Friday, April 23, 2010

The Cattle Are Here!

"For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." ~ Psalm 50:10 (KJV)

In addition to growing vegetables, we also raise 5-6 beef cattle each year, and we love it!

Cattle (and animals in general) are so different from plants, and they tend to find ways to spice up our lives - like when they get out and run all over the neighboring farms and can't be found for several hours. They all seem to have personalities of their own. Some are very calm and others are skittish, some wander up and down the fence every day looking for ways out. Some are leaders and others are followers, and the list goes on. So, can you imagine now why cattle make our lives more "interesting"?

Enjoy the opportunity to take a little part in our farm through this blog!

On Tuesday, we bought 5 beef cattle from a man in southern Lancaster County, who also delivered them.

Cattle are bought/sold by the live-weight pounds. We weighed the truck with the cattle loaded on it, and after the cattle were unloaded we weighed the truck again to figured figure out how much the cattle weighed.
Their average weight was 732 lbs.

Aren't they beautiful?

The cattle were very nervous about me at first and stayed as far away as possible.

We got a whole mix of breeds this year!
The breeds are (L-R): Charolais, next two Angus/Hereford crosses, Red Angus, Hereford. There's one more steer that isn't in any of these photos because it's at another farm right now, but it's a Black Angus, and it'll be here soon.

What are you looking at?

The spinach crop this year has been slightly delayed. I planted a bed of it a couple weeks ago, and soon after it rained really hard, and when the ground dried it crusted over. Only a few plants were able to come up through the packed dirt - not even enough to be worth the space it was taking up - so I tilled it under and replanted it. Because of this, the spinach will be a little late coming in;
it'll probably be ready beginning of June.

Also, this past week, I've been trellising the peas.
The first thing I do is drive the stakes in the ground.

Secondly, I string line between the stakes, and...

...thirdly, loop it around each stake so it doesn't come loose.

Competelion...a wonderful feeling!

The onions are growing quite nicely. They're approximently 4-6 inches tall now.

The first CSA pick-up day is only about a month away! For those of you who live in Wayne, your first day is Tuesday, May 25th, and for you CSA members in Lititz the CSA will be starting Saturday, May 29th.
The produce is growing a little slower than I hoped it would be for the beginning of the CSA, but we'll have plenty as long as we get a fair amount of warm weather.

Also, remember our open house coming up on Saturday, May 22. We'd love to have you come to it, and it would be a great way to expose yourself and your children to farming.

Hope to see you in less than a month!

~ Jonathan

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Instant" garden! The benefits of transplants!

Here in Lancaster County, PA, the weather's been beautiful lately!
Over Wednesday and Thursday (the 14th & 15th) we've been able to accomplish a lot of work in the garden like transplanting, planting seeds, weeding, tilling, etc.

Today's post mostly covers the work a friend from Allentown and I did on Wednesday. Enjoy!

The day dawned early with very heavy fog.
Notice how the fog is only rising off the corn field (further away),
which has bare dirt exposed, and not the hay field (the closer, greener one)?

My helper, Daniel, arrived ready for work with his sister who spent the day helping my wife in the house.
He has his own publishing company (Salem Ridge Press), with which he publishes a lot of great books!

We planted lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage from these trays,
which hold 125 plants each.

There's a lot of open space to fill yet - one plant at a time!

Plant it properly...

A romaine head at approximently 3-4 weeks.

The garden looks so lush right now with the everything growing so well.
I love spring!

It's time to turn the rye into the ground as fertalizer.
The nieghbor came over and mowed it down for me,
and I later rototilled it into the soil.

We planted two very long rows of green, yellow, and purple beans.
Those little seeds look so innnocent right now, but they're going to turn into
plants that will take hours and hours to pick!

The day's been a very profitable one!

We planted approximately:
850 Lettuce Heads
900 Broccoli & Cabbage Plants

 Thanks for checking out our blog and feel free to leave a comment if you enjoyed it!
~ Jonathan Einwechter

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Planting Potatoes

Over the past week, or so, we've spent time cutting up the seed potatoes (getting them ready for planting), and waiting until the ground drid out. Well, the rain finally stopped, the sun came out, and now it's time to plant potatoes.

Alright, Philip, it's 4:00 PM,
and we've got a lot of work to get done before the day is over.

All these potatoes got to be planted - 5 types 350 lbs.

Okay, this is how you drive the tractor...

You're doing a great job tilling the ground!

While we were working, a killdeer kept running around us,
calling "killdeer, killdeer". 

It's finally time to start planting the potatoes...

...and it's getting late, so we got to hurry!

Farming is an industry that when something needs done,
there's a small window of opportunity, and it must be done right then.

This planter, which is probably over 50 years old,
is an amazing time saver.

It makes a shallow furrow, drops the potatoes certain distences apart,
and covers them.

We finally finished planting the potatoes around 9:30 p.m.

The potatoes are all in the ground now, where they will stay and grow
until sometime in June, July, or August, when they are harvested.

It's been a good day in the field.

Thank you for your support of our farm!