June always brings with it the big push to get all the main transplanting done. Monday, we got the winter squash and pumpkin transplants planted. Wednesday, with the help of our new horse drawn transplanter, we planted out the melons, summer squash, second succession planting of brassicas and sweet potatoes. Thursday, we were planting the first succesion planting of sweet corn transplants when we got rained out. We are hoping to finish it tomorrow afernoon, if it is dry enough. Today, we covered all the melons and summer squash with row cover (CSA working shares helped too), weeded the hoop houses and started in on trellising the tomatoes all before we began the harvest and washing of the CSA vegetables for tomorrow’s pick-up.
Sam, our apprentice, was cooking supper on Tuesday afternoon, when a CSA member came into the house. The Spinach Casserole he was making smelled so good that the recipe was requested so here it is:
We have been working so hard to get the spring work done that the Apprentice Introductions are long overdue. We appreciate all the efforts of everyone on our farm team this spring and look forward to seeing results of all the preparation that has gone into production thus far as the season unfolds. Spring is always welcome after the winter, but it is always an anxious time for me as I care for all the little plants and try to work with the weather not knowing what the spring will be like. Once the seeds and transplants are in the ground and growing I am always relieved. We are almost there now, with the exception of succession plantings. Now I am hoping for some warmer weather to make things grow!
My name is Jean-François Langlais. I come from Québec. I studied organic agriculture at Cegep de Victoraville. I took a break of my studies to come at Orchard Hill Farm and I will finish my programm next winter. I wish to develop more practical agriculture skills and learn more about drafts horses. I wish to have a farm using them later! I want to learn English too, because, as you probably guess, my first language is French! Don’t be shy to talk to me, I enjoy every occasion to meet people and improve my English by the same occasion! See you next time!
Written by Sam Bass: I am so happy to be here helping in a small way to grow your vegetables on this beautiful piece of land. This is my first month in Canada. I grew up in Austin, Texas, but left home to attend college in Massachusetts, where I studied literature. When I graduated I decided to pursue agriculture, and worked for two years on a vegetable farm in New Jersey. I came to Orchard Hill to learn to work with draft horses, after meeting a former apprentice, Lisa Miskelly, who spoke very highly of the apprenticeship here.
Learning to care for even a small piece of earth is so humbling. All that I do not know and want to learn often overwhelms me. I am deeply grateful to Ken and Martha for allowing young people like myself to come onto a farm and into a home that is so nurturing, and giving so generously of their time and knowledge. I look forward to coming to know you, the members, over the course of the season. You make all of our lives possible by your support. I am sure this farm gives beauty and sustenance to your lives as it does to mine, and it will be good to share its bounty with you.
Hi! My name is Stephanie Valiquette. I’m from Quebec. Before I arrived at Orchard Hill Fram I did some fruit picking, dairy farming and did a little market garden with my pony. I’ve studied Organic Farm Management a bit and now I am really enjoying learning here. I’m glad that CSA members come to Orchard Hill Farm to be part of encouraging small diversified farming. I would like to see more farms like this around the world. Farms where we can enjoy good work while empowering ourselves and our communities with good food to root our bodies to the earth. I think farms can be places where we find partnership and sharing to strengthen our humanity. I’m grateful to learn here and meet everyone that is part of the farm, each with their own unique vision and experience. I am looking forward to meeting more CSA members during the summer!
Hi there, Bill here for another year at OHF. Alongside my responsibilities as senior apprentice, I have undertaken a small farm project of my own with the guidance of Ken and Martha. With this project I intend to move toward greater agricultural independence (with the help of some horses of course) and provide fresh food choices for those who would like them. This season I will be offering you the usual pork sausage selections, as well as bacon and whole chickens. Thank you for your support.