Groundhog Day

Apparently we are going to get six more weeks of winter. This might send some down a despondent train of thought, but it okay with us. We don't mind having some extra time for planning and preparation before the 2017 season really gets going.

We will start seeding onions the last week of February, and we have no small amount of prep work to do in the greenhouse before we are ready to start plants in it. The new heater arrived yesterday, which is fantastic, and we have also started buying materials to built strong, water resistant tables to hold trays and trays of plants. 

But enough about winter - the Superbowl is this weekend! We would like to remind everyone that we have a 10% off $50 or more of pork deal going on right now! Pork chops for everyone, ham steak sandwiches, pulled pork tacos - all swell, savory Superbowl snacks! (I really tried for that alliteration).

Another potentially swell, savory snack I would recommend is some roasted garlic dip - and we are going to have garlic on sale this week as well - a pint for $7! This is in part due to my screw up, I must admit. I accidentally spilled and mixed up about 50 pounds of garlic bulbs, so the pints are a mix of four of our varieties of garlic - from the mildest (Inchelium Red) to the hottest (Georgian Fire). Please profit from my mistake!

See you at market!

-Ailish

Plugging Away

Ben has been holding down the fort this week, as I have been getting through and over a massive head cold. One of our employees also got the cold, so we really have been short-handed this week. Ben has been getting some stuff done around the barn - he and Nick have been modifying the wash station so it's easier to use - and he has done all the harvest and washing and packing. Three cheers for Ben!

I haven't been completely idle, though. Our goal was to get our seed order in this week before Ben goes on his vacation next week and I go on my vacation the week after he gets back. We have been cranking away, updating our spreadsheets with this years' dates, how much we want to grow of what, and which varieties we want to grow.

It's time-consuming, and makes my eyes swim a bit, but having these spreadsheets completed and the seed order in will set us up for a much easier season than if we were making these decisions every time we planted something! It also makes it a lot easier for us to delegate seeding tasks, for example, to our employees. Really, these spreadsheets keepthe farm running smoothly.

Ben will be at market tomorrow - stop by and wish him a fun vacation! And I will be at market Saturday.

See you then!

-Ailish

Whirlwind Week

This is the time of year when people start asking us, "So, are things slowing down on the farm yet?"

Hah. Not by a long shot. Granted this year is a little unusual because we are putting up two big hoophouses. Aside from the hoophouses, however, we still have thousands of pounds of storage vegetables to harvest, wash, and pack, summer vegetables to pull out of the ground and compost, and winter vegetables to seed and transplant. Not to mention markets! 

Speaking of the hoophouses, though, we have made quite a bit of progress on the unheated one, and we think we may be able to cover it with plastic next week. Hurrah! And this week, we had concrete poured for the floor of the other hoophouse (the heated greenhouse). Apologies if the picture is a tad blurry. It is getting dark so much earlier now that I didn't realize how poor the light was!

This week Chef Ali has a yummy recipe using roasted peppers: Roasted Peppers with Pomegranate Molasses & Walnuts! We will still be roasting peppers this weekend, though this may be the last weekend! All the plants died in the frost last week, so we are working off what we harvested then. We will, however, continue to have roasted peppers in our freezer through the winter until we sell out. We will have both sweet and hot options. 

See you at market!

-Ailish

Caterpillars

Not live caterpillars - caterpillar tunnels!

Clean up is continuing pretty rapidly this week. It always feels really productive when you move a whole bunch of stuff from point A to point B. This week we have been focusing on taking up the drip irrigation, black plastic mulch, and landscape fabric we use with crops that need extra heat and water (like tomatoes and squash). We also got the plastic off all of our caterpillar tunnels - those are unheated hoophouses that are (relatively) easy to move - where we grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc. Below you can see some pictures of the caterpillars in various stages of plastic removal.

After we undo the wiggle wire that holds the plastic to the frame on one end, we have to be quick and get the other end right away. Otherwise, we have a giant sail (you can see it starting to blow around in the photo above). In the photo below, Ben is undoing the wiggle wire on the side of the end bow, and Willie is undoing the top (you might need a magnifying glass to see him). Then, in the last photo, you can see we got the first piece of plastic neatly off. Yay! It was only a little windy, so we were pretty lucky with all the pieces of plastic. 

Next on the list is taking up the deer fence (at this point in the season they just jump over or crawl right through it), and then moving the frames of the caterpillar tunnels to their 2016 locations. We will take the frames apart piece by piece, using the tractor and truck to help, and then we will pound the ground posts into their new location, pop in the bows, and stabilize them with the ridgeline pipe. Yes, it's that easy, haha! I will take some pictures for you next week.

See you at market (Today: Brunswick, 8-2; Topsham 1-5; Tomorrow: Fort Andross, Brunswick, 9-12:30)!

-Ailish