Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beets are up!!!! Yea!! We started them last Saturday Feb 12th and they emerged on Friday. It is so amazing how the little tiny seeds just turn in to little plants and then grow into bigger plants and then wonderful yummy food like Beet Greens and then Beets. Nothing like Roasted Beets or Beet Eggs!! Also using the beet juice as a dye for coloring eggs. And the list goes on. The Leeks also reared their little heads yesterday. The full moon was beautiful and now Virgo is in the spotlight and it is a Root sign so today we are starting more Leeks, some Celeriac, and some Onions. It is exciting to finally get things up and running. The warm weather on Friday was also a treat. But knowing that it is February we are now back to 19 degree weather with strong winds.
On Friday because it was 50 degrees Bruce was able to use the tractor and dig a path to the bees. This was no mean feat as first we had to free up the gate to the garden that was buried shut by the snow. There was also lots of shoveling but we succeeded and were able to get to the bees and open them up. 2 of the 3 hives survived the winter. In fact the South hive was very active. We filled their feeders with sugar syrup and placed pollen patties on the top frame of each hive so when they are hungry they have food to eat to start feeding the Queen. We also removed the mouse guards so they could clean out the dead bees and have easy access to their home. Bees are amazing!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Leeks!! Leeks!! Leeks!! In order to get wonderful Leeks in September like the picture on the left they need to be started from seed in the greenhouse in February. Leeks were started on Saturday February 12 when the moon was in Taurus. Taurus is a root sign and helps root growth. I like to try and plant by the moon. I follow the North American Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar. The calender is laid out to tell you what constellation the moon is in. The 12 constellations rotate through each month. Each constallation is one of the 4 signs - Leaf, flower, root, or fruit and when the moon is in a specific constallation then that is the time to plant that kind of vegetables So since the moon was in Taurus and it is a root sign the Leeks were started. The leeks are now on the heat mats and we are waiting to see the green leaves in hopefully 10 days.
With the temperature getting up to 48 degrees yesterday there is the excitement that Spring is really going to appear and the mounds of snow will eventually melt. The ice is the biggest problem. The melting of the snow as made an ice crust on top. The snow is up so high along the garden fence we have to climb the fence to get to the bees The front opening of the Bees need to be cleared so that air circulation can be improved. Especially since it is warming up and they will be starting to wake up and make brood for the queen bee so she can start laying eggs. Hopefully with the warmer weather we can shovel the gates open making it easier to get to the bees.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It is suppose to get up to 30 today and melt some of the Ice and Snow. We will see. It is pretty slippery outside and we are suppose to get 3" more tomorrow maybe. It could be mixed with rain and sleet too. Sounds like fun!! Oh yeah really fun!! Especially since I am going to a NOFA Massachesutts Seminar tomorrow. I am excited about this seminar because it should give me more information about how to stream line my harvesting of vegetables weekly and keeping good records. The problem is the drive the Barre, Massachesutts which is 2 hours away. The weather says snow and sleet in the afternoon so we may have to stay all night rather than risk a snowy, icy drive home in the dark. I am just hoping that the weather man is wrong and it won't be that bad. I will write more after the seminar.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Ground Hog Day! I don't think the ground hog will see his shadow today as he probably can not get out of his home because of all the snow. That means that Spring will come early!! Well we will see. Looking at the snow covered fire ring here at the farm and trying to visualize sitting on the Adirondack Chairs (which are in the picture on the left) in the sun enjoying a fire seems like a far away time and place.

So today would be a good day to start organizing the greenhouse and getting it set up to start all the wonderful vegetables. we need to set up our new racks, put the grow lights on them and get the drip irrigation ready to go. There is also organizing all the soil amendments, getting premixes made to add to the potting soil before I make the soil blocks, and finding the seed inoculates (biologicals and fungi) so I am ready when the seeds show up Johnny's and High Mowing Seed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy new month! It is hard to believe February is here already. Planning is underway for the 2011 season. I have mailed in my NOFA bulk order which is comprised of minerals to put on the soil like Hi-cal lime, potassium, gypsum, phosphorous. It also includes supplies for the planting season like Agribon cloth for row covers to keep the flea beatles in check.

The fun of reading about seeds in the seed catalogues was also a January past time. I took an inventory of seeds I had left over from last year. Looking at what small amount of seeds I had left, I decided to start with fresh new seeds for this growing season. I then figured out the quanity of seeds I needed to have produce for my 25 CSA shares for the summer growing season. It involves a lot of math I am happy to say the seed orders are in.

The next step is trecking to NY to get my organic potting soil mix. That is scheduled for next Monday if the weather cooperates.
Speaking of weather, we now have another storm coming through so I need to go take care of the chickens - making sure they have food and water.