Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter storage basket

Jen and Whitney put together this storage basket, loaded with preserved farm goods, for the school auction. It weighed in at 20 lbs and sold for $150.

Credit for these super cool labels goes to Whitney.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The chestnuts

Chestnut blight fungus, introduced in 1904, destroyed more than 4 billion American chestnut trees. These are probably hybrids of European (sweet) and American or East Asian.

Chestnuts are apparently good nectar and pollen producers for honey bees. Our PNW pollinator guides don't mention this but chestnut honey production seems to be alive and well elsewhere.

Double and triple layer drying system. We don't dry them for long,two to three days, then store them ventilated at a refrigerator temperature, which is in the mudroom these days.

and its leaves

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New indoor growing

Our new 35x50 hoop house went up in March. This summer we amended it with okara and grew a nice buckwheat cover crop. In early October we planted lettuces, mustards, kale, over-wintering broccoli, choi, radish and spinach to last us into spring. This weekend Bob and two dads from the school will put the end walls up. Just in time for heavy winds and freezing temperatures!

Our farmer and my wife

The big picture

This is a sketch of the 18 acres - orchards, annual fields, ponds, open pasture, and buildings.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fly agaric beneath the chestnuts

furrows, plastic forks, sunsets , and longing

rugged farmer hands.

This is what can happen when you invite 200 people over and don't distinguish what is compost and what is not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

bringing it in (onions and grapes)

The fellow who used to hunt deer here, before we fenced them out, still comes by to collect apples he uses to lure the deer into his property. This year, he dropped off two island deer steaks, his marinade recipe, and a bottle of wine. Delish!

This year's sweet corn harvest is now drying for hen feed after we mistaking cross-pollinated it with our popping corn.

Campbell early's, a sweet slipskin variety bred in the US in the 1880's. Its not known as a wine grape, but we are stocked up with jam, and aren't picky drinkers.

It'll be a pretty sweet wine.

cider press #6

Our final press for the year. Inspired by an assortment of friends and family gathered at the farm in late October.

Nisa- visiting from the city and offering a big hand harvesting chestnuts and apples in the cold rain.

Ben-fresh off the Alaska farm he's been managing for the last two seasons. Here he's happy to be stretching out after 6 long days of driving.

Mama Allinder-all the way from the Delmarva Peninsula. She spent the week lending her hands to our harvests and fall-time chores.

And now we've got a freezer full-o-goodness!