Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The End of June Report

I've totally got to put some pics up here of the farm, but for those in Burlington this lack should be inspiration to come check it out in non-virtual person. It's so hot I think my fingers are sweating from typing this, but I thought you all (all sounds like theres alot of people reading this) would enjoy hearing whats going on on the Farm.

Alot of Hand-weeding has been done n the past few weeks, mostly courtesy of our working members, who come for four hours a week and give us a much needed boost, not only of weeding, but of the outside world. We have been slowl transitioning out of handweeding into hoe-ing, which is a good sign, it takes less time and you get to be upright, which as a taller person, I appreciate. Maybe everyone does.

Also transitioning into harvesting more: as time goes on this will end up being THE major job of our working members, and of the other help we are getting (from a new healthy city program, and just personal friends donating their time and kids time). Things like peas and beans take lots of time to pick if your just one person. Even this week the Garlic scapes were brought to CSA members by Rebeccas Bonnici and Rimmel.

Anyway, I'll end by saying its been a lot more weedy this year, but we've also had more time to devote to weeding. One reason for the increased weed pressure is letting alot go to seed last year, learned that lesson. Thought I will surely blame outside factors at length if you want to hear them too.

A good not too sweaty night to you all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thank yous and Farm news

The season is underway, with our first pick up having taken place on Monday. It went really well, we were so happy to meet all our new members and it was really nice to see the returning ones. It was like, "Oh, there really is this continuing relationship that is involving us the people, the land, and Modern Life." Our Old north end drop off is on Thursday, and I'm sure will be just as exciting.

The season is SO underway that it already seems vastly different than last year. I know it's not history yet, but I'm prepared to say that farming is much easier sans floods. It also seems like Rachel and I learned a few things both in general and particular to Vermont Farming that have helped. Without going into all of them I'll just say "Rows!"

We have also started having our help from our working share folk, who are one of these factors in the much improved cleanliness of Open Heart. I hope they are enjoying it - Rachel and I also enjoy the company, nice to talk to someone for whom radish germination isn't the only thing on their mind.

I know I've thanked the Hainses once for truck donation but I ride in it every day so I thought I'd thank them once more for Creampuff, and take this opportunity to officially name the cherry tomato row, the Seth, Shana, and James Haines Cherry Tomato Row. Other Rows are named the Beefy and Leslie Brandywine row, for their service to us last year, and the Ara Hacopian Heirloom row, for his struggles in them a few years past. Want a row named after you? It's easy, come on down to OHF and weed away!

Oh, another thanks goes to Digger's Mirth, of the Intervale, for donating to us an Earthway seeder. If you have read the blog (or if you haven't just look back a few posts), it is one of the two tools that I thought would be pretty important to us this year. We had been borrowing one from Half Pint (Thanks!) - Now we can seed at a moments notice. Carrots anyone?

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I was reading Half Pint Farm's Blog entry about making Dandelion Wine, looked and sounded so fun. If your interested in another Intervale Farm's goings-on, then check it out. We at open Heart have also been picking dandelions, but not the flower part, the leaves this time (of course the root is used too by some for medicinal tea). We were commissioned for a whole bunch of herbs by our friend Sheri, who owns the Pet Fairy, which truly does provide all around pet fairying, just ask our cat Jodi [I promise no more product placement, just happens alot of connections this week].

So, for Sheri, who is making what I believe are called Kongs, a dog toy, with much more natural products than are normally used, we collected fifty bunches of dandelion leaves and fifty bunches of stinging nettle (with gloves), and later this week will be delivering her some of our most plentiful chamomile (the more excuses to harvest it the better, there are already thousands of blossoms out). Later on we will be adding parsley and peppermint to the combination. I'm eager to see how it all comes out. I see a present for Smeems (the dog of Half Pint owners Mara and Spencer) in the future.

Oh, wild-crafting: that's what it's called when it just grows without you having to do anything. In a few weeks another of my favorite wild-crafting projects comes up: red clover which I will dry for tea, which people say of good for the cancer. I should note that we actually sold our first teas at market this week, under the name double happiness teas. Why another name besides open heart: cause I like naming things.

Now is the time...

...to test and trust the powers of self-conviction, or perhaps self-suggestion, that we do have sun!

Here, Josh is harvesting chamomile with our new hand-rake, which we dried for tea this past week. The forecase shows clouds and rain through Wednesday, which is good for broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, peas. Not so good for the tomatoes I need to prune or the tractoring we were to do on Tuesday. But such is the wheel...and so to stay hovering about it (and not on it...)

The fields are really looking nice, notwithstanding the threatening rye at every turn - but such prospects! which one must enjoy for themselves as prospects if not for actual fruit as of the present...

And one more bit of evidence of prospects...

This is the salt shaker that lived in the truck last week, there to offer taste to the numerous hard-boiled eggs I have been taking with me to the field - have been needing mid-morning protein boosts to feed my 4-moth old resident, evidence of whom is now manifest in my inability to fit into any of my old work clothes...

...which leads to imminent shopping trips during these upcoming rainy days!!!!!
(well, at least to salvation army for old stretchy skirts and shorts...nary a fashionable maternity farm-fashion designer shop to be found, even in Burlington)...