A lot happened in May! But I can hardly remember anything that happened on the farm because Kyle and I got married! We went to the mayor's office in Hillsborough in late April and found out that our date would be in early May, giving us a whole week and half to plan a party for our families. It got done though! We went municipal building and the mayor of Hillsborough married us on May 7th. Both our families were there, but we sadly missed all our friends (we'll try and plan a party for them later). Then after the ceremony and tons and tons of pictures, we all went to lunch at Mistral in Princeton. The food was beautiful and delicious and the service was fantastic. Overall we had a wonderful day with our families just hanging out and eating great food.
I know it's May already, but I'm going to make an April post anyway. Well, I'll just be out with it, our high tunnel blew down. It happened during the day in early in the month when the winds were 40-50mph, and it just didn't survive. We were pretty sad about it, but not surprised, it was pretty janky, but we were proud of it none the less. Anyway, David Muratore from Clariza's Clay Pot Swings came out and helped us clean up the mess. Much thanks for that!
Another thing we did in April was seed our first succession of veggies and tomatoes. The veggies included kale, Swiss chard, beets, kohlrabi, escarole, collards, mustard greens, celery (seems to be growing slowly), and cabbage. After the first succession of tomatoes grew, we potted them on. Our first batch of potted tomatoes looked great, but due to some ordering problems we had to wait a while for our second batch of pots to come in (we just didn't order enough of them the first time). Because of the wait, some of the tomatoes were looking like they were suffering from nutrient deficiency. But we potted them on anyway, and I was looking at the plants today and they looked much healthier and green again! I'm very happy we didn't have to start over with a new succession. In other news, we have a bit of an aphid infestation on our peppers and eggplants in the greenhouse. The plants still look pretty healthy, but we'd like to get it under control with out using any sprays. So we ordered some lady bugs! They're pretty cute, hopefully they're doing their job and I think their larvae will eat a lot of aphids after they hatch too.
Finally, we also got to plant some of that new succession of veggies (three different types of kale, and swiss chard) using our new paper pot transplanter! Oh boy! No more broken backs with that machine. For the most part it just plops the plants right in the ground. We got 11 beds planted at 3 rows per bed all in one day with that bed, and then we irrigated the same day. If planting by hand we would get done maybe 4-5 rows.
Alot happened this month, but we'll see what next month brings!
Well it's late March. It kind of feels like we're off to a late start since its so warm out side, but we're still on track. So far we have seeded the essentials. Onions, peppers, eggplants and they've already sprouted!
We're trying out this new transplanter system called the paper pot transplanter. Basically there is a paper strip that spreads out into a honey comb shape and then you put it into a tray and then it holds into place once you fill it with soil, then you seed into the holes (and this is what our onions are seeded into). When the seedlings are ready to go out, you put the tray into a hand powered machine that mechanically plants the seedlings as you drag the machine across the row. We're hoping to save a bunch of labor hours by not having to take as much time planting. I'll come back with updates later in the year.
Another new thing is that we created a youtube page. I think we might be making more videos this year, but we'll see how busy we get. But in the mean time, I added the videos we do have to our new video page on this website. Check it out! I hope you enjoy them!
I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and a happy new year! Kyle and I spent the winter with friends and family, just relaxing and having fun. A well deserved break. We also moved into our new place. It's a duplex, a beautiful old farmhouse with exposed beams, and a nice kitchen. Needless to say, we're very excited. However it's time for us to come out of hibernation!
We started working again. That consists of going on daily walks around Duke Farms to get used to doing physical activity again. Those walks will probably turn into runs later in the month. I'm not looking forward to that! We've also started working on the crop plan. The amount of space we're farming increased so that means we get to work more... but we also get to try more varieties! Added to the list this year are cauliflower and romanesco, broccoli, ginger, turmeric, ground cherries, tomatillos, and Cherokee purple tomatoes. I just started writing the variety list... I'm nowhere close to finished. But when I am, then I can start figuring out how much seed we need. Then we can make the seed order so we can finally start our second season.
Well October is here! I've missed several months of blog posts. Luckily, we've been up-keeping the Facebook page. So, you can get caught up with some of what we've been doing by visiting that page and looking at the pretty pictures.
As for right now, things are winding down for us. Two of our markets have ended, the CSA and the Duke market only has about 5 weeks left. Other than that, we just got hit with a few days of frost, so we had to cover our current succession of veggies with row cover, which turned out to not be as much of chore as it usually is, which was nice. We also lost all our tomatoes and peppers in the frost, but that's not a surprise. However, the high tunnel tomatoes got hit, too. Now that was a surprise, but we're not too upset, they still lasted a while and we were still able to pull about 10 trays of tomatoes off of them, so it wasn't a total loss. After this week, our chores include field clean up, garlic planting, and cover cropping. I guess we still have a lot of work left to do, so much for things winding down!
Happy fall everyone!
April is here! The grass is a little bit greener, the temperature is a little bit warmer, and the daffodils have started to pop up. Our plans have changed since March. We were originally planning on building a heated greenhouse to start seedlings in. Luckily, we soon found out that we were able to use space inside the greenhouse at Duke Farms, so we no longer needed to build our own heated greenhouse, which eased our task list. However, we did order some supplies needed to build the heated greenhouse and since those supplies came in, we converted our plans from building a greenhouse to building a high tunnel with in-ground beds. There are some photos of the high tunnel being built and some neat-looking time-lapse videos of the in-ground beds being made, both should be uploaded soon.
Other tasks we crossed off our list were finalizing our crop plan. We’ve figured out our seeding and transplanting dates, and how where on the land all our plants are going. And we’ve figured it all out to the point where we’ve filled out our forms for Organic Certification. We’re still not certified organic yet, but we’re going through the steps to get certified.
We’ve also finished seeding our first succession of seedlings since we were able to get space in the Duke Farms Greenhouse. Our space is filled with Onions, Kale, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Beets, Flowers and lots Tomatoes.
The last thing we’ve done was finalized our pamphlet for our CSA and we started handing it out. If you weren’t able to find one, the information found on the pamphlet is also up on the CSA page on this website. In addition to the CSA, we can also be found at the Duke Farms Farm to Table Market and the Sea Bright Market.
We have a lot to do to get ready for this season. It’s our first year at the NOFA NJ’s incubator program and there is a lot for us to set up. Just a disclaimer before I get started: all of the photos on the site right now are ours, but taken at the farm we used to work at. We just wanted some pretty photos up on the site, but we’ll post more recent ones as soon as we’re able.
Right now we’re working on building a greenhouse, finalizing the crop plan, setting up markets and a CSA. We were fortunate to have a greenhouse donated to NOFA NJ that we can use for this season. There are just a few parts and equipment pieces we need to order before putting it up. But we expect to start building it on site with in the month. As for our crop plan, we’ve figured out the varieties we want to grow and how much, and we’ve figured out our planting and transplanting dates and we’ve figured out where on the land the plants are going. What we need to do now is to put the plan into action. The last thing on our list is to send it papers for the markets we plan to attend and to finalize our CSA literature before we can start signing members up.
Again, we have a lot to do, but it will be worth the effort and I hope we’ll have a great season!