May Update

What a great Memorial Day weekend!  It was extremely busy and very productive.  We put plastic on hoop house #2 on Saturday morning and then worked in some compost and filled it up with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  On Monday, we finally got to start planting in the outdoor fields, they are still very wet in places, as I was reminded this afternoon as I buried the tractor up to the front axle trying to (stupidly) plow a furrow across a very low spot.  Fortunately, before losing use of the tractor until things dry up, I did get quite a bit of drier ground worked and we have gotten potatoes, sweet corn, and beans in, and are hoping to get most of the transplants in over the next couple of days as well. 

While the weather has delayed a lot of the planting outside, we did get the first two rounds of hoop house vegetable planting in and those plants are looking good.   I am optimistically hoping for the first CSA pickups to be the week of June 23, but will keep everyone updated as we go!

Orchard

The Macs, Primas and Red Delicious were in full bloom last week and were beautiful! The Spys and Golden Delicious are a bit later and are coming out now.  As part of our organic pest control we recently spent a Saturday afternoon placing 800 mating disruption ties in the trees.  These plastic ties are laced with pheromones that confuse the male Codling Moths and Oriental Fruit Moths and prevent them from hooking up with their female friends and as a result we have fewer moth eggs/larvae to deal with.

 Red Delicious blossoms

Red Delicious blossoms

 John hanging mating disruption ties

John hanging mating disruption ties


Chickens

150 lbs of feed and 4 weeks later the chickens have gotten a lot bigger and have just about completely feathered out.  I moved them onto pasture on Friday and they are doing a fine job of foraging and fertilizing a small section of our orchard.  The kids have been a huge help in rounding them up and getting them all back into the coop at night as we have a few stubborn birds that don’t like to come in for the night!


Hoop Houses

As I mentioned earlier, the first round of plantings were put in about three weeks ago and I put the second round in last week.  Red and Green Romaine, Green Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Arugala, Kale, Beets, Radishes, Carrots, and Snap Peas are all up and doing well.  The kids are pulling daily watering duty, I’ll need to install some irrigation lines at some point, but they are doing a great job with the watering cans so far!

Getting plastic on the second hoop house this past Saturday was a breeze, largely because there was none.  :) It was perfectly calm at 7:30 am as we started pulling the plastic over and remained calm as we completed the whole process in just under and hour.  Huge thanks to Joe Delisi, Gary Nolan, Christina Hines, and Dave Bertrand for getting up early and joining Cindy, myself and the kids!

 Cindy's Uncle Dave and cousin Christian Hines helped us get plastic on Hoop House # 2 in less than an hour

Cindy's Uncle Dave and cousin Christian Hines helped us get plastic on Hoop House # 2 in less than an hour


 Veggies in Hoop House #1

Veggies in Hoop House #1

Other Activities

While we are not “Certified” organic, we are attempting follow and comply with organic regulations as if we were.  Under organic standards, the use of pressure treated lumber is not allowed, so we will be using posts cut from the some of the hundreds of dead ash tress (emerald ash borer) that my dad has cut on their property over the last several years.  Thanks to the efficient work of Steve Hilgendorf’s portable saw mill, we were able to turn about 15 logs into 50  4x4 posts and a whole bunch of ¾” and 1” boards.  I’ve treated the posts with linseed oil and they are ready to be put in the ground.


 Cutting posts from ash logs

Cutting posts from ash logs


 Ash posts treated with linseed oil

Ash posts treated with linseed oil

I was too frustrated to take a picture of the tractor today, I’ll try and bring myself to post one before I get it un-stuck …..

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Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

-Wade