now comes the part where the deer need to
understand that it's electric.

education method: peanut butter licks. peanut butter gets schmered onto tin foil, tin foil touches shocky wire, deer licks peanut butter, zap! but just a little zap... we'll call it a 'learning' zap

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

lie (or plant) in the beds you made

creek and i spent most of the day turning what you see on the left into what you see on the right! (you might also notice the sun difference, it too a few hours.)
this is the future growing space for many many flowers - how exciting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

old MacChristo's farm

if Christo had a farm, it would look like this!
(re-may... a light fabric used to protect crops from the cold and pests... blowing in today's farm-breeze)

Monday, April 27, 2009

... and we're back

hey all.
i took a little 'blog vacation' for the past few days. things have been busy on and off of the farm, picture taking is lacking, and so is the blogging...

i come back bearing no pictures. i promise that tomorrow will have such fruit.

here's the quick round-up of farm life over the past few days:

thursday night, creek, devin, and i went to a discussion about saving seeds. it was great to gather with other farmers in the area and talk about some of the politics within growing food and concerns of the future of farming, and, in turn, the future of food. in fact, we briefly discussed a film with such a title: the future of food. we also talked about where the seeds that we plant come from, what is practiced in other countries, how laws and patents and corporations play into the whole thing, etc. it was an interesting and thought-provoking discussion. i'm really glad that such gatherings take place.

friday was spent seeding, watering, and transplanting lettuce. heidi and i found some coop time, but now that the pants are awake and ready to grow, the chickens are going to have to wait!

i got a little farm-girl vacation and visited the Chelsea this weekend. (the hotel project i managed/lived in last summer) it was so great to be there as a guest! the food was delicious (and locally grown!), and so was the spa...

today, devin, time and i took to the fields to plant some of those potatoes we cut up last week. it did NOT feel like april, but it was nice to get away from the cold, wet winter weather that seemed to lurk a little too long! sun-shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

happy Earth Day!

to be honest, i didn't even realize that today was Earth Day until i heard it on NPR this morning while i was working in the greenhouse - judging from the dirt under my fingernails and in the cracks of my knuckles, everyday is Earth Day!

i was taking care of our newly sprouted tomato plants and when i heard the Earth Day talk. i had to get down and see the plant from the 'earth' view.
this tray of 50 baby tomato plants looks like a forest of tomato trees from here!

i hope that everyone found a moment today to take in a deep breath of fresh air and celebrate/think about the earth. and if not, it's okay, go out and do it right now!

more colors!

i simply cannot get over all of the colors that are showing up each day!

check out these specialty potatoes... adirondack red + blue.
(these are just the seed potatoes which we will plant so that they can grow whole plants to make more and more potatoes.)

what fun making mashed potatoes will to be!

Monday, April 20, 2009


today was quite colorful:
gray sky, green grass, brown soil... and chard!

we spent the day transplanting more veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and chard. there were many beautiful colors within this grouping of edibles.
i snagged a moment to capture the 'bright lights' variety of chard.
what great colors... even the roots are colorful!

Friday, April 17, 2009


after a nice, long week of varied weather and on-farm tasks, i went out for a treat.
i met up with mary and lara, the apprentices at our 'neighboring' farm, Glynwod, and biked into Beacon for a burger and some fries at Poppy's.
it was DELICIOUS! i'm not a big beef eater, and i had never had grass-fed beef... man-oh-man. you can taste the difference (it has taste). AND they serve raw (unpasteurized) cheese on their burgers, so even a tummy like mine can partake!
*for those reading this who have not yet encountered the sensitivity that is my tummy... we'll get to that another time

i hope everyone has a great weekend. see you monday

Thursday, April 16, 2009

let-us, on-i-on

crop transplanting continued today:

hedi and the guys worked on onions this morning, i joined heidi in the quest after lunch.

tim + devin finished the day with lettuce (remember these from the greenhouse?)

each and every one of these little guys are hand-planted and loved so that they will grow big and delicious. i can't wait!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

finder's creepers

tim found this rusted out, awesome bike frame in the woods.
and i don't know where this dolly came from, but hopefully she will scare the deer out of the fields while our electric fence is on the fritz....

also, if your wheelbarrow has a leak and can't seem to hold water, this farmer suggests a handy old trick to fix it: gum!

today was epic! we transplanted onions. our first few beds of crop are in the ground. and counting. we'll be back out there tomorrow, transplanting more and more.
empty the green house - fill the fields - feed the people... the season has begun!
pictures from the field, and a coop update to follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

a floor to dance on

update on the coop: there's a floor! tomorrow should bring walls and this thing will really start to take shape.

we had a couple of visitors to the farm today: one of the board members, sarah, stopped by to help seed up flowers with tim. she's spent the last many years working within horticulture in NYC and recently within agriculture at stone barns. it was great to have her energy on the farm on this gray, rain-threatening day! daniel moon, who will be apprenticing along with hiedi and me this summer, also stopped by to check in.
this will surely be an exciting season! (as if it wasn't already exciting)

Monday, April 13, 2009

earth of a different color

i finished the floor of the chicken coop today... but i neglected to take a picture of it. so, check back tomorrow for the updated images.
i know how much we all love pictures, so here are some images from the Black Dirt Region, also known as Pine Island, NY.

i was in the area on saturday for lunch- at the warwick valley winery- and couldn't resist a drive around the farms of the area.
it took all of my might (and the restraint of a safety belt) to not run out into the fields and wiggle my toes in that rich, black, amazing soil.
for years, the main crop here has been onions. recent changes in taste and economy has expanded the harvest to various other crops, such as lettuce and radishes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

peas, please

today was momentous, indeed. tim, devin, creek and i put the first seeds of the season into the ground: sugar ann snap peas.

i'm headed out to Vernon, NJ for the holiday weekend. check back on monday. have a great weekend, all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"12 hour days... in April?!?"

- words from devin's mouth as we climbed into the truck to head home this evening.
what a day! at about 730 this morning, devin came up from the basement, shirt covered in chicken feed, brow furrowed, shaking is head.

d: we're moving the girls
me: today?
d: now!

the 2 hours that followed were too intense to stop and photograph, but i'll do my best to sum it up. it seems the roosters, one rooster in particular, had pecked his final peck in the basement of 61A New Hamburg Rd., eagerly attacking the feed tray, sending feed everywhere.
we grabbed the two huge animal carriers we are borrowing from our neighbor, slugged them downstairs, and started grabbin' hens, roosters, and hay. once they were all in, tim loaded them into his truck and headed for the farm. devin + i stayed back to clean out the stinkyness that is a month and a half of chicken life in a basement... blech!

now that the ladies (plus a few unruley fellas) are on the farm, the need for a coop is evident. they are currently in a 'teenage' coop; safe from the elements and adjusting to fresh air, bugs, grass, sunshine, snow (it snowed today!), etc.

yesterday's disassembly energy was quickly converted to assembly energy. my archie brain and limited carpentry skills sure are coming in handy. who would have thought that converting to the world of farming would allow me my desired 'design-build' time?!

when the wheelbarrow saw horse didn't quite 'cut' it for the work i had to do today, i simply turned one over, loaded it up, headed to the room with the vice, and saws-all'ed away!

and that heating system we worked on yesterday... the system that has been tim's headache for months... still in the works. t + d are sleeping at the farm tonight, keeping watch over the thermometer to make sure those pepper + tomato babies stay warm. oiy veh.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


today i tried a couple different ways to stay warm despite all 35 of the degrees that arrived on the backs of 10-20mph wind gusts out of the WNW:

finish the rock edge for the perennial garden (from pile to style)

dismantle the manure spreader/trailer
"i (un)made this!"

though rewarding, these tasks did not 'warm' me up... fingers frozen, cheeks pink, i decided to go to the source. i finished my day helping tim rig up the vent ducting for the little green house's heating system.
hopefully it works... we need to ensure the warmth and safety of the precious, germinating baby tomatoes and peppers.

soooooo that's where warmth comes from!

Monday, April 6, 2009


the northeast got some RAIN today!
it was off and on at the farm (mostly on) so i broke out the full-suit rain gear and boots to work on the chicken coop and the rock edge around the perennial garden. i'll show you chicken coop pictures in a few more days. until then, check out these guys:

carpenter ants!
doing their job to contribute to the deconstruction of our manure-spreader-cum-chicken-coop.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

weekend wrap-up

okay, okay. there was no post friday, i know. but let's be honest, you all went out and had fun friday night, right?! you weren't glued to your computer, refreshing the little lambsie, anxiously awaiting a post... and neither was i. ;o)

i went (somewhat unintentionally) on a 20 mile bike ride today... explored the area, soaked up the sunshine, and snapped a few photos. i'm puttin' them here for your veiwing pleasure (and to get back into good graces for the lacking of friday's post.)

check out this bowling alley! i love the signage and the building...

speaking of signage on a great building (let's not forget that there is an archie inside of this farmer's blog...). how about this great little number sitting about a mile or so from the end of my ride, overlooking the Hudson. green trim, stone construction, architect and farmer approved (the sign says so!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

all i need is water, light, and a bluebird bus

yesterday's post was a bit silly. not that i'm trying to take myself too seriously... but let's get down to business here, eh? this morning started out foggy and the greenhouse was muggy and warm.

but look! there is all kinds of great stuff going on: onions, kale, cauliflower; tons of little guys are poking up through their germination cells seeking yummy light and water.
and speaking of yummy, check out the lettuce flourishing in the back corner! almost time to get it outside and into the ground...

the bus tim + devin just bought for the mobile market (more on that later) came with instructions on how to safely cross the street.
it did not, however, come with instrctions on how to safely rip out all of the seats...
we figured that one out ourselves. (note tim + i are safely outside while devin is inside wrestling the seat loose)

after a full day of meetings with green teens - an organization exposing kids + young adults to information about nutrition, food, and much more (, bus-seat wrestling (despite the photo, tim + i were helping), tomato seed planting, and a range of weather from fog to sunshiiiiiiine; the guys + i hiked part of the way up mt. beacon to see the sunset over the hudson river.