Thursday, August 4, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - First Week of August 2016

The farm refrigerator is 25 years old and this weekend it finally failed.   It had two working temperatures - too hot and too cold.    After 25 years of hard work it had to be retired, since spare parts are no longer available.   The new refrigerator arrived today and our cold chain is up and running again.

Tomatoes and peppers are plentiful - here’s what one morning’s harvest looks like.

All our tomatoes are heirlooms, grown organically.   For example, we do slug control on the Cherokee Purples by placing bowls of beer in the bed to attract pests and keep them away from the tomatoes.    The slugs have a preference for Sam Adams.    The only spraying I did all season was a light soap solution (OMRI listed) to control aphids.      We’re doing farm stand deliveries to Tilly and Salvey’s in Natck every 2 days because demand for fresh tomatoes and basil is high.

Fall is just a few weeks away so we are getting ready.   We grind all our old mushroom logs into mulch for the 1.5 miles of trails on the farm.    As I’ve said before, farming is just like gardening, but at a larger scale.   Here’s what the freshly ground mulch pile looks like - about 5 tons ready to spread on the trails.

The young guineas and chickens continue to learn their way around the farm  - exploring every ecosystem.  They seem to prefer to cool forest undergrowth immediately adjacent to the barnyard where they are protected by the geese and roosters.

Our meadow is filled with wild turkey babies - about 20 of them.   They love the tall grass.    Three moms are protecting the young turkeys that range in size from baseball to basketball height.

We’ve had some rain this week - about .3 inch.    The drought is still upon us, but at least the ground is moist and the trees are less stressed.

This week I finished the two year Umass Certificate program in organic farming.   Since it’s my 7th academic credential, my wife has declared that I’m in 37th grade.
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, learning never stops.

This weekend will be filled with vegetable harvesting including our Jacob’s cattle beans, trail maintenance, and planting Fall seedlings.   Although it’s August, I can tell the days are getting shorter and we’re getting closer to the change of pace that occurs every year post labor day.   I always look forward to the change of seasons and the cool days ahead.   The pigs are not quite sure since they asked to be tucked under their blankets last night after the 60F chill of dusk

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