First transplanting of the season

This is the time of year where the new farming season gets real.  About 4 of the 16 rows on the farm are planted. Today I transported and transplanted onions, leeks, kale, broccoli, and cabbages.  It is amazing how much space a few trays of plants can take up when they are in the ground.

Transporting seedlings from the greenhouse to the farm.

The garlic is growing strong and tall.

These beds are direct seeded with things like peas, spinach, beets, and carrots.

The white row cover is trying to help keep the recent transplants well hydrated while I work on getting the irrigation system set back up.

In a month and a half to two months we will start eating this stuff.  Yay for growing food!

Farm from afar

I sit 1,381 miles away from Two Hands Farm at a Montessori farm school in Huntsburg, OH.  Each Sunday evening I receive the same email my CSA members do; giving me a brief insight into what is happening on the farm.  I watch as the summer squash grows in the farm here, and wonder how my babies are doing.  I am surrounded by corn fields growing taller and taller and I think about the corn I planted.

Two Hands Farm is being cared for by four capable hands, but it is hard to be so far away from it.  Each time I offer my hands to the farmer here, I think about paying it forward for the hard work being done on my land.

But, the best windows into how the farm is doing are the pictures. Below I take you with me on a virtual tour of the farm.  IMG_0818 Elaine washing and bagging greens of some kind.

IMG_0822 Pole beans crawling up their trellis, sunflowers and curly kale in the back.

IMG_0829 Cucumbers and their trellis with broccoli behind.

IMG_0835 Eggplants!

IMG_0838 Melon sprawl. And flowers.

IMG_0841 Tomatoes.

IMG_0842 Tall corn tunnels!

IMG_0845 Elaine harvesting.  Winter squash spreading.  Corn again.

IMG_0849 More harvesting.  Beans in front, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes on back.

Order

I have an appreciation for order, so it is pleasing to me when, out of the chaos of the weeds, I start to find nice neat rows of what I planted.

 

Look for corn in the back, potatoes in the front, and squash on the right.DSC_0347

Beans!

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Kale in the back, pole beans in the middle and cabbage in the front left.

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Peas, onions, broccoli

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It is a joy to see all the spaces filling up with happy plants.

 

Plants in the ground

The last few weekends have been a bit of a marathon of getting seedlings transplanted.  I was so grateful to have help preparing the land and planting.  In one day I planted all of the eggplants, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and tomatoes; around 300 plants.  Now, they are all starting to get settled and rooted.

And, the beans, squash, and corn that were direct seeded are all coming up.

Now that most things are in the ground, the never ending task of weeding begins.  This weekend I thought there wasn’t much to do on the farm, until I started wandering around to check on things.  Before I realized it a few hours had passed while I weeded away.

I feel like we are finally over the hump of hoping and trusting that things will really fill all the space, that the farm will become a sea of green.  Now, I can see it happening.

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Colorado weather calls for unusual measures

Early this week I noticed that the weekend was predicted to have lots of heavy rain, which for the most part I was thrilled about.  But, on Wednesday, a co-worker mentioned the snow that was imminent.  Not just snow, but lots of wet snow. This was a little bit traumatizing and over the last 48 hours I have spent more than my share of time starring at the weather report trying to comprehend it.  Most of the farm is still empty, and what is seeded has just started poking through the ground.  But, the kale transplants are just starting to settle in and are big and rigid enough that I was concerned about them being damaged by that heavy snow.

Luckily, my co-worker was happy to help brainstorming kale protection mechanisms on a scale large enough to cover all of the plants.  Together we came up with crowd sourcing milk cartons from our students.  The students were happy to help.  Now it looks like I am experimenting with new methods of dairy production.DSC_0332 DSC_0333 DSC_0335DSC_0336

Let the local veggies dance in your head, sign up for the 2016 CSA!

It is time to claim your share and join the FARMILY.  Click on the 2016 CSA tab for more information and to sign up.

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I look forward to sharing all of these delicious vegetables with you!

You will experience the joys of watching the farm transform over the seasons.

And, the excitement of trying new vegetables and new recipes.DSC_0301

Support your local farm and farmer.

Veggie Explosion

We have now entered the part of the season where harvesting begins to challenge weeding for the amount of time I spend on them, and it will only increase from here.  The coolness of the season has allowed some peas to continue producing, the beans are coming in, the summer squash is getting going, and cucumbers are right on their heels.

It is this time when it is especially powerful to look back on the beginning of the season when I was uncertain that my fields of brown would ever become fields of green, but they truly have (proof below).

Peppers and eggplants and tomatoes are showing their fruits and taunting me with their imminent ripeness.  The onions are fattening up, melons have tiny little fruits starting, and the winter squash is becoming a huge sea of leaves, sweet smelling yellow flowers, and baby squish.

It seems that at the same time that everything starts looking perfect, is also the time when the critters and diseases start to rear their ugly heads.  I have a fear, each time walk through the winter squash, of finding squash beetles or their red armored eggs lining the leaves.  Bunny rabbits and birds lurk and, though I have not seen their damage (except to my drip lines), I worry.  The kale could at any moment become covered in aphids and, I think I have already started to see the beginnings of powdery mildew on my cucumber plants and rust on my bean leaves.

But for now I will try to soak in the beauty and harvest the bounty without worrying too much about all the disasters that might be coming.

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YUM!