Saturday, July 21, 2012

Getting High Tunnel ready to plant

Yesterday was a wonderful day to work in the High Tunnel.  It was rainy and cool.  We were able to weed the amended beds (Picture 1 shows the weeds),  Add more compost and soil and level out the total house and put down a center mulched path. (Picture 2)  Then we started forming the beds which run perpendicular off the center path approximately 4' wide and 9' long with narrow foot paths between (Picture 3).  We are amending the beds with minerals and a little compost   So today we will finish forming the beds and plant, plant, plant.  We are trying different vegetables so see how things grow since this is a new adventure for us.  We are excited.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Squash Bugs 
 Been fighting Squash bugs all morning.  Not much fun.  Need to had pick the eggs off the leaves and then if you missed any the little bugs hatch and start eating the leaves.  Not much one can do organically but hand remove the eggs and squash (literally) the bugs.  The main ingredient in Neem Oil will get rid of them so I am trying to find that.  To help ward them off I did spray the plants with Neem Oil.  Yes it is organically approved.  It is difficult to watch these beautiful plants fall pray to these bugs.   At this point my plants do not look this bad and I am hoping to keep them under control.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July is here!!

It is so hard to believe how fast the time goes.  Yesterday was the 4th of July.  Happy 4th to all of you.  I hope you were able to relax a little.  The summer is here and so is all the heat.  At least we are getting relief at night down in the 60's.  All the summer plants are happy!!  By that I am referring to tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash!!  The cool weather crops on the other hand - lettuce, and peas have shut down.  I am working on growing some lettuce that can withstand heat of summer so we will see how that goes.  I will keep you posted.  I was not ready for the heat to come so fast so I lost some of my greens to bolting.  Plants certainly do tell you what they like and don't like.  I am still battling the Bunny.  I think I know where he lives so we are clearing away the edge of the garden fence that we think is his portal to food and putting up some netting.  Hopefully, this will stop him/her/babies.  We will see.  This is pick up day so this entry needs to be short,  Stay cool.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First CSA Pick up for 2012

Tomorrow is the first Fire Ring Farm CSA pick up of the season.  It also possibly will be a record setting High temperature for June 21st.   We will be up early harvesting veggies before the heat sets in.  When you come for pick up remember to bring your bags and probably a small cooler with some ice to keep things cool.  If you want to visit the gardens and see what is growing, or visit the chickens allow for a little extra time.

On the Card above the veggies listed in Bold Red are what will be available this week. As you know, this is subject to change.

I am sending an email with more detailed info about pick up in it..

Happy Summer Solstice!!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June is here!! CSA Pick ups start this month!!

This weather has been something. First the sun is out shining and making me take off my jacket and start sweating and then the big gray rain cloud floats over and drenches me with water.  By the end of the day I don't know if my clothes are wet from rain or sweat.  It reminds me of the story of the Sun and the Wind trying to see which is stronger and can make the old man take off his coat.

     Anyway, I have been working hard planting, planting, planting .The Lower Garden if full of lots of wonderful veggies - Celery, Chard, Broccoli Rab, Field Onions, Scallions, Shallots, Leeks, Peas, Carrots, Celeriac, Sweet Peppers, Fry Peppers, Hot Peppers, 5 kinds of Slicing Tomatoes, Paste Tomatoes, and flowers.  The Blueberries have berries as well as the Raspberries.  Things are looking good!!
There is always a catch however, we are sharing our peas and Beans with a Bunny!!.  Yes, this year the Bunny found us.  I am trying to catch him/her and give them a new home in the woods.I have sprayed the plants with Liquid Fence (It is an organic egg base deterrent)  but that means that the peas and beans are struggling to out grow the giant muncher.

     The upper East garden has baby Zucchini Squash  starting to grow.  The potatoes are planted and up in their cozy potato boxes, and we are preparing the bed for the Sweet Potatoes.  Still need to get the Winter Squash in the ground.

     The CSA pick up starts Thursday, June 21st.  from 4pm to 7pm here at the farm.  We are getting excited to see all our extended farm family.  I have put together a pick up schedule I will be emailing soon - Hopefully this weekend.

     So all you CSA members get your bags ready!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fire Ring Farm High Tunnel

Our NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) High Tunnel was installed this Tuesday, May 1st in the rain.  We are so excited to finally have it  part of our farm so it can help us to extend the growing season into the fall and let us start our season earlier in the Spring.  We have a lot to learn about growing vegetables in a High Tunnel because it changes the planting plan on the farm - figuring out the crop rotation will be interesting.  Growing in a high tunnel as the advantages of warmer climate, wind can be stopped and heavy rains and hail will not hurt the crops on the other hand the closed environment can cause higher humidity and excessive warmth that could be a negative

I realize it has been a while since I wrote on the blog and a lot has happened.  The Lower Garden South is just about all planted.  The Peas are up, carrots are in, the Shallots, Field Onions, Scallions, Leeks, Chard, and Celery are all in the ground.  The Garlic is up in the Lower Garden North and now we are prepping the rest of the north bed to grow the Tomatoes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage.

The greenhouse is full of seedlings of Greens, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Herbs, Summer Squash, Celeriac,  and  cut flowers.  More seeds need to be started and more starts need to go in the ground..  The weather is really confusing - it was really warm in March and early April.and now the weather has turned cool like it is March.  It will be interesting to see if the soil will warm up in time for the seedlings to go in the ground the end of May.

More later.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 Season has Started!!!!!

Yesterday the 2012 Growing season began at Fire Ring Farm with the initial seeding of 780 Leek seeds. The picture, in the greenhouse, shows the seeds all nestled in their 1 1/2" soil blocks in their growing medium trays, labeled and on heat mats set @75 degrees to keep the soil warm so germination can happen. I am also adding a 'Special Potent" to the soil mix which are tiny biologicals mixed in water. This will help the soil be more eco balanced and help the roots get the nutrition to the plant easier. Why start the seeds so early? Well, Winter Leeks take between 18-20 weeks to mature and be ready to eat. They are a cool season biennial . I am growing 2 varieties this year, " Bandit" which forms a very thick base with little bulbing, making cleaning easier and offering more weight per plant. It has deeply colored blue-green flags that stand upright, In order to get long white stalks they needed to be hilled up as they grow. The second variety is "Tandorna" which is a stock, medium length with large green shafts that size up well and are very uniform and grow well in the North East.
So what is next on the farm. Starting Celery and Celeriac root. That is next Monday. Yes, the moon will still be in Virgo which is optimum time for planting root crops. I am trying a new kind of Celery called "Golden Self Blanching" Celery. Introduced in 1886. Golden Self Blanching Celery produces thick, crisp, juicy, deeply ribbed, tasty celery without the strings or bitter flavor of some other celery. Reaches 18-23"s in height with ample water. Golden Self Blanching is a strong disease resistant variety that is obviously self blanching. Celery hearts are thick and crunchy. I am hoping this will be a tastier and wonderful improvement from the celery we have been grown in past years. The Celeriac Root is "Mars" and always is a welcome addition to the root vegetable mix in the fall.
We are working on ordering our first baby layer chicks, pruning the fruit trees and shrubs and planning a new Harvest Pavilion since the snow storm last October devastated the existing one.
I attended a NOFA Mass Soil workshop last Thursday Feb 9th and learned a lot more about timing of mineral applications and balancing the minerals in the soil. It was a good presentation by John Kemph. This Sunday I am going to White Gate Farm for the first part of a 2 series Nutrient Density Workshop refresher course put on by the Real Food Campaign. Then on Saturday March 3 is the CT NOFA Winter conference at Manchester College.

Thank you to my 2012 CSA Shareholders for joining this year and supporting our Organic Local Farm. We are here for you producing the best high quality produce we know how.