Saturday, April 18, 2015

Farm Update

Friday got away from me so I didn't do a "Farm Friday." I spent the morning and part of the afternoon making deliveries. When I got home, I had a late lunch and then, unfortunately, got ready to go to the funeral of an acquaintance. So here's a quick rundown of random event and thoughts from the past week:

It's morel mushroom season here and Bill and I have risked tick bites in our quest to find them. We searched one of our pastures a few times and went into the woods near our chicken house. No luck so far. We've never found morels and are determined to find some of those illusive mushrooms this year. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, this is what morels look like:
Morchella conica 1 beentree.jpg
I finished reading Dirty Chick:  Adventures of an Unlikely Farmer by Antonia Murphy. Although she has somewhat of a potty mouth, which can be off putting at times, she had me at the first sentence in the book:  "As I watched my goat eat her placenta, I was mostly impressed." I knew she was someone who was really living the life.

We got our potatoes planted, although had to miss hearing Joshua DuBois, author of The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama, speak in order to get everything in the ground before the rain came. The rain ended up washing away some of our work - but not all.

We finally got the place where we get our GMO-free animal feed to deliver to our farm. We combined orders with two other nearby farms in order to meet the minimum order. It sure beats driving 2 1/2 hours each way plus having to worry about slowing traffic, a truck breakdown, and weather issues.

We're encouraged by the number of small sustainable farms that are springing up in our community. Unfortunately, we are a threat to some of more powerful interests and they're doing all they can to expand industrial farming and quash the local ones (the vertical integrated poultry processing facility and associated poultry houses that they're pushing in our community is one example). I read with interest David Korten's analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that could make it illegal for governments (national and local) to support local agriculture and other local businesses. Did we not learn from NAFTA that these agreements are bad? They move jobs to other countries where the workers there are essentially slaves, destroy local agriculture as the farmers cannot compete with the cheap imported food, and they turn our natural resources into commodities. I envision it as a giant monster truck, with no rear view mirrors, that has a Pacman-type apparatus on the front, barreling along eating everything in its path. Is this what we want for our world?

I've been working around the farm house, weeding the flower beds and planting some gladiola bulbs. I finally got two azalea bushes in the ground - they had been neglected in pots forever - and one is blooming! I'm going to plant some annuals around the flower beds, as well. My sage died so I bought a couple of new plants to get a jump on the season. I'm also growing some from seed, along with a few other herbs and flowers. We're going to install two more raised beds at the farm house that will be used as a demonstration at our open house next Saturday

The asparagus is coming up and our customers are so excited that we sold out the first week. Chilly, rainy weather slowed the growth but it has started picking up again today now that the weather is nice.

I've been experimenting with my iced tea, trying to make it healthier. In the past I combined a little green tea with the black tea. This week I combined 1/3 green tea, 1/3 black tea, and 1/3 rooibos (all fair trade, of course) for a delicious and more healthy beverage. Soon I'll be working on hot tea combinations since I now have a number of dried herbs to work with.

Have a great week!


David said...

Cherie, I suspect it's morel mushroom hunting here in Nebraska as well. There are many dedicated mushroom hunters here but I never really got into the mode of hunting them. I have hunted for them a time or two and have eaten them but it just didn't flip my trigger.

My potatoes are up about four to six inches and are ready for the next level of planting. I'm giving a layered planting inside a high raised bed a try this year. When the potatoes from one layer are about six inches high the next layer is planted and about six inches of soil covers up the growing potato plants as well as the ones just planted. I am trying for four layers but I'm not sure that I'll make it as the planting season won't last that long.

Good luck with your market season this year. Have a great day in the garden.

Cherie said...

David, last night was the first time I've ever had morels. I loved them, but I'm a mushroom person. I've heard of planting potatoes that way - hope they produce an abundant crop for you.

EcoGrrl said...

Funny, we found a morel growing in our backyard and even though it matched perfectly the description in our little identifier, we still threw it in the compost once we learned about the "false morel" that kills. Even though it doesn't look the same. Guess I'm chicken :)

Sounds like an awesome book. Even if you don't care for the profanity, you gotta admit it's funny to read "roosters are complete and unredeemable assholes." hahaha

Cherie said...

EcoGrrl, better safe than sorry with the mushrooms. As far as I know, we don't have false morels around here. Plus, I suspect that once you know what the real thing looks like, it will be easy to tell the difference. I learned that with chanterelles. Now that I know what they look like, there's no way I would confuse them with the so-called look-alike Jack O'Lanterns. They really aren't that similar.

I really did enjoy Dirty Chick - it had me laughing out loud at some parts. I just wanted to give a warning that her language could be very colorful (and offensive to some). :)

Darren Lanphere said...

Yey for the blooming azalea bud! Just make sure you won’t neglect them anymore, as they grow into lovely bushes when taken care of. I'd love to see how the farm looks nowadays, Cherie. Hopefully, you can put some photos up for us to see. Thanks for sharing and all the best to you!

Darren Lanphere @ Mirr Ranch Group