News from the farm – 2010-06-24

Swamp Part 2- Bad & Ugly, with some good news too
CSA Work Day info
This weekend’s markets

Hi friends,

We had almost another 4 inches of rain during Monday’s storms. The quarter inch we added last night didn’t make a noticeable difference in the water levels around the farm. This brings our rain total for the last 2 weeks up to about 8 inches.

The bad: We’ve lost some more of our crops, but won’t be able to determine the full extent of the situation until it’s dried up a bit more. For now, it appears we’ll be able to continue the season normally, but we will have less produce to bring to the markets than we had originally planned. When it’s this wet, cultivation is impossible, and the weed pressure means our yields will be lower. Your CSA boxes will have less variety than you’ve gotten for the first week or two, and will be on the small side for the next couple of weeks.

The good: Everything in the hoophouse looks great. It’s functioned pretty well as a rain exclusion device, but we haven’t had to do any watering in there lately because of the abundant subsurface moisture! The cucumber vines are pumping out some nice Asian seedless cucumbers, and we’re getting small handfuls of cherry tomatoes every few days. I spent some quality time in there this morning staking the vines and hanging twine from the rafters to support the wonderful loads of fruit that are being produced.

Also good: The new cow pasture, planted this spring, is going to be ready to grazed for the first time once the water goes down & we’re able to put up some fencing. We’re starting more short-season items in the greenhouse (beets, greens, lettuce, herbs, summer squash, beans in pots) so that once the ground dries up, we’ll be ready to replant ASAP.

The ugly: Our cows & chickens have been spending more time than we’d like in standing water. This means mud-covered eggs, mosquitoes, and flies. It’s hot and buggy out. We’re wearing knee-high rubber boots and getting very, very dirty!

CSA Work Day

Due to the mud, we’re going to postpone Saturday’s CSA work day. Please plan on next Saturday, July 3rd, if you’ll be in town. If you’d like to come out on a different day, we welcome any and all help- just contact us to find out whether it’s dry enough yet!

At Trader’s Point and/or Carmel this weekend:

Flowers!
Asian seedless cucumbers
Green onions
Squash of various types
Basil, cilantro
Slight possibility of new potatoes

On the farm this spring..

A few folks have been kind enough to send photos, and we’ve taken some of our own. For starters, here I am at the market a few weeks ago:

at the market in June 2010

Here are the cows.

Cows

And the chickens!

chickens, eating

Finally, the garden.. this was about 3 weeks ago.

Garden in June

Going Rogue

One of our Araucana hens has “gone rogue.”  She avoids the rest of the flock, and sleeps by herself on the top shelf of a shelving unit on our porch instead of in the house with the other chickens.

The weather is a bit rogue, too.  We got another inch of rain last night, and the ground was still quite wet from the 2.5 inches on Monday.  30 – 40 % chances of storms all week don’t sound too terrible, except that COULD mean “rain every day,” which would be quite an unwelcome boost for the weed population.  Stay tuned!

News from the farm – 2010-06-17

In this edition:

Farming Engineers Swamp
CSA news, CSA Work Day
This week’s markets

Hi everyone,

We got about 3 inches of rain early this week. We had some standing water in between the rows and will lose a few things from all the rain, but it appears they’ll all be things that have short growing times & can be replanted. Once again I’m glad we plant in raised mounds, and am reminded to keep saving up for a raised-bed maker.

CSA members, we hope you enjoyed your slightly larger-than-usual shares for our first week. Week 2 shares will probably be closer to normal size, with 6 – 7 items instead of 8 – 9.

Our next CSA work day is Saturday, June 26th from 2 to 5 PM. We’ll be weeding, and weeding, and weeding. Bring any kind of hoe you may own. If you don’t own a hoe, you can use one of ours, or help out with the hand weeding.

This week at Trader’s Point and Carmel markets, we should have more or less the following items:

Lettuce- we had heads last week, might be smaller salad mix this week again
Cilantro galore
Basil, if it made it through the rain
Red beets
Snow peas
Lilies
Chard and/ or Kale
Baby onions and new potatoes are remotely possible.

News from the farm – 2010-06-10

Pea Picking this weekend!
Egg news
CSA Pickups

Pea Picking Time!

The peas are popping! Please join us on Sunday, June 13th, any time between 1:30 and 4:30, for a farm open house and u-pick peas. Bring your kids out into the field, pick a few peas, and meet the chickens and cows. We estimate about 1 quart of peas per family. CSA members get them free, 3$ a quart for everyone else. Next year I’ll plant more so that everyone can pick as many lbs as they want! Directions to the farm are posted on our website:

https://burkefarm.wordpress.com/open-house-peas/

Egg news

We’re getting asked at the Carmel market, “Where are the eggs?” Answer: “In the fencerows, being eaten by foxes.” We moved the chickens into a new house a few weeks ago, and the foxes moved in about the same time. We haven’t lost any hens yet, but I suspect the increase in egg-hiding behavior has something to do with the presence of these predators! There’s a mother fox with 3 youngsters- maybe if I can find a rotating live trap I can relocate them??

CSA Pickups

CSA pickups start Monday! Pickup details are on our web site:

https://burkefarm.wordpress.com/csa-pickups-2010/

Briefly, the Monday pickup is at Dillon Park in Noblesville, Saturday is at the Carmel Market, and on-farm or other pickups are Tuesday or Saturday afternoon. My cell phone number is 317 – 362 – 6512. Please program it into your phone now in case you can’t find me on pickup day!

We’re sending fewer items to the Carmel & Traders Point Markets this weekend, in preparation for the start of the CSA:

Garlic scapes
Lettuce Mix
Snow, snap, and/ or garden peas
Kale, Chard
Beets
Cilantro

CSA members may also see:
Tart cherries
Purple broccoli
Zucchini, maybe
Strawberries

In the next few weeks:

Green broccoli
Yellow squash
Baby onions
Asian seedless cucumbers

Tomatoes don’t seem too terribly far away either.. we spent yesterday sweating in the greenhouse, tieing up plants & weeding. The greenhouse tomatoes are 4 feet plus tall, and loaded with green fruit.

See you soon!