Charlotte with the "new mower"
Charlotte with the “new mower”

Strawberries have finally started. They are quite late this year,¬†compared to recent years. The crop looks good so far. ¬†When I start picking it always takes me back to our first years of farming. Strawberries are the one constant in our farming career…even before horses! We had our first crop in 1979 and opened our pick-your-own strawberry patch. It gave us enough money to encourage us to keep going and here we are 35 years later still growing and picking strawberries! (We got our first team of horses in 1980.)

Jayme with the Old Mower
Jayme with the Old Mower

The newest addition to our farm is a fancy new hay mower it has a German made cutting bar that cuts in both directions and doesn’t plug! What a wonderful tool! The Amish took the new blade and retrofitted it to be horse drawn. Ken is thrilled and the apprentices, whether they know it, or not are being saved from many tears of frustration. We have some hay in the barn and have more down, waiting to dry. Hopefully, it will be a good hay making year!

Bringing up our First Loads of Hay
Bringing up our First Loads of Hay

It is always nice to have new items to add to our CSA shares and we are happy to have the first sugar snap peas, beets, garlic scapes and of course strawberries. Our CSA Working Shares have been coming out and helping with the harvest. We appreciate their help. It is especially nice to have the young members come out and see where their food is grown.

Fall Raspberries Rows
Fall Raspberries Rows
Cucumber Hoop House
Cucumber Hoop House
Brassicas Growing
Brassicas Growing
New Bee Yard on  Farm
New Bee Yard on Farm
Suffolk Punch Horses Enjoying their Sunday Off
Suffolk Punch Horses Enjoying their
Sunday Off
Loading Hay
Loading Hay
Caitlin Stacking the Wagon
Caitlin Stacking the Wagon
Jude and Hannah Working Shares Picking Peas
Jude and Hannah Working Shares Picking Peas
Jeremiah One of Our Youngest Working Shares Picking Peas with His Mom, Wendy
Jeremiah One of Our Youngest Working Shares Picking Peas with His Mom, Wendy

CRAFT DAY
CRAFT DAY

Time flies when you’re having fun or you’re farming in the spring! We have been so busy it has been hard to find time to take pictures and make blog entries. The CRAFT Day here on May 14th was well attended by organic farm interns in our CRAFT network from southwestern Ontario. Our granddaughter, Della, was the youngest in attendance. She and her mother have now returned to Oregon, but were here for our first CSA pick-up days.

Weeding and Thinning Carrots
Weeding and Thinning Carrots

Our CSA fields are filling up with transplants and seeded areas that have come up and are being weeded. We have put row cover on and taken it off too many times. The squash field, with young transplants, has been irrigated and rained on and the plants sprayed with white clay to deter the cucumber beetles. Our hoop houses have supplied the CSA with lettuce, spinach, pac choi, green onions, cilantro, dill and arugula and now have been transformed into tomato and cucumber houses. The outdoor plantings of greens are taking over and we hope to harvest our first Hakueri, summer turnip, on Saturday. The strawberries won’t be ready until the end of June because of the late spring, but we didn’t loose any fruit to late frost!

Della at the CRAFT DAy
Della at the CRAFT DAy
Young Brassicas
Young Brassicas
Transplanting Squash
Transplanting Squash
Transplanting Squash
Transplanting Squash
Jayme Removing Row Cover and Charlotte Getting Ready to Harrow
Jayme Removing Row Cover and Charlotte Getting Ready to Harrow
Harrowing off the top of Potato Rows to Weed before the Potatoes Emerge
Harrowing off the top of Potato Rows to Weed before the Potatoes Emerge
Washing Lettuce and Pac Choi for CSA
Washing Lettuce and Pac Choi for CSA
Some of our Early Head Lettuce
Some of our Early Head Lettuce