summer 2018

It's here! Days are long, solstice is past, cukes and tomatoes are ripening, and zucchini is popular at the farmers market. Below is one of our first zinnia blossoms, palla rossa radicchio, and our June 23 market table.

It seems that the blog shall become a biweekly venture rather than a weekly one, considering the height of the growing season is upon us.

Things are shaping up around the farm! Spring grasses have largely fallen over and begun making way for warm-season plants, and in the vegetable field we are seeing more pigweed and purslane (which thrive in the summer), although relatively less than I am used to because we are growing in what has been a hay/corn/grain field.

In the pasture area, which has been neglected since we decided to not have sheep, a little more activity has taken place! After meeting with our local scythe expert and picking up some excellent gear and knowledge, I have begun to create some mulched beds using grass and weed cuttings (seen above on the left), which may be used for special seed saving projects in the future, or potentially for early spring crops, since this area is a south facing slope and the first to be free of snow and warming up in the spring. I have been mowing areas with the scythe, and then re-seeding with grass and clover and spreading the straw out to dry. A few days later, it is raked into rows, and the new seeds usually will have begun germinating.

Also, at one of the lowest points on the property, we finally have a bridge! One can now access the vegetable area with a mower, wheelbarrow, or other bulky object without taking the road. Many thanks to Thom for making this happen! It is made entirely from super strong lumber that T & D have had at their house for years, as well as barn wood that came from what is now our washing/packing/storage barn.

Elsewhere on the farm, our four ducks have grown up and have found some favorite spots, including nicely shaded ones behind the house and under a giant lilac growth, as well as areas where I've spread freshly cut straw/hay.

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There are plenty of crops in our field that we are excited about, including rare varieties, and one I couldn't help sharing here is Moon & Stars watermelon, from which we expect dark green melons with irregular yellow spots. We didn't realize that the foliage would mirror this color pattern! It's stunning.

That's all for now! One of my PFP farming mentors visited yesterday, our first visitor from the northeastern US, and we didn't do much field work (admittedly COMPLETELY my fault). A final photo is of Jes's coracle, a handmade personal fishing craft (historically) that she created this week. We were both able to get in and awkwardly paddle around the Red Cedar River, and later Lake Menomonin.

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Thanks for reading!

-pppp