Saturday, November 25, 2017

November updates

Can't believe an entire month has gone by without posting - sigh - can't believe Thanksgiving has come and gone already.  Can't believe we had snow already here in the valley and that it stayed a couple of days!  And now it feels balmy again.  Very strange weather to be growing things in. I was feeling kind of bad because our kale and chard didn't get as big as they have been in falls past, then I heard that many other farms are experiencing the same thing, plus getting hit hard with disease on the spinach and vole invasions.  Guess we're pretty lucky overall.  Just delivered literally armfuls of red, orange and yellow twigs to our florists for wreaths and holiday decorations. Nature provides no matter what the season, if we know how and where to look.  I'm learning a lot from our florist customers on Mother Nature treasures. Starting the first horse holiday rides in Middlebury next Saturday.  Our heads of lettuce sales have taken off this year, thanks to new restaurant clients.
   Several weeks ago, I was feeling kind of down because of my perceived pressure of competition among all the flower growers in our area.  I was telling this to a friend and she quietly said, "wouldn't it be wonderful if there were flowers for everyone and you could fill the whole world with flowers"? She was so right, and it opened up the doors of possibilities to me, because of course, there is always room for more flowers, for more love, for more gratitude, joy, laughter, sharing and embracing wholeness everywhere.  In this holiday season, may you find the doors opening for you for infinite possibilities.

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!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

We've Got the Greens!

We've definitely hit our stride and the hoophouses are full of beautiful spinach, kale, chard, lettuce and mustard greens! All available, plus gorgeous tulips.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March is Looking Green!

We're on a roll in the greenhouse!
Thousands of kale, chard, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach and flower seeds are planted and growing!  Last week we actually started planting in the hoophouses, but have my fingers crossed they stay warm enough under 2 layers of remay this weekend.  Brrrrr!

Tulips are coming in like little soldiers.  Can't wait to see them start blooming.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

We are up and running!

I'm delighted to say we started the farm back up February 1st.  Ahhh, feels so good.  With the new greenhouse operating, we were able to plant spinach, kale, chard, lettuce and mustard greens. Five days later, the spinach already germinated.  We're also experimenting with Johnny Jump-Ups in mini pots and getting the Bupleurum going as well.
There's about 2000 tulip and brodeia bulbs coming up as well.  Unfortunately the moles have decided they make a great snack, so the Jaws of Death traps have had to come out.  Always hate when that happens.  The two middle rows are taking a break from planting for a few months and have a good layer of cardboard and aged horse manure on top.  The tarp speeds up decomposing and the earthworms love it!
Chad is busy broadforking all the beds before we add soil amendments and get ready for transplanting, which will be sometime in March.  Expecting spinach and salad mix ready to harvest by April.