Sunday, October 8, 2017

Busy Season

Signs of Fall around the farm include big piles of pulled out flowers (sigh) and long lines of greens taking over the hoophouses.  Always have a hard time pulling out the last of the annuals and the bees aren't too happy either, since they are still busy getting pollen for the winter.  Luckily we have plenty of goldenrod and asters around the pond.  I've seen two praying mantis this week - one of my favorite creatures along with the great blue heron out mousing in the cover crops. Weeds are still growing, so Ernie was busy the other day finding the lettuce and carrots, with Trooper "helping" of course.  Troop is 5 1/2 months old now and getting big!  He's turning into quite a mouser himself.  And leaf chaser. And hole digger. We've got a lot of gorgeous lettuce and plenty of spinach coming in.  Kale, chard, mustards, and arugula are looking good too, and hoping the weather turns cooler.  It was 120 degrees in the hoophouses last hot spell - too hot for anyone's liking.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fall Harvest and Special Guests

Just had to take a picture of our cooler today filled with kale, chard and salad mix ready to go for tomorrow.  And flowers!  Love the zinnia bouquets - they always brighten my day no matter what the cloud cover. We're gearing up for our winter season and direct seeding spinach, arugula and lettuce, along with seeding kale, chard and parsley for transplants in a month. Lots to do for a farm that operates year around.  How did I get myself into this?!!  Soon we'll be putting up a bunch of bulbs for the first time this year to see how we do - lillies, ranunculas, anemone and narcissi.  Tulips go along the borders of the beds in the hoophouse. And so the cycle continues.
We've been noticing a few monarch butterflies around the past couple of weeks.  Thought that was was awesome AND THEN we started spotting monarch caterpillars on all of our annual aesclepius munching away merrily.  Really?  You have to eat our cash crop and are completely ignoring all the wild milkweed we left for you all year?  How can we be mad though - have waited for these guys to show up for a few years now.  OK, munch away.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Group Photo

It's about time to update a photo of the entire Unity Farm crew.  We've been growing!  More staff, a new farm van, Trooper our new puppy, more varieties of flowers and greens.  Sadly, Pete is not with us anymore and it still seems very strange to not see him with the other boys.  I guess I'll always think I have four draft horses because his presence is very much with us. Better hurry up and get that plastic back on Hoophouse 1!

Trooper is here!

Our new shiloh shepherd puppy has arrived!  His name is Trooper and he's taken our hearts by storm.  As you can see from his nose, he's been very busy investigating the barn, dirt piles, compost piles, the barn cat's food and other choice morsels around the barnyard.  Trooper welcomes everyone with a tilt of his head and a wagging tail.  He would love to see you at Unity Farm.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Flower Power

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to open the cooler door with the cooler packed with flowers and stand in the cold air breathing in their heady fragrance.  We just get better every year with knowing what to grow and how to grow. The fields are becoming a checkerboard of small plots devoted to cover crops, perennials, edible windbreaks, herbs, garlic, and ornamental shrubs, while the hoophouses become more and more colorful with a wide variety of annuals.  We are expanding our venues beyond selling to florists, adding restaurants, special events and more.  Feel free to call me and ask what we have available!  We grow to please.

A Memorial

Three weeks ago we had to put down my beloved horse Pete.  While all the boys are special in their own way, Pete was always my favorite.  Can't really tell you why - he ran over me with a loaded wagon of logs once which resulted in ACL surgery. He always knew exactly what to do and would get very irritated if you hacked away on the reins and didn't let him do his job. At 2000 pounds, he had a very good appetite and would always nicker loudly at breakfast and dinner when you came into the barn.  It's very quiet now. He and Jaguar were my first team, and taught me most of what I know about driving, farm work, enjoying the day, working hard and doing a good job.  Whenever I rode him I felt like a queen.  In his grave we put a big bag of his favorite Granny Smith apples and an envelope filled with our letters about all our favorite memories of him and what we loved about him. His head is pointed to the north and now he can run again in freedom.  Goodbye Dear Friend.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Flowers in Bloom!

Sigh - I thought I could keep up with a weekly update on what's available, but these weeks just seem to slip by before ya know it. All the greens are growing and loving this cooler, damp weather (glad somebody does).  On the last week of spinach though, it's decided to bolt and we'll cruise through the summer before planting more next fall.  Have beautiful chard, robust lettuce, super tasting kale, a hoophouse full of mustard greens and flowers!  Interesting budding this year.  I think with the few days of extreme hot weather, then days and nights of cooler weather, the buds set on the plants much shorter than normal. Should all even out though - the bachelor buttons, saponaria and bupleurum are close to 3 feet!

Here's a list of the flowers we have this week:
Bachelor buttons
Field Daisies
Calendula (double/triple petaled and gorgeous)

Next week the peonies, double petaled poppies and dianthus should be blooming.
Happy June to you!