Thursday, April 28, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - Fifth Week of April 2016

Unpredictable New England weather continues - we’ve had temps in the 70’s and temps below freezing.   Hard frosts are tough on new leaves and buds, so we’re assuming the fruit tree crops will be diminished this year.    We’ll hold off on hoop house planting of our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants until the first week of May.  Although we may have cold weather in May, the soil temperatures of the hoop house are likely to be sufficient to support cold sensitive plants.

We’re continuing our Sunday morning lettuce harvest ritual.   This year, we’ll be able to sell about 500 heads of Boston, Bibb, and Romaine from our hoop house.

This week we submitted our Organic Certification application that includes all the data we need to seek approval for the “USDA Organic” symbol to appear on our mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables.   In the upcoming weeks, we’ll have an unannounced inspection of our orchard, hoop house, and mushroom growing yard.   Organic growing requires use of materials that appear on the  Organic Materials Review Institute lists as well as use of organic seeds/seedlings.    We believe we’ve done everything right to achieve certification, but the inspector will let us know soon.

The alpacas and llama get sheared on May 4, and aftewards they’ll be itchy.   Think of giving your wool sweater a haircut.   A nearby sweeping company donated a 6 foot sweeping wheel and we mounted it as a scratching post in the female paddock.   Here’s the new alpaca back scratcher ready for action.

It’s Spring and our outdoor activities mean more exercise and better fitness.    At Unity Farm, we do a variety of strength building exercises.

Here’s an example of farm Yoga - we call it “The Downfacing Pig”

Some pursue Pilates but on the farm, we prefer Piglates  - stretching while rubbing two pig bellies simultaneously.   Very challenging.

This weekend, we’ll bottle 30 gallons of Honey Lager and plant all our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in the beds we’ll empty of winter letttuce.    Next week I have to be in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Houston for various speaking engagements, so Kathy will be running the farm alone.    I’ll be back on Friday to help finalize all the final preparations leading up to my daughter’s wedding on the farm at the end of May.

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