Thursday, May 24, 2018

Photo Update May 24

In this post...News from the Farm...&...What's in Season...

Fresh from the Farm

The trees have moved past full bloom into petal fall, we can see successful pollination and little pear, plum and apricot fruitlets in the trees. 

We are busy seeding and transplanting crops into the veggie field, for August/Fall/Winter markets, Fall/Winter CSA. We have delivered loads of organic transplants to Shellee's Greenhouse in Madelia - it's so fun to work with other local women business owners!

Brooke and Shellee, of Shellee's Greenhouse with organic
basil and cucumber transplants.
The strawberries have hit full bloom and will ripen to be enjoyed by our Spring CSA members - just a few weeks away!

There's always plenty to do, but learning is important. I was happy to spend a field day out learning from another farm's systems and experience. Below you can see a moveable tunnel system used for extending the season - a fascinating system.

T-shirt order is still underway - see more details, or head over to the order form - until June 22!

What's in Season

Rhubarb, asparagus, nettles, chives, wild edibles like ramps and mushrooms.

I have been busy harvesting rhubarb for customers and the New Ulm Community Market (Thursday markets 2:00-7:00pm), as well as for freezing to make into strawberry-rhubarb jam later on. Try these Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars.

Rhubarb chopped and headed to the freezer.
I have also been harvesting stinging nettle to dry for tea/infusions, make into tinctures and infused oil for herbal salves. If you are interested in nettle tincture, to use for your seasonal allergies, contact me and I'll make sure you get some out of this year's batches!

Stinging nettle in the dehydrator. Once dried I use it for teas and infusions.
On our woodsy forays we have harvested wild ramps, gray morel mushrooms, pheasant back mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. Not near enough morels yet though!!

Asparagus is ready for harvest every other day. While we eat a lot fresh, the seasonal abundance is getting put up in the pantry too. This year I am canning all of the fresh asparagus. In the past I have always frozen it, it keeps well that way, but I like canning, as it is energy independent in storage and freezer space is always at a premium.

Like I said, we are always working hard... ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Photo Update May 19 :: Bloom Edition!

Full bloom in the orchard is a splendid thing - amazingly beautiful. Last weekend full bloom peaked. The home orchard had the most blooms it has ever had; we are excited because it looks like we'll be able to taste of some of the old heirloom varieties we are growing, for the first time!

Just before bloom, this stage is called "open cluster."
Young orchard trees. 'Smokehouse' is all blooming this year!
The Lake Crystal orchard blooms over the sloping hillside, full of promise for a great season. This site adds a couple new varieties of apples for us, including Fireside.

Farm dog Hazel, following along.
Just a Friday night out at the orchard, running the pups, mowing, picking up wood, enjoying the outdoors and potential of the beautiful trees.

Farm dog Odin helping out.
The New Ulm orchard, our first site we began with, is the most splendid we have ever seen it. The trees were loaded with blooms!

Being loaded with blooms is a grand thing, but that is only part of the process! Good pollination is a MUST to get that fruit hanging on these trees. We wander the orchards, observing for pollinator activity - native, honey and bumble bees. Two sites are close to woods and many native bees are out and about. While we weren't seeing as much pollinator activity at the home orchard, closer inspection, as petals began dropping, shows good results. There are many tasks between now and harvest, but I am looking forward to August and ripe apples!!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Photo Update :: May 7

It felt pretty darn good to plant the first transplants of the season! While it was 13 days later than planned, it's assured that no matter what the season begins sometime - sometimes late, sometimes early, sometimes really, really wet. This is a great start. 

Lettuce and kale went in first. Parlsey, basil, leeks and onion plants have followed. Radishes, spinach, peas and beans are waiting underground for their time to germinate.

Rhubarb looks great and asparagus is finally poking up!

Shellee's Greenhouse, in Madelia, is carrying Alternative Roots Farm organic sweet and hot peppers, heirloom tomatoes, ground cherries and tomatillos. Stock your garden with local plants, while shopping at a local greenhouse!

We have some other transplants available at the farm, check in with Brooke if you are looking for something.

The pullets are almost 6 weeks old and have most of their feathers in. While they are indoors we give them grass treats everyday - they go nuts for it! The hens are fiiiinally out on green grass!!! The yolks will start getting a deeper orange color from the natural nutrition of grass and bugs.

The home orchard was expanded again, to finish our plantings here. A new block of plums and apricots was added, along with more apples!

New apple trees!
Apricot flower buds.
Plum patch, with the field and winter greenhouse beyond.
We continue to provide microgreens to the New Ulm Community Market and Co-op for their Thursday Spring Markets - 2:00-7:00 pm on Thursdays.

Follow along here, on facebook and Instagram for the latest and greatest!

ARF T-Shirt Order!

It's a great time to get in on an order for an ARF shirt with our new logo!

You have the choice of ladies fit or mens crew t-shirts, as well as jersey, light-weight hoodies. See photos below

All orders and payments must be received by Friday, June 22.
T-shirts are only $20 and hoodies are $35.

T-shirts are USA made, heather gray, 90% ringspun cotton/10% polyester.

Jersey hoodies made with 60% organic cotton/40% recycled polyester
 They are light weight, like a long-sleeved t-shirt. The color "water" is a nice medium blue.

We suggest buying a size up, unless you like things nice and fitted.

In-Town Orders: orders can be picked up at the farm, at the Co-op or by other arrangement.

Out-of-Town Orders: by arrangement, if shipping is required please add $7.25.

All orders should be placed online - T-Shirt Order Form

Instructions for payment (cash/check only) are on the form.

Pictured: Ladies Medium
Pictured: Unisex Medium