Josh and Patrick are nearly finished fencing the expansion of the field. Another two acres to plant! I’ve been trying to be patient and relaxed as we wait for this big project to come to an end. We have so many plants that need to go into the ground that have just been sitting in the cold frame for weeks — sweet onions, leeks, endives and escaroles, cauliflower, kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce and now 80 pounds of potatoes! But, the weather has been very wet and cold, so there isn’t much we can do anyway. We are hoping it dries out in the next day or two, so Josh can make 40 some beds and we can plant non-stop for a couple of days. Cross your fingers! We really, really need some dry weather.
We had another great farmers’ market despite arctic wind and frigid temperatures. Josh was basically holding the canopy from blowing away and toppling one of our customers. We sold all our produce even on a yucky day and the egg sales were up, which is great. We had some really good feedback from folks about the eggs. People love them! Yippee! We sold produce for a neighboring farm, Whistling Duck, since they had to go away for the week, so in exchange, we have their John Deere tractor for the week. Needless to say, Josh has been very happy.
As we go to market, we are really beginning to learn what people like to eat. Salad mix and spinach are big ones. People love the fresh greens! We have also been growing and selling this wasabi like mustard green that people have been loving. One chef was going to wrap ahi tuna in the leaves. Yum! It is fun to have some niche products that other farmers don’t have. We find it draws people to the booth when they might not otherwise stop to see us. But, really people love the basics so we hope all of our veggies start coming on here soon. This weather is not great plant growing weather! But next week, we hope for turnips and radishes! We’ll see.
We finally purchased a cat yesterday. A very sleek looking orange tabby named Spunkie. We put him in Josh’s shop for the evening and of course, he escaped, which really, really bummed us out, but this morning he had come into the shop and eaten his food and somehow, snuck into the greenhouse because we saw his little paws all over the tomato flats. So, we hope he is still around and catching mice. Hopefully, if we keep feeding him, he’ll make his home in our barn and become less skittish in the coming weeks. He is very pretty and I think he is going to be a great mouser. Purchasing a cat was the final solution to an ongoing battle with mice in the greenhouse. We have lost many flats of plants to the little mice that have just loved munching on our tender plants, especially radicchio, endive and escarole. Who knew mice liked bitters? Luckily, we have started enough plants and flats that we can deal with some of the losses, but it definitely breaks our hearts when we go in the morning to water and the plants have been munched on. Hopefully, Spunkie is going to save the day!
Our three ducks, all named Lily, are very big now and still in our basement. I’m not very happy about this. But, we are building a duck house for them this week so they can get outside. They are going to go behind the barn where the veggie packout is so we can throw loose lettuce and other scraps their way. My vision is for them to free range around the barn and land, but Josh isn’t so sure.
So, that’s pretty much the update. We are really eager to get the fencing done, so we can just farm — plant, weed, seed, harvest, irrgiate etc., etc. We have learned that big projects must be finished by beginning of March, so the focus can just be on farming and not building. Alas, this career choice, if you could call it that, is a continual learning process. And it is a very dynamic job, that’s for sure. Life is never boring on a farm.