July 27, 2006

the great garlic harvest

After weeding, mulching, fertilizing, and nine long months of waiting, they are all finally out of the ground and hanging in the barn to cure. There will be much eating, rejoicing (and guaranteed no vampires) in the months to come!

July 20, 2006

where it's at...

Ok, so things have been a little dismal lately. However, I want to make one thing clear, if it hasn't been made so already... FARMERS' MARKETS ARE HOPPIN'!!!
The Seacoast Growers' Association is an organization of farmers, crafters, and food vendors from Rockingham, Strafford and York counties.
Just because there was an isolated weather event doesn't mean that everyone is hurtin'. There's tomatoes, corn, jewelry, flowers, lettuce, pottery, kale, garlic, squash, sandwiches, herbs, and much much more. And it is all locally grown and produced, so you can be sure you are getting the very best the Seacoast has to offer. So come on out! And bring a friend to help you carry all that great loot back to your car or bike!

July 17, 2006

I get knocked down...

but I get up again.

I've been talking to farmers about weather a lot in the past week. It seems like everyone has at least one story. The bottom line is, sometimes you loose a crop (or part of a crop or many crops.) There are no guarantees. The only thing that comes close is this: plants want to survive. They are tough. I could take a lesson or two from them.

Each season brings it's own challenges and (hopefully) rewards. Looking out onto the fields I am beginning to see recovery. It has been a huge setback and pulling off all the damaged fruit has been nothing short of heartbreaking. Although I am sure we haven't found the last of the unpleasant surprises, I am encouraged by the energy that is left in those plants. We're doing what we can by pruning and adding compost tea to get them healthy and productive again. It is still too early to tell, but as long as the weather cooperates, we should have a shot at something.

In the meantime, we've been showered with advice, encouragement, and seeds to plant from friends and fellow growers. Not to mention the fact that the hail didn't seem to bother the weeds and bugs a bit. So though we may be a little rough around the edges, we're back in business. Things aren't going to be what they could have been, but you can't cry over blemished green tomatoes (after all, they might make for a delicious salsa...)

July 13, 2006


from top left: summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers,
eggplant (plants)


This is what fell from the sky onto our tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, snapdragons, swiss chard... You name it - ice cubes were hurtled at it. Down the hill in Exeter, the same hail smashed windshields, dented cars, and collapsed a roof. At the time it seemed as though someone had turned on a giant ice cube dispenser somewhere. Only it didn't seem to stop. Things are not looking good for our little farm at the moment.

July 5, 2006

ladybugs 'r us

Organic growing is all about finding a balance. The idea is to work with nature to keep plants healthy. It's a proactive approach. However, that is not to say that organic farmers don't have their issues (and boy, do some of us have issues!) Oh, and some of us have pest problems on the farm too.

Ours came in the form of an aphid ourbreak on our artichokes. In the past, we have had great luck with aphid problems. We've used a soap solution which seems to take care of the situation. This year, we are trying a new approach: ladybugs. While there are plenty of natural ladybugs around, purchasing ladybugs helps increase the numbers, which in the time of aphid crisis can be really helpful. Many of them will fly away, but hopefully they will stick around long enough for the aphid buffet!