Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photo Update 6.27.12

Oh my! It has been 2 weeks since I did a photo update. I haven't been slacking though--I've just been outside with work more than in :)

Farming life lately has been all about logistics--there has been a lot of little details to work out regarding CSA boxes and delivery, figuring out pricing for our produce, and getting ready to head to farmers' market in the next couple weeks! Then becoming more efficient and everything we do.  So, whew, here is a little photo break from all of that...then back out to weed, trellis tomatoes (got the posts in this morning), mulch, practice setting up the market tent, and hang some laundry on the line.  Enjoy the large photo tour :)

Cucumbers--tiny ones have started, so it won't be long now!
 Part of our requirement for organic certification is to have a buffer zone of at least 30'.  We will be planting 30' field border with native grasses and forbs (flowering plants) to increase wildlife habitat and attract pollinators and other beneficial insect.  At 30' we are going to be planting small trees/shrubs to aid with wind protection for our field.  We started planting willows last week.

John planting our first willows (narrow-leaved variety), that will
attract beneficial insects and protect against wind.
We're cutting back our first planting of buckwheat this week.  It was planted as a cover crop (smother weeds, add organic matter, good for pollinators).  We will be planting another succession of buckwheat after we work in the organic matter.  We will be cutting it with our brand new scythe--I took it for a test-drive this morning.  I'm ready.

It's soooo awesome.

Emily monitoring for cabbageworms on the brussel sprouts.

Mother Schneider came down last weekend and helped
weed the tomatoes--thanks mom!

John's dad, Larry, came and helped work on framing in the walk-in
cooler--thanks Larry!
 The walk-in' cooler now has two walls framed in and the door installed!  It's really coming along.  And thank you Betsy for donating flooring for in the cooler!  The generosity of time and materials is greatly appreciated!!  Now we have everything we need to get this project finished--time is the only matter.

John, and a partial cooler wall.
This spring was wet.  Just wet. We spoke with a farmer mentor & friend of our this week (we reach out to our farmer network when we have questions) and he said that this has been a terrible farming year.  Given that perspective we feel pretty good about where we are at, and pretty thankful that we didn't have any extensive damage due to flooding or hail  That being said, we did loose some lettuce, the first planting of chard and turnips--the latest victim being the garlic.  Here it is, looking a little sad from the deluge of rain in May--we expect lower yields this year, the scape harvest was lower as well.

The garlic is drying down to early, and some bulbs are
rotted from the moisture, but there's still bulbing going on
in there--just not as much as hoped for.

Sunset on the farm.

Buckwheat was planted in this bed, then fall broccoli seeded
down the middle. I just took out the buckwheat and left
it as mulch.

Dino, or Lacinato, Kale

Parsnips, radishes, parsnips.

Four sowing of beets and kohlrabi--the fourth is just
starting to germinate.

Onions are bulbing.

Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage--a beaut.  Staring
to form its elongated heads.

Celery is a water hog, I made it happy by mulching it
yesterday. (Cucumbers on the trellis.)

The re-sowing of chard is coming along, bordered
by onions.

Two beds of tomatoes were mulched yesterday,
we'll finish the rest today, and start
trellising them.

Bean are a climbin'.

Blue potatoes, purple flowers.

Squash is flowering and starting to wander.

Three successions of corn.
And the last pic, this is what I am so excited about! Guess what it is....rhubarb.  Tiny little darling rhubarbs now=rhubarb in the spring.  With this variety I expect to be able to cut it next spring already, so there should be enough for our 2013 CSA boxes, what a delight!

Rhubarb seedlings.

CSA :: Week 3

Boxes for week 3 were delivered yesterday.  The newsletter has some great recipes.

2012 CSA Box Week 3
In the boxes this week we have: Red Russian Kale (on the left), Snap Peas, the last of the season's Garlic Scapes (curly-qs in the back), Beets w/ Greens, a head of romaine lettuce, a pair of spring onions, and shell peas (front).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CSA :: Week 2

2012 CSA boxes for week #2 were delivered yesterday--boy was it a warm day!  A good time to eat cooling vegetables :)

2012 CSA Box Week #2 • June 18th
This week in the box: garlic scapes, shell peas, radishes, snap peas, spring onions, kale, beet greens.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The "Garden" June 14th

June 14th, 2012

A sweet shot of the whole vegetable field--all the way from garlic (left) to bean trellises!

Between the vegetables and the property line is a buckwheat cover crop, past the bean trellises is our wheat crop.  In the foreground is our in-progress chicken coop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo Update 6.13.12

A few shots around the farm today.  Loving more and more flowers all the time!  Potatoes, tomatoes, zinnias, and the cut flowers are forming buds :)

I had to include this beautiful flower!  This heirloom zinnia (Cut-and-Come-Again) is in my kitchen garden up by the house :)

Multiple successions of corn--for the CSA boxes, and ourselves.  We ended up planting extras, as room allowed, so we should have some for Farm Share customers as well!

 Hazel and the wheat, which is starting to head out--beautiful at sunset!

Reach little beans, reach!  The pole beans are getting ready to climb--I can't wait for fresh snap beans :)

A ground-level view of one of several successions of carrots.

Tomatoes have a few flowers on them, as do the ground cherries.  The tomatoes are looking nice and strong.

Mammoth Red Rock cabbages, onions, and some volunteer buckwheat.  The cabbages have just been taking off!

 The snap peas have started and the shell peas (above) are looking fabulous--the pods are starting to fill in.

A row of broccoli plants, have been loving the recent weather.

Green Mountain potatoes, prolifically flowering now, this picture shows them after mounding dirt around them twice (for production and sun protection).

 Moon and Stars watermelon--the melons are dark green with bright yellow stars and at least one (larger) moon on them.  The leaves have beautiful yellow marking too!

This is my little work space/garage office with my daily materials I need--planting plan, white board, schedule, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.

CSA::Week 1

The CSA season has started, and yesterday we delivered our first boxes!  

There are garlic scapes (the green/white curly-qs at the top); spring bunching onions (red ones); green garlic (the white ones, this is just young garlic); Amish snap peas; pea shoots (above the green container); a couple sprigs of spearmint (in case anyone wanted to try some minted sugar snap peas); as well as a MN Grown seasonal produce chart; Berkeley Farmers' Market sheet on storing produce; a copy of the newsletter; and a jar of homemade Rhu-Berry jam, made with handpicked (by us!) wild blueberries from up North.

Unfortunately this spring we had a crop failure on our lettuce--as multiple plantings were washed out by the heavy rains.  Generally the early spring boxes are heavy on these greens.  We had enough just for this one CSA week, but disaster--the cooler they were in got too cold and damaged them, so...we are rolling with the punches and moving on!  The boxes will grow with the season :)

Planning for week 2, and soon farmers' market!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Photo Update 6.9.12

Here's a few photos of what's going on in the field at Alternative Roots Farm!

The garlic scapes are coming in, as the garlic bulbs continue to grow.  We have harvested a few and have been chopping them up for salads, sauteing them for eggs--they have a great, light garlic flavor.

The garlic scape is the lighter stalk in the middle.  The swell is where
the flower would be if it continues to grow.

Now that Emily is done with school she is home helping out on the farm!

Emily harvesting a couple garlic scapes.

Brussel sprouts looking great!

Snap peas are coming in vigorous, we should have some for
sale next week.

The potatoes have been mounded twice, to encourage
greater production.  If you look real close you can see
that they are starting to flower.

A view of the field--it's filling in!

Buckwheat cover crop on the left, where fall broccoli will be planted.
Brussel sprouts, then potatoes...
Busy weekend doing some seeding, watering, and the weeding is pretty much under control.  John is finishing framing in the windows in the packing shed, then we'll seal them and start on the cooler!  Very exciting!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why Heirloom?

Check it out, we added a new page to our website talking about why we choose to grow heirlooms.

Be well!