I cannot wait for Spring. It is almost here.....almost...... as I wait patiently I have gone through old photos to remind myself what it will be like. I can now plant seedlings of anything I want so this weekend I planted lots of tomato seeds and broccoli seeds. I cannot say how many tomato seeds because my husband reads my postings and I'll get another lecture about excessive tomato seed planting (lets just say it's a lot and I'm not done yet as I have a planting schedule so that we have tomatoes all season and especially late season).
I plan to sell the heirloom tomato plants at the Ag Center the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend so if you know folks who want great variety and unique heirloom tomato plants, I'll be there. I'm hoping to make enough off the plants so that I'll have paid off the seeds and be allowed to continue my seed buying habits for years to come.
This is a photo from last year. Already the picture will look so different. The small out- buildings down the hill are gone. This entire hill is 1/3 tilled and planted (peas, snap peas, snowpeas, garlic (14 varieties), onions (5 varieties so far), shallots (4 varieties so far), 80 blueberry bushes, 50 raspberry vines, grape vines and a large compost pile.
The pumpkin crop this year will be even bigger and better than last year. I think we will have around 25 varieties of pumpkins because I fell in love with them last year and they were so easy to grow. When you have 5-7 acres for your garden, why not plant lots of pumpkins? The chickens can always eat them as a last resort.
Yes, pumpkins are included in the CSA-- probably 3 pumpkins a week for 5 weeks.
This was the spinach, chard, turnips, etc at the end of last season in October. These veggies will be planted this weekend!!! I love spinach. Spinach picked fresh out of the garden lasts 4-6 weeks if not washed. If you wash it first, it still lasts about 4 weeks and boy is it tasty (and good for you).
And finally, this little chick is now laying eggs! The 26 Barred Rocks we got as chicks are laying about 10 eggs a day and soon we should be up to 20-26 eggs a day. If you are in the egg share CSA, you get first crack at the extra eggs (pun intended). We know that there will be weeks where you may want a dozen or so more than you signed up for because they are just so darn good. So rest assured we will not sell them off until members have had the chance to claim them. In mid-June we should have more than enough for those who just want eggs every so often as we'll then have about 200 more birds laying eggs.
If you haven't tried the eggs yet, or want to start getting them early, send Mike an email. We've got a few folks coming to the farm already to get eggs each week. Some people have told me that the eggs fill you up faster than a store bought eggs and they love the different colors. I love the colors as well and of course now I want some white eggs, red eggs, etc.....
The eggs are better for you as well. Check out this article from Mother Earth News on the benefits of pastured eggs. Also check out info on Local Harvest. We belong to the APPPA group (American Pastured Poultry Producers Association) and they have done similar studies showing the same nutritional results. We were thinking of finding out how to have our eggs tested so we could share our results as well. We heard from a friend that it is $250 for a test of 1 egg but we have to figure out where the nearest lab is and how to get an egg delivered there.
For those who read our blog and live too far away from us-- please find a local farm or a farmers market near you. The eggs are worth the extra effort so find them!!