Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Photo Update 5.27.14

What a fine weekend it was on the farm! We transplanted and seeded absolutely everything that needed to get in, which amazingly was followed up by a 1.8" rain. More fencing was finished and stakes put in - I love seeing this structure being added to the field. Now we have many heights, hues, seedlings and plants (and weeds).
A view of the field from the West end.
Awesome tomato transplants are in the field
(aka farmer selfie).
The field is getting full and the orchard went into full bloom this week. The bees are a-buzz amongst the trees, doing their busy work. The renovation John has been doing becomes more and more evident every year, with the health and production of the trees. This year 57 of the 58 trees are blooming, a record.

Mason bee house in the orchard.
Apple blossom, on the right is the "king blossom".

A view from the road. Many apple trees blooming and
one tall, lone pear tree.
There is much excitement amongst the animals of the farm too - with baby chicks and piglets expected in the coming weeks. Around the first of the month twenty heritage breed chicks will arrive. Mid-June, as CSA begins, the two sows will farrow and welcome their little piglets into our growing herd.

The momma's bellies are hanging low and we can even feel the piglets moving inside. We moved Lilly and Vera to fresh pasture for farrowing, which also has to buildings and better shade.

Now that's a pregnant sow!
 We have been busy with more than just the plants and animals - we've been having some wonderful opportunities to connect with people. At the end of May Brooke went to Northfield to visit our farmer mentor's farm, Open Hands, touring and learning with Erin and Ben. Then Ben came to visit our farm and we spent a whole afternoon talking about many aspects of the business. Continuing education is very important to us, we are grateful for the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service and the Land Stewardship Project for creating this opportunity for us.

John, our farmer mentor Ben and Brooke.
Then we held our Pre-Season Member Meeting with our CSA and Farm Share members - what a great time! We had a wonderful turnout and the evening was just energizing. Seeing people - old and new customers - looking forward to our CSA, fresh produce and connecting first-hand with a farm is so cool. All members who attended went home with a mason bee home, which John created out of cedar sections.
Mason bee homes for farm members.
 Now, a walk about the farm...
Glaskins Perpetual rhubarb, first season of harvest.
Sparkle strawberries, in their first season of production.
From left to right you can see: a corner of the
asparagus bed, strawberries, snap peas and
two plantings of wax beans.
The garlic and shallots are growing by leaps an bounds.
The first squash went in last
weekend - acorn (pictured) and zucchini.
An early cabbage gaining size.
The lettuce bed, with four plantings of lettuce
already in the ground.
Why hello carrots! It's lovely to see you again.
One of two onion beds, with shell and snow peas in the background.
Tomatoes! Getting the tomatoes in the ground is always so thrilling.
John and I disagreed about what is the best smelling plant
to transplant - he went with tomatoes and I went with basil.
2014 apple tree grafts are starting to "break bud". They spend one
year in this nursery bed, before moving to their permanent locations.
Sign in the garage. We use the back door a lot.
 There is so much more than what is pictured!! Spinach, potatoes, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, parsnips just started coming up, melons are waiting in the wings, broccoli and more broccoli. It's going to be a great year!

•Tentative start dates for CSA and Farm Share deliveries are June 16/18 - the first pre-season newsletter has gone out; another will follow to confirm the start date.

•Farmers' Market begins July 5th.

•Not getting our emails? Make sure to put goodfood@alternativerootsfarm.com in your address book. We had to add an email with yahoo's most recent updates - alternativerootsfarm@yahoo.com is still our main contact email, but newsletters will come from the other email.

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