Friday, May 29, 2009

a rainy start

it's friday morning, i am about to head out to the farm.

rain has trickled down allllllll night, which was pleasant to sleep to: i dreamed about veggies growing big and hearty. i also dreamed about weeds (which also grow big and hearty with a night full of rainfall)

we've been weeding all week: arugula, turnips, radishes, onions, lettuce. sometimes with hula hoes, sometimes on hand-and-knees with our fingers.

tim and devin are heading to the first of our sunday markets this week. harvest is just around the corner... soooooooo exciting!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

happy chickens, happy plants

since we are going into a holiday weekend, and since holidays usually mean gifts, i've decided to be gifty... pictures galore.

enjoy the farm images, enjoy the long weekend, enjoy yourselves and each other.

happy chickens, outside and in!

peppers: from a cart full o' trays to a field full of goodness

toe-may-tows: 750 and counting

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

so many plants!

what a day, what a day!

the chickens moved in to their new home. we hooked it up to the tractor and pulled them to a new patch of clover to pick at. like all of us, i think it will take them some time to adjust to the new environment, but they seem happy...

we finished planting the remainder of the tomatoes, and the tomatillos, about 750 plants.
then we moved on to peppers, sweet and others, another 1, 500 plants in the ground.
it was a long, hot, busy day. photos to follow, i promise!

farm bike?!

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

this bike company is giving two of these away... we could REALLY use one of these on the farm - getting produce from the fields to the wash basins, getting tools to and from the field, pulling the chicken coop (okay, we'll leave that one up to the tractor, but you get the idea!)

please help, click away! and tell everyone you know to click away, too... (trick is, you have to click from my blog, so tell everyone you about my blog, then tell them to click away!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

big day, sunshine

the morning was spent completing the coop!!!

as you can see, walls and doors came out of the scrap pile. but i really like how it turned out: scrap-wood-collage-chicken coop-on-wheels

there are still some finishing touches - exterior paint and signage - but there are walls, and a roof. the birds are going to move in wednesday morning... cock-a-doodle-doooo!

the afternoon felt like summer, indeed. the sun came out to warm us up, and we planted 4 beds of tomatoes. that is roughly 500 tomato plants! once we get them all into the ground - we have another 5 beds to plant - i'll post some tomato photos so that you can all feel summertime with us...

Monday, May 18, 2009

dances with weeds

at this point of the season - when most of the early spring crops are in the ground and virtually the entire season's seeds have been carefully tucked into soil - we, as non-pesticide/non-herbicide using farmers, spend our days:

1. hoping for rain when the sun shines
2. hoping for sun when the rain falls
3. keeping a watchful eye out for signs of pests (deer, groundhog, flea beetles, aphids, etc)

4. anticipating harvest
5. weeding. weeding. weeding.

a favorite tool for activity #5 is the hula hoe (also called the stirrup hoe, scuffle hoe, and the 'hoe should i know?!').

a hula hoe (hula girls not included)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

rockin' robin

about two weeks ago, a little robin decided to make her nest atop our electric fence battery. it took a few days, but she eventually got used to us being around with tractors and lawn mowers and other human/farm things...

last night her little eggs hatched!
i want to give her the privacy she is due with her new little ones, so no pictures of the babies, but here is proud mamma atop her battery perch.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

they grow up so fast...

two weeks ago... just two weeks ago, on april 28th, we seeded up trays and trays and trays of summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkin. our greenhouse looked less green and more black.

but NOW, just look how green it is!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

super coop

there have recently been some pockets of time on the farm allowing for coop work.

friday i had some help from jason, an awesome guy who lives in brooklyn and who will be coming up from time to time this season to volunteer, he snapped a few photos of me being a carpenter:

more framing went up for walls and the roof... firring strips will provide support at the roof for the tarp (to follow)

monday, tim and i got down and dirty with coop, adding ramps for the for the ladies to climb around, find a favorite sleeping spot, and explore the vastness of the luxury condo they will soon call home:

tim finished up the day installing nesting boxes and a trapped door for easy chicken-access:

Monday, May 11, 2009


when i began this blog, and told everyone about it, i said that i would try to keep the soap-boxing at a minimum.
if you are allergic to soap or boxing, fair warning: this entry may be perceived as a soapy-boxy kind of post.

for the past two weeks i have attended a group discussion between our farm:
Common Ground Farm, and another, nearby, farm: the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.
the first discussion was about saving seeds and included topics such as genetically modified foods, patenting life, etc. i posted about it and included a link to a movie titled "The Future of Food".

the second gathering was last week and the topic was hunger.
this discussion was broad, and far-reaching, including nutrition, education, food stamps, farmer's markets, school lunches... the list goes on and on! i could fill this blog with all of the interesting, difficult, and inspiring things the group discussed.
instead, i will just include a few links and allow you all to jump in if you wish:

the NY times covered the increased demand at food banks in the region
the Nation discussed/explained how Mexico is now importing corn and the Philippines is now importing rice
we as a group briefly talked about City Fresh CSA in Ohio, a CSA with a sliding scale, allowing those in a low-income situation to still have access to fresh, nutritious food!

this week's topic is the farm bill. i will post some highlights and links after thursday's gathering.

catching raindrops

like much of the north-east region, we got some rain last week.
* though from what i have been hearing; here in the hudson valley, we got the smaller of the portions of water that the sky was giving out...

some early-morning raindrops upon our electric fence.
what a peaceful image to start a rainy day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

catching up

i have heard from quite a few loyal readers about my lacking lately... and since we are already heading into a weekend, i can't even promise a return to daily posting. sheesh!

what i can promise, however, is a catch-up session which will begin... now.

i'll break it up into a few posts and date them so that you can all pretend that i have been posting for the past week, even if that is not reality... it's the internet!

so, now lets go back in time a bit - to last week - and start from there: april 30th, 2009.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

chicken rodeo

it has been raining/misting for the past few days... the crops needed it badly, so we're all praising the skies around here.

today's rainy-day adventure recipe consisted of one major ingredient: chicken
it came time to shift the chickens to another area of the farm (free-range chickens, do, after all, need to range.) since our mobile coop is still in the works, we have a sled-like coop that proves to be a bit difficult to move with the chickens inside. so, we decided to try a new method of moving: move the coop, then move the chickens.
tim + devin moved the sled coop across the farm then the three of us
tried to corral the 35 birds from old pecking spot to new...
DON'T try this at home, or anywhere else, for that matter. turns out, chickens don't herd well. chickens don't herd at all, really.

first we tried big sticks, like giant chop sticks, to keep them all in one bunch and moving along the tractor path. leason: chop sticks don't work, no matter how giant they are.
we managed to get three birds across the farm. three out of thirty-five.

then we tried using a net. this proved a teenie-tiny bit more successful: seven more. twenty-five to go.
time for catch-and-release training. tim managed to capture four and just carry them from one spot to the other. devin + i tried the same... we each got one.
as we dove through 18" high clover fields, grasping for chickens and grabbing wet, green leafies instead, tim got a big bin and we started collecting.
after about 4o minutes, all of the birds were safe and sound in the coop. leaving the three farmers soaked, tired, and learned.
there is no such thing as a chicken rodeo. and there is a reason for that!

Monday, May 4, 2009

weekend in boston!

patrick + i ventured up to boston last weekend for some city hang-out time, birthday celebrating, and all-around good fun.

we walked around MIT's campus looking for fun architecture - found some - paused for a quick photo shoot - mission accomplished.

Friday, May 1, 2009

princess mimi

meet mimi. she is our 'farm cat' but don't let the title fool you... she is a princess, for sure!