Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Photo Update 3.28.14

We're staying busy around the farm with the warming weather. Projects galore! This weekend is going to be a fun one. Here's some pics of what we've been up to...

Brooke continues to go to the New Ulm Community Market and Cooperative (facebook page link) Indoor Markets, as long as we have CSA and Farm Shares available. The next indoor market is on April 5th--it has been a great way to find local and sustainable meat!

Here's the ladies of the farm munching on some fodder--sprouted, homegrown barley. It kicks up the protein and vitamin content of the grain for them, as well as giving them something green to much on!

The chickens also get fermented food. Soaked for three days. While being more nutritious for them it also saves us money on chicken feed, because it goes farther. They love it!

Giving the fodder a stare down, chickens are so funny.
John took a trip down to Seed Savers Exchange to cut scionwood for grafting new heirloom apple trees for our orchard. As you can see in the picture the scionwood is like skinny little whips, that gets grafted onto rootstock with a special technique. The newly grafted trees will spend a season in the nursery, then get transplanted out to their permanent home. The first set of apple trees will be transplanted this year!

Harvesting heirloom scionwood.
We are excited about our heirloom varieties...such a wide variety, like Knobbed Russet (super ugly, extraordinarily delicious), Black Ben Davis, Bottle Greening, Hubbardston Nonesuch and many more. Some which we had the opportunity to taste at a Heritage Apple Tasting last year.

Some of our orchardist friends stopped by to visit. Bob Purvis (left), Purvis Nursery and Orchard (Idaho), has been a valuable mentor for John regarding all things apple. Dan Shield (right) was a fellow Farm Beginnings classmate in 2011-12 who is starting a stone fruit based orchard up by the cities. It's great to have farmer peers to share our adventures with!

Mucky and muddy, we won't get in the fields yet, but there are plenty of other projects to work on! The pink flags on the right are marking where some apple trees will go. I am excited to see how our shrubs on either side of the driveway grow in their second year--red osier dogwood and a willow.

Around the fields you can see the different sorts of cover we had on the soil over winter. Above, the barley residue on the left protects the soil much better than the mostly bare ground left after buckwheat. Below, the corn stubble protects the soil great and held snow for retaining soil moisture. When these residues get tilled in we will add that organic matter to the soil.

A look at the vegetable field. Mud city. Can't wait until it's time to plant!

Red clover pushing through and looking strong.

The red chair has finally melted out...where should I move it to?

The home orchard lone Honeycrisp got a major pruning and it's looking beautiful!

A favored sign of spring--lilac buds! Time to get those bee houses out, cleaned up and hung outside!

More green, in the kitchen garden...thyme, phlox, dianthus and I spotted my new walking onions poking out too!

The celery is adorable, I have to say. These are our big seedlings right now :)

Along with the celery we have planted broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. The peppers and tomatoes had a spa treatment prior to seeding--an overnight soak in a fish-seaweed blend. Three days in the tomatoes are all germinating nicely!! Incredible, I think they liked the soak.

Well it's Friday and night and John and I have a date with Menards! I think the first project on the list is a new compost bin. Have a great weekend!


  1. I can't see any of the photos for some reason, but it all sounds great. :)

    1. Well I'm glad it sounds great! Sorry about the pictures, I don't know why it would do that.