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Archive for the ‘Harvest’ Category

This weather is amazing plant growing weather! Veggies are finally taking off in the field. We planted over 600 heirloom tomatoes in our hoophouse last week as well as planted potatoes–rose finn, yukon, purple, russets among others. We also seeded the first round of summer crops — beans, basil & summer squash. Parsnips, winter squash and pumpkins also went in. We’re starting to feel caught up and on track after a few weeks of chaotic frenzy in May. Bring on the summer! Crops are loving this 70 – 80 degree weather.Strawberries are beginning to ripen and we’ve been bringing all kinds of new veggies to the market — purple & golden turnips, dandelion greens and collards! Yummy. Here are some new photos from the farm.

Sorrel and lettuce starts
Sorrel and lettuce starts
Jon & Josh washing veggies for market
Jon & Josh washing veggies for market
The composting toilet
The composting toilet
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We’ve been busy around here. Planting, weeding, harvesting, marketing, watering, more planting. It has been go-go-go for the last couple of weeks. Plunging forward with our heads to the ground.

Our new intern Mark arrived this last week and now, we’ve got our full crew in swing for the season. Wow! What a difference it makes having one more pair of hands around here. We were done harvesting by 1:30 pm and done washing by 5:00 yesterday. That’s a turn for the better. On harvest days, we’ll sometimes be harvesting into the evening and washing and packing until dark. This was a nice change. Josh and I actually got to take showers and eat dinner at a reasonable hour! Yeah for efficiency!

We’ve planted all of our onions and leeks at the new leased ground — a whopping 10 beds, or to put it in perspective, more than a mile of onions and leeks — 6,000 feet. We are going to be up to our ears in onions and leeks this year. Besides some minor crop failures and pest problems this spring (we’re out of the honeymoon phase), things are proceeding well. We’ve got some major planting hurdles to get over in the next few weeks — lots of summer crop planting, potatoes (still haven’t gotten those in), and carrots, carrots, carrots. We’ve had a bit of a hard time getting carrots off the ground this year, but we’ll have them eventually. We just won’t have them probably until July.

The hens have been very happy on nice, new pasture. The eggs are unbelievable in color because of it. They are also very productive. We are up to our ears in eggs bringing on average 60 dozen to every market!

The Saturday Ashland market has begun. Come see us! It starts today.

We harvested the first of the scarlet red turnips yesterday. They are one of our favorites and have turned out very nice this spring.

turnips

Also, here’s Josh and Mark harvesting radishes in the hot mid-afternoon sun.

radishes

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Farming

I cook dinner for everyone at the farm on Wednesdays. I look forward to it each week. I get to be creative and have fun with everything we grow on the farm. Usually, we are too busy to cook very detailed meals each night. I’m writing now on a very full belly. Here’s what the menu was tonight:

  • Zucchini Feta Pancakes (with feta cheese made by our neighbor)
  • Yogurt Dill Garlic Sauce (for the pancakes with goat yogurt also from our neighbor)
  • Brown Rice with Coconut MIlk
  • Herbed Lentils with Summer Savory
  • Sauteed Green Beans with Basil & Walnuts
  • Salad Greens with Sesame Viniagrette and Flax Oil
  • Dessert: Baked Peaches (from Rolling Hills Farm) with Coconut Ice Cream
  • A bottle of red wine from Bridgeview Vineyard

Wow! You can’t get better than that. Most everything was produced here at the farm or at neighboring farms and vineyards, except for, of course, those things we do not produce in the Rogue Valley like oils, rice and lentils. We may work hard and long, but at least we can say we eat very well.

Here’s a picture of today’s CSA box. Patrick used his artistic skills to display all the produce in the basket. Nice job.

In the box this week:

  • Chard
  • Carrots — Variety is Ya-Ya and they are just so flavorful and sweet.
  • Strawberries — Mmm…finally, after all our problems with herbivores.
  • Eggplant — A Japanese variety and quick cooking too.
  • Basil
  • Purple Beans — These are a variety called Royal Burgundy from Seeds of Change. They are really tender right now and taste so good. They are also very beautiful, but change to green when cooked.
  • Bok Choy
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Fennel
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions — Coming to an end here soon.
  • Garlic

Here’s a picture of all the farmers at Barking Moon with the farm’s namesake, our dog Luna and including our future farmer (if he so chooses), Everett, playing with his rake. You definitely don’t want to mess with this crew. I like Josh being very serious with the seeder and Patrick looking very rebel like with his soil blocker. And that’s Katherine, our resident chicken and cat whisperer with the fork. We are a funny bunch of people.

Josh and I have decided that we have been too boring lately and every day needs to be infused with some sort of fun activity. Yesterday, we cut off all my hair (well, actually, we cut it off after the stylist at the salon gave me a fluffy mullet that looked terrible. What you can’t tell in this picture is that my hair is totally short in the back after Josh took the scissors to it). Today, we took pictures in the barn when it was really, really, really hot outside. Who knows what sort of fun we will have tomorrow?

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August!

It is hard to believe it is August already. We are about to plant our fall crops and we haven’t even harvested tomatoes yet! All is well on the farm. Doing a lot of harvesting and marketing and upkeep.

We received 50 broiler chicks on Friday. They were all alive and in good health. This should be an interesting experiment. I’ll put up pictures soon. We have yet to build the chicken tractor, but Josh and Katherine should be working on that this week. The chicks will go out on pasture at two weeks old. We are a bit worried about our resident raccoon population, but we’ve got some ideas.

Here’s a picture from some of our harvest on Wednesday. I was pulling this up the driveway from the garden and it just looked so summery with the calendula blossoms (which people have been loving at the market) and sunflowers.

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July

I know, I know. It has been a few weeks since we’ve posted. It’s July. It’s busy.

What’s new at the farm: everything is growing fast and big. I feel like we are finally into the abundance of summer. It took long enough. All the veggies are doing really good. We’ve been up to our ears in cauliflower and broccoli, but that is slowly coming to an end. We are finally transitioning into our summer crops, a little late, but more than welcome at this point. We’ve picked the first of the basil and potatoes, zucchini and beans are just around the corner. The corn is tall and flowering (already?) and the tomatoes are setting fruit (finally!).

Josh, Everett and I went away last weekend to our dear friend’s wedding in Oakland, so we left the farm to Patrick and Katherine for the weekend. They did a great job of keeping everything watered and alive. They started 70 plus trays of the fall crops and even managed to have a little party while we were away! 🙂

We’ve also stopped going to the Medford market and will be starting up the Ashland Saturday market this weekend. So, we will see how it goes. It was a hard decision to make, especially because we have been enjoying providing produce to Medford folks, but the sales aren’t high for us in Medford and we need to meet our bottom line this year. Three markets a week would overwhelm us. We hope to go back to Medford this year.

The CSA is is in its tenth week, almost half-way through! We have started selling produce to the McCully House Inn in Jacksonville and continue to provide Chateaulin with produce as well. The Siskiyou CSA is moving along as well.

We’ve had a few challengs with our truck breaking down a couple of times. We’ve thrown a lot of money to it in the last few weeks and it has set us back a bit financially, but it is sort of an important asset. It definitely has us thinking about what to do next year….

So, our strawberries. We haven’t had one good pick this year yet. We have 1,000 plants. I’ve had one strawberry from 1,000 plants. It makes no sense. We’ve had a little critter eating all of the ripe berries. We put out a live trap last night and trapped a fox. Josh was going to release it up in the woods a couple of miles up the road this morning. I’m curious to see how that went. We are going to piecemeal together some fencing to keep any more animals from eating the strawberries. This has been a big loss for us so far this year. Losing a high-value crop over the last few weeks has set us back some, but since the plants are everbearing, we still have some time to do some good picks from the plants if we can control the herbivores or omnivores or whatever they are.

It was such a full bright moon last night and all the animals were out moaning and yelping. It was intense.

Okay, I’m going to post some pictures soon of the farm, if I can just get around and take some photos. Happy weekend.

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Harvest

We had our biggest harvest yet this season!

For market tomorrow, we have purple top turnips, walla walla sweet onions, arugula, salad mix, spinach, dandelion greens, joi choi, baby bok choy, cherriette radishes, napa cabbage, italian kale, purple kale, green kale, rainbow chard, green wave mustard bunches, romaine hearts, kohlrabi, head lettuce, dill, sorrel, escarole, and collards. I think that covers it. 60% chance of rain tomorrow. I don’t think we’ve had a sunny market yet.

Realizations for the day:

1) Sunny weather is good for morale.

2) Managing two acres takes a lot of work.

3) Bright, green frogs are living in our greenhouse. That must be a sign that we are doing something right.

4) Arugula is really good tossed with just a little olive oil and salt and pepper.

5) Spunkie, our cat, rocks!

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Here’s a picture of our booth at market today. It rained for the first two hours. Strange weather we are having. From frost to heat to rain. What does it all mean?

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