Busy, Busy, Busy!

growingwildfarm

Busy, busy, busy! We are busy planning and planting for the fall, winter, and early spring, keeping starts and new plantings wet in the heat. We have a lot of decisions to make in the next week or so as we plan our second season of growing year round. We learned a lot throughout last year, and we are happy to be able to apply first hand knowledge to the plans we are making this year. We are excited to plant some of the things we didn’t get to last year, things like chicories and parsley root. We are taking extra care with our parsnip planting, using soaker hoses to keep them nice and wet, and
while we do this really trying to keep the bed clear of weeds to facilitate a good start on these, they take almost three weeks to germinate! We are so happy with the increased amount of potatoes and onions already growing for winter harvest, and we are discussing and evaluating storage options for the winter.

We have decided not to plant in the new field we planned to use for fall/winter. This field needs more work to be a good growing space, and in the end, it will be better to do that work before trying to use it. Things will grow better in the old field, and although we had hoped to switch to rotating back and forth seasonally, the truth is that our main field’s soil is continually improving, rather than degenerating, so we have relaxed about using it this intensively. On the other hand, our lower field is looking great, and although our plans for growing pumpkins/tomatoes there weren’t realized this year (mostly because of how behind in time we got with that week in June that took me to Nebraska), we are going to get to use this for fall planting, and the soil is lovely. The water rises here right around the first of the new year, so this space will be filled with roots, roots, and more roots that we will harvest for cold storage both for the CSA and restaurants, but also for fall feed for the pigs and winter treats for the goats. Next year, we will likely do pumpkins and tomatoes there as we planned to this year. That looks especially promising after how well our tomatoes did in a similarly wet spot in the main field this year!

We are also beginning to make plans on the new greenhouse for next winter. After going back and forth between putting up a more permanent plastic hoophouse or a glass greenhouse with a foundation, we finally decided on building the glass house with a modified passive solar design. We are so blessed to have help with the designing of this from a fellow farm member and Monday farm helper. Andre continues to learn more and more and building as time passes on the farm, but it is always so reassuring to have a helping hand, especially a very smart and hard working one.

This week has also so quickly brought us into summer squash craziness, and for the first time ever, we have harvested these both today and on Sunday in order to keep up. We will check out the quality of those picked on Sunday, and will not give them out if they do not still seem super fresh, but we are committed to nice, mid-sized zucchinis and summer squash this year, aiming for consistent sizes for the CSA and market. With warm weather and the nature of these plants, sometimes overnight and especially a day or two can result in a mammoth squash. And although these are great for the little
piggies, there will be plenty of those by the end of summer squash season!

And as I mentioned last week, it is time for a farm open house and CSA potluck! We are busy with various summer plans just like the rest of you, so we ended up deciding on AUGUST 8th as the date for our first get together of the season. Mark your calenders, and don’t worry if you already have plans, we will definitely host another get together in October as well! And as it is the time for summer activities, we encourage you to check out the upcoming fundraising concert event on August 1st to benefit the efforts of Waste Not of Yamhill County, a group working against the landfill expansion as well as for alternative methods of waste disposal that could be employed at the existing dump. For details about this upcoming event, visit http://www.wastenotofyamhillcounty.org/.

This is an issue that is of vital importance to our community, so whether or not you can attend the concert, do take some time to become familiar with the efforts of this great
group.

It takes a village to build a farm…

This past week flew by in a flurry of activity, and unlike the feeling we often have after having a lot of extra curricular activities–the kind of tired, needing to withdraw back into the warm, fuzzy boundaries of our farm to recover from the energy mounted to be social feeling—we came into this week refreshed. Just as those who participated in some of the traditions that form the roots of our modern day Halloween took comfort in coming together to mark the beginning of winter, to build a community fire from which their home fires were lit for the coming cold and darkness, we too felt especially centered in the arms of our community as we entered this week. From the more mundane act of dressing up and walking your town in the dark with a gaggle of children and their wonderful parents and catching a glimpse of the simple and real joy people find in being sweet to the little ones of this world–in spite of the whole thing going against my parental and societal values (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup-bad, millions of tiny candy wrappers in the trash-bad, another holiday turned into a marketing blitz and spoiled by consumerism-bad); from this, to more community outreach for a great farm to school program taking place at Memorial elementary, where we had samples of tasty fall vegetables for the kids and watched our friends Jack from Hope Springs Farm and Katie from Oakhill Organics very humorously takes sides in a carrot/cherry candidate debate! To round it all out, we spent a lovely evening at the home of wine growers and makers of Barbara Thompson Wines along with friends from our homeschool group. This potluck was what really brought us to this point, on the verge of the end of this election year hoping for the best, just a little less frantic and more at peace than anything. After not only being busy with all these plans on top of an already trying week on the home front as we face our winter finances, it was truly relaxing to just have a nice time and to be surrounded with good people, all of whom do not think we are too crazy (I am sure they think we are a little crazy) for all of our crazy thoughts and who are a huge part of the supporting arms we all need around us not only as we go into winter, but in all aspects of living this life. As if to drive this very real sentiment home after all of this, our neighbor kindly spent a few hours this weekend splitting wood with us and helped us learn a little more about the still somewhat sordid but nonetheless real business of eating meat here on the farm. Here we are blessed with support coming from all directions: good friends, good neighbors, and a great community enthusiastically supporting this farm. We are happy to count all of you amongst this community, we couldn’t do this without you!!

Thanks all!

We had a great time at the farm potluck…thanks to those of you who made it and for the wonderful food your prepared and the gift of your support–it sure makes us wish we had been more on the ball this summer and offered more opportunities for getting together to share food and great energy! The weather was so nice and at the end of the night Andre and I both were flushed with the happiness of spending a beautiful evening with such wonderful people. Once again, we are thankful for finding this wonderful little town to settle down in…we love it here!