Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gift Giving

My choices for gifts to give this season are:

1) non-material gifts such as giving to oxfam in someones name (we and some other families might even try to buy a goat for people in our kids names and explain it to them.)

2) cookbooks that you actually use and like, no one needs another untested dud cookbook, but there are a few (I've recommended them in the past so you can search that) that are eternally useful for vegetarians, carnivores and everything in between.

3) This is the one I'm most excited about, mesh produce bags.  Tempted to get a set for everyone in he csa.  Over the past year or two I've seen them cropping up more and more but definitely would like to reduce much more substantially the number of bags we use.  I haven't used them myself yet, so I'm not sure they are appropriate for absolutely every veg but . . . I did find them at gardeners, where, if you know me I've probably told you ten times, I work this season. 

anyways happy holidays, even if all the gifts you give are immaterial.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big White Eraser

 Ciaran and Francis weren't the only ones shoveling snow this morning.  It seeme like every adult wanted to get out there and play in the white stuff, we just had to pretend a little, since it seems even mid-day the snow is starting to melt.  I felt like everyone was instantly happier with thoughts of: "This is what we Vermonters love to be doing."

Finally we can all move on, no more even talking about it, the snow is falling.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beginning of the end of the year assessment

can you tell it's been a crazy year.  Where does one begin with assessment of this one.  Well, I'll begin and see how far I get today.

It was our lost year, the way Japan had a lost decade, as another farmer put it: Ctrl+Alt+Del.

That said I learned alot and alot is happening with the general Vermont ag scene that I think is going to make next year pretty darn interesting.

1)Things that don't seem to mind flooding at least on the Intervale soil where they can drain pretty qucikly:  Asparagus, garlic (to an extent), peach trees.  I'm not going to start a peach farm, but garlic and asparagus are something I am interesting in growing more of.  Their limited harvest window also makes them interesting to me.  Floods at certain times have no effect on them whatsoever.

2) did i tell you I figured out how to grow lots of chard far easier.  Probably cause ive told everyone, but for me this is pretty exciting. It takes less time to pick and is more plentiful.  space it in plugs and don't direct seed, just that simple.

3) good to have some higher ground.  no way around the fact that that's a plus. for me that could be alot places within the intervale or outside.  I am going to be farming some at south village next year.  probably about a half acre plus hoophouses.  so definitely alot of learning continuing.  Haven't dealt that much with clay soils or hoophouses, but I'm excited for the balance, and to see how the relationship grows.

4) this would have been learned in a normal year: deer fence works

5) I can grow corn.  I was scared to do this, just having never done it at Quail Hill where rachel and I apprenticed, but spurred by early losses I gave it a go, and half of the CSA did recieve pretty good corn (will be better next year cause actually planned for) before hurricane.  deer fence made this possible too.

6) Having a CSA is great.  Way beyond the money part, which obviously can't be overstated as important to our continued farming, our members were so supportive, and make me want to come back next year and give them the season they deserve.

More assessment, like limited results from the survey coming out to you next week, have a good thanksgiving!

Yeah Onions!