Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CSA 2010 update

red russian kale

It seems to happen every year. It's too cold and wet to plant in late winter and then all of the sudden -WHAM- everything takes off. We've had relatively warm weather (much warmer temps later this week) and we've had rain in March but not too much. Most of the potatoes are in the ground. The spring greens and root vegetables have sprouted and are ready for a round of compost tea and the season's first round of weeding. It's this time of year(and this time only) when you can believe me when I say, "This year I'll keep up with the weeds!"

The cold and wet winter weather is going to cause the CSA to be delayed but that actually works out well. This year the CSA spring season will last 8 weeks and run from May through June. This will also allow me to fall in line with the Know Your Farms multi-farm CSA. They source food weekly from several local farmers. They too will operate year round with four distinct seasons. 12 families are joining me for my own CSA, but I'll also be a part of the Know Your Farms CSA.

I was in the greenhouse, looking at a small nasturtium and cursing their low germination rate when I noticed a tiny Praying Mantis on one of its leaves. I collected several egg casings last fall when I trimmed shrubs in my yard.

I put one in the greenhouse and many others throughout my fields after planting. They do a great job of eating other bothersome insects. It's a good sign that spring is here.

I've already had some help out at the farm. Stacey and her children David, Ethan and Erin have been out to the farm twice to help.

They're going to be joining me throughout the season. I also had Shelley and her son Chad help transplant some kholrabi and broccoli and collards into the field. There's always plenty to do.

I'll be taking on 50 laying hens in May in order to provide eggs for CSA members on a weekly basis. They'll be moving into chickens tractors, one of which is already waiting in the field.

Our family flock has started laying strong again after the winter season during which chickens don't lay as much. I feel confident that my 4 year old daughter Keaton won't be able to name all 50 of the new ladies, thus ensuring that they remain livestock and therefore won't qualify for the protections offered our other family pets.

I'm going to try and continue with weekly updates on Tuesdays so check back then.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

deer fencing

The Elma C Lomax Incubator Farm uses a fairly simple method of fencing as the primary way of excluding deer from the farm. Cedar posts are in place at the start of the fence and at major corners. Here you can see the electric line coming from underground. It attaches to the fence through a switch.

The rope itself is made of nylon and it has continuous strands of metal woven into it. Fiberglass rods are used to keep it at the right height. The deer have trouble with it because of deep perception.

Here you can see the fence as it runs the Northeastern boundary of the property.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010