Spring Tasks – Cleaning the Coops

One of the many spring tasks is cleaning out coops.  Although we use two portable coops most of the time, the older stationary coops are great spaces for broody hens, tiny chicks, and pesty young cockerels.  This year I volunteered to take on the task.  Fist Ken got me set us with open windows, doors and tools.  As I filled first cart and then wheelbarrow, Ken  shuttled them to the compost pile. Then we had …

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Pottery Wrap Up

This time of year Ken starts to wrap up making pottery.  The call of the  the many tasks awaiting him outdoors sounds more and more loudly.  Yes, there is planting, and there is   clean up,  bed prep, getting out things put away last fall, repairs if necessary.     And all the apples, plums, grapes, etc need trimming and pruning!  Today Big Red appears to be helping!

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This CSA box has onions, garlic, squash, carrots, parsley, salad mix, and the first spinach from the mobile high tunnel! Field Notes.  The days are getting longer and we look toward next season.  Ken has planted t onion seed – the first of the full season crops.  This starts a succession of seed plantings and shifting from warm germination chamber to sunny window, to outside with protection to transplant.  And the …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This CSA box has squash, onions, garlic, beets, carrots, potatoes, braising and salad greens, spinach. Field Notes.  Transition time is here!  Ken has planted the first full season crop – onions and celery and celery root.  This starts the succession of plantings Meanwhile in the greenhouse we have spinach, some lettuce, turnip greens and chicory.  Time to wrap up making pots and head outside! From the Kitchen.  Here too, we are …

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Greens from the Mobile High Tunnel

Each year Ken has early greens from hoopettes or greenhouses.  We always celebrate this move from the germination cabinet’s shoots and winter salad mix to the green house.  The spinach is usually the first to pop up.         Ken picks leaf by leaf for a multiple harvest per plant at first.  Later he will pull out the whole plants to thin and then as they fill in the spaces, whole larger plants …

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Bowls!

Ken has been making mixing bowls.  He started with the smaller bowls and then made some larger ones.  Making bowls, like all pottery, includes several steps from mixing and wedging the clay to throwing the pot.  Then, after it has dried some to a leather hard consistency, Ken trims the bottom of the pot – in this case large mixing or bread bowls. He shapes the bowl,           and trims the …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden! This CSA box has greens, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, squash, and parsley. Field Notes.  Ken did get into the green house and started cleaning, clearing and getting ready to plant  The weather has been unseasonably warm. Rather than celebrating we are wary.  for the past two years Ken has lost his grape crop.    Warm nights above freezing often sets plants in gear and if they are flowering or setting …

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Local Food in Winter

Most years in August someone starts a “local food challenge.”  My challenge is more like Barbara Kingsolver’s in her book Animal, Vegetable Miracle or Joan Dye Gussow in This Organic Life.  How much of our diet year round can be local?  Ken and I store many crops available for sale this time of year.  Onions, squash, garlic, potatoes, beets, carrots, black or daikon radishes, giant kohlrabi.  Until last week we had winter tomatoes, cabbage, rutabagas. …

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Egg Season is Here!

Eggs have a season.  It starts as the days lengthen – usually early February.  Think lent and Easter; there is a reason that Easter bunny has a basket of eggs!       Eggs are a versatile, great source of protein.  Our hens have a nutritious diet of sprouted grains, organic ground feed, kitchen culls and pasture.  Everyone tells us they can taste the difference.     Here is their portable coop in spring, summer, …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This box has pie pumpkins, onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, beets, celery root, parsley, and salad mix Field Notes.  Happy Ground Hog’s Day, Imbolc, St Brigid’s Day, St. Blaze, Candlemas – or whatever you may call it.  This midway point between solstice and equinox is when the days lengthen dramatically, the cold doesn’t last, and Ken starts monitoring temperatures in greenhouses.  We are in transition and can feel spring’s approach.   The …

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