Monday, October 18, 2010

The most common way to start a conversation with a farmer is to ask “So, how was the growing season?” and us farmers invariably answer with a summary of the weather report for the last 6 months. “Well, it started out purty wet n’ cold, had a late hard frost (got my apple buds) and we couldn’t get the tractor into the field until May! Then, this wet winter pushed the rocks right up to the surface! Why, we picked so many rocks, we could practically build a wall ‘round this whole farm. Then, the

summer turned down right brutal. By the time the tomatoes really got going in August, we hit the hot dry spell. Mind you, we had the best tomato harvest since we’ve been farming this land (nothing like the Blight of ‘09). This year we had so many tomatoes we couldn’t hardly give ‘em away! Well, round the end of September, the rain finally settled in and things started back up to growing again. Boy, those fall greens have been growing to-touch-the-sky and we’re happy to have them. We’re just hoping for a dry spell now, so we can get the garlic in the ground before the end of the month. We’re still going to market until Thanksgiving and then we’ll redd up this whole farm and get ready for next year!”

That’s what a farmer would have to say about it all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

This bit of sunshine is a pleasant surprise! We sure aren’t complaining about the rain (we needed it), but we’re gearing up to plant our garlic. This can be a monumental task, as we’ve set aside about 50 - 75 lbs of bulbs for next year’s crop. This doesn’t factor in the 20 lbs of our newest hard-neck variety, “Music”. Some of you may already know this, but each clove of garlic, when planted on its own, produces a whole new bulb of garlic. It’s best to get your cloves in the ground before the end of October - so, hoping that our fields dry out and we prep the soil, we’ll be planting garlic in every moment of spare time before the end of the month. You’re welcome to come on out and help if you’d like!

We’ve had a bit of a reality check with the Marcellus Shale drilling in our community. Just over the county line in Butler, there’s been a lot of drilling activity. We’ve seen them flaring the gas at the top of the drilling rig, heard constant loud industrial machinery and even witnessed the tanker trucks dumping waste water onto Ekastown Rd. This type of drilling is going to have a big impact in our region and it’s going to sneak up on us. It’s well worth a road trip to Washington Co. to see what the visual impact these kind of operations are going to have on us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 18 Update

Fall has set in. We’ve got the wood stove cranking and have pulled out the long johns! There must be a bit of warm sunny days to come, but with this constant drizzle and crisp nights - our t-shirt days are passing by!

The nice thing about cold weather is that the weeds don’t seem to grow as quickly as the veggies, so it’s easier to stay ahead of the weeds. There’s lettuce mix and spicy greens mix on the way and we’ve got a spotty supply of spinach to harvest too.

We’ve finally got a good crop of carrots (they’re big, but few). This is due to Kitty’s determination that we can beat the weeds and grow good carrots. We’ll harvest them on Tuesday and see how many we come out with!

The pea greens are loving this cool wet weather and are really at their prime. Now, I know that some of you don’t know what to do with the pea greens and are letting them pile up. Obviously, they’re great raw in salads, but they are also good in a stir fry, or sauteed in butter with a bit of those leeks and a bit of a hot pepper. Dee-lish!

We only have three weeks left of the CSA. It’s hard to believe how quickly time goes by, especially when you measure it by the harvest of vegetables. It seems to come full circle, a bit.