Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Farm Fall Updates

In contrast to my past few posts, which have been more like "what are they thinking" or "reprisals", here is an upbeat (hopefully) "what's new on the farm" post. Sometimes I am behind with posting on my blog(s) because I'm busy (always) but more likely because it has been so long since I downloaded photos from my camera that I am now intimidated about remembering what photos I took (and why) and then labeling them. However, I took a stab at doing that last night (350+ recent photos), so here are a few pix that show you what is going on right now.

 (Photo: Compost delivered to be spread on the new garlic field, which has also had a full year of successive cover crops plowed in to add organic matter to the soil.)

 (Photo: Garlic field for 2010 planting with raised beds made and ready to receive the 15,000 cloves, all individually hand-planted. This area is approximately 1/4 acre. Since we'll be using a 5-year rotational system, we are already choosing and preparing the 1/4 acre that will be planted with garlic in October 2011 for the 2012 harvest.)

 (Photo: Our new barn in background. Foreground - What is still left from an old, old burr oak tree apparently hit by lightning or topped by a tornado a few years ago. This area was such a thicket and mess when we first purchased the property that it has taken us this long to get it cleared to this point. We actually found functional tractor implements under the debris from the shattered tree! In addition, there is a great "stone pile" around the tree, including field stones that are so old that they are embedded in the bark of the tree and the massive roots of the tree. We'll be using all these old stones, pulled out of our fields when they were farmed in the past, in some way, somehow in the future.)

 (Photo: The new front porch is done. We often would eat our lunch in the shade here during the summer and even rode out a terrible storm sheltered on the porch.  New porch lights are picked out and installed, and yes!, the purple front door is finally gone. Repairs to the door frame still need to be completed and painted along with painting the shutters, making a real step to the porch, and planning the landscaping - I have not shown you that mess although it is 1000% better than last year just because of what landscaping we have continued to pull out!)

 (Photo: Chesnok Red garlic heads, dried and cleaned ready to break apart into cloves to plant.)

 (Photo: Inchelium Red garlic heads, including one that has completely opened up as the classic "stinking rose".)

 (Photo: Kaya is still enjoying her days as a "free-range farm dog".  She is a most attentive companion and supervisor, only leaving my side to go bark at any cars or trucks coming up the driveway or track down a chipmunk.)

 (Photo: All 23 varieties of seed garlic cleaned and ready to break into cloves for planting. Note drainage tile in the background, which has been a major focus this summer. We think/hope we have the water routed away from the house now, never to enter the basement again!)

 (Photo: The 17 varieties of garlic that "auditioned" for us this summer still hanging in the loft of our barn waiting for their "verdict" regarding a second chance for planting next year.)

(Photo: The barn loft with the 17 strands of auditioning garlic way way way in the back. Imagine that this entire loft was filled with 6,500 heads of garlic hung to dry in bundles of 25 heads, so much of it that strands (all labeled and labeled again by variety!) needed to be pushed aside to walk from one end to the other. Most was sold at the farmers' markets, the rest saved for our seed stock that we are planting now. Next year it will be even fuller, if that is possible!)

Here are a few of the garlic varieties we have already planted this month: Blossom, Stull, Chesnok Red, Shandong Purple, Shantung, and China Stripe. Such beautiful names for such beautiful and flavor-full vegetables. Already, I am looking forward to harvesting them next July and returning to sell them at our local farmers' markets!!

After our October planting is completed, then again, we can work on finishing up all the details before moving in. Our new goal? Cooking our locally-raised Thanksgiving turkey in our new convection oven (woo-hoo!) at the farm. Step, step, step, we are getting there. :-)

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD 

PS - Confession - I have another block of ~350 photos taken prior to this last group that I have not yet labeled (yes, I am mentally stuck about that) so it is possible that I will be posting ideas and photos out of chronological (or even logical!) order when I buckle down to do that. :-)


lookinout said...

I really like your stories about the farm. Your hard work is so impressive.

Kateri said...

Love this post and series of photos. I am so jealous of the barn loft. After I saw it I went home and told my husband he had to build me a loft like that!
You sure have got a lot done.