Thursday, June 14, 2012

A month of updates

I took a swing into the kitchen today and ran into a new employee who was asking me about the blog and it hit me. . . I don't remember the last time that I updated it. Which, if you are a regular here, you know that this has been a fairly regular phenomenon as of late. While I always feel guilty neglecting you folks, I can say that it has been with good reason.
Traditionally, May is the busiest month of our year (and my year personally). Between tilling, planting, commencement, the public schools squeezing in last minute field trips, and all the at home activities it's amazing that we get anything done at all. This year, while May was busy, June has proven to be busier. . .

Let's start with the weather. Historically you have April showers that bring May flowers and June ushers in the warmer weather with some respect for the growing plants. This year, Mother Nature was off her meds giving us an obnoxiously warm and dry early spring followed by a cold and wet middle to late spring followed by a region wide trailer to the movie - Global Warming. The first day of summer set record temps followed by two more days that were humid enough to allow fish to come out of the bay and spend a few hours in the Old Port (that's the section of town that houses most of the bars and dance spots).
The variations in the weather sent several crops into a tizzy not knowing if they should grow or bolt or migrate south.
This made things a bit interesting for our CSA partners. May, along with the end of the year, ushered in the beginning of our CSA experiment. A number of folks from our campus community trustingly gave us money in expectation of picking up some veg each week. This may be the single most exciting thing that we have done at the farm ever. Apart from becoming a creative new way to fund our operation, I am hoping that it will be a community builder, and so far it has not disappointed! Our CSA partners (I prefer not to refer to them as clients because we are all in this together) have been amazingly gracious. I can't thank you folks enough.
A few more school field trips, sheep shearing, cleaning and organizing of the new processing room, and we finally got around to opening of our community garden. Many of the spaces are spoken for now, though a few stand unplanted. My personal favorite are the two plots that have been planted and tended to by a local high school student. She is working independent of her parents on this one, though I am pretty sure that she has some solid support, and the results of her hard work are showing.
Once the off campus fun tapered down we moved on to begin some new projects. The first being the tilling and planting of new land. Being that it was previously scrub brush and we didn't get it tilled until spring, we thought to plant it with pumpkins, and pumpkins, and, oh yea, more pumpkins. Also some dry beans. The idea is that the pumpkins with shade out the weeds and other nasties. . . and maybe produce some pumpkins too. The beans are there for nitrogen, and because we needed some place to plant the beans.
We are negotiating a move of the compost piles, and if we can pull it off, we will be able to attach the Ed field to this new piece and double our growing area on campus.
Simultaneously we have also started building our new outdoor goat paddock and the new tea garden. Good progress has been made on both, and with any good fortune will be finished by mid July so that we can begin work on the outdoor rabbit housing.
Yes, this is a very ambitious summer, but we have a darned good crew and a lot of support coming in from the campus and beyond.
It's a good time to come on down for a visit. We hope to see you.

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