Monday, December 5, 2011

Picking Produce this Fall

It's been a long summer! Fall and winter are finally here, which thankfully means a slower and more flexible schedule. So I thought I'd share some photos of us harvesting produce in mid-September and a photo of our two, adorable children.
All is calm and peaceful in the morning mist as we arrive at the field...

...and head out to start picking.

Pea Shoots

Swiss Chard


The wagon's filled with the first load of vegetables. "Take it to the wash area, boys!"

Beans are one thing that's quite easy to wash - dump them in the tub of water, check for spotted ones, and put them back in the crate.

To prepare Swiss Chard, we wash, bunch, and trim is before putting it in the cooler or sending it directly with the CSA.

Now it's bean picking time, which will probably take 4 people 4-5 hours twice a week to do.

I'm doing my part!

The sweet potatoes are the next thing on the list to pick.

Dig them out with a garden fork, knock the dirt off, and take them to be washed.

The harvest was very good this year for them.

But now... My biggest treasures - Elise (18 months) and Jon David (6 months)! It's so precious to have them, especially at times like this when Elise is "reading" the Bible to her younger brother.

Hope you're having a wonderful fall! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's a Flood!

I'd call this a true flood! In a short period of time, we received over 11" of rain, which caused many streams and rivers to swell tremendously and become very dangerous and damaging. In our area at least 2 people have been killed, hundreds of houses filled with feet of water, cars washed away, etc. It's actually been larger than Hurricane Agnes back in '72.
This is the road I normally take to the field. Impassable? I think so! Actually, a chunk of the pavement was washed away.

That fence isn't holding any animals in!
This wasn't supposed to be hydroponic corn... Amazing how rain can change things.

You can see how high the water level was by where the debris are on the fence.

My irrigation pump was used all night to pump 3 feet of water out of the basement of the house across the water - not it's usual job!

We're taking the high ground!

The water was all the way up to the mark of brown junk.

I store my irrigation pump in here normally, but I had to rescue it by walking through knee-high water!
The water washed some gullies in the field which should be filled in to avoid the plastic blowing away.

Swiss Chard
The beans and peas (for pea shoots)
Over all the garden didn't suffer much, just here and there wash outs and standing water.

But life must go on, according to Mrs. Hen. We lost two days worth of work in the field because of the water, but we're planning to go back out at lunchtime today (Friday).

We're very thankful to the Lord for keeping us safe and only having minimal damage. It was pretty crazy trying to get anywhere because nearly every road around our house was blocked. Now many of those road blocks are removed, the creeks are going down, and things are drying off a bit. So as long as we don't get much more rain we should be okay.

What an adventure!
~ Jonathan

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harvesting Time for a CSA Delivery

 After a winter of growing produce in the greenhouse, it is almost completely empty. A row of tomatoes stretches down the left side of it. Now the majority of the action has been transferred out to the field, so why don't you come along with the crew as they harvest vegetables for a CSA delivery.

Jonathan and Timothy start out with buckets in hand. There is a lot of produce to be picked today!

Picking sugar peas.... 

The Peas

Philip F. picks....

...and bunches the kale.

Ready to go back to the wash station to be cleaned and packed.

The long rows of tomato plants are looking great.

Green tomatoes, the promise of things to come.

Swiss Chard adds a splash of color to the field.

As do the red, golden, and candy cane beets.



The rack is full of produce that has been washed and is now ready to be packed.

Once the produce has been harvested and washed, the CSA bags are lined up and filled. We work down the lines dividing between the full and half shares.

A beautiful basket of colorful extras.

Well, that's all  for now, folks. We hope you enjoyed your visit! Come back again.

~ Abigail
(Jonathan's sister)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome to Another Year of Farming with Us!

The growing season has now officially begun!

Though, actually, we've been growing vegetables all winter long in our 20'x96' greenhouse.

The greenhouse has been doing an amazing job keeping plants a live and growing, though sometimes slowly, even in below freezing temperatures.

Carrots and Beets - 5 months from planting to harvest

Salad Mix - 2 months from sowing to cutting

Sallions planted in between the beet rows - 6 weeks from planting to pulling

Swiss Chard - 3-4 months from planting to harvest

Kale - 6 weeks from transplanting to harvest. This plant has actually been producing since September 2010; we just moved it indoors when winter came. Notice how close the leaf stubs are together, starting at the bottom - 1/2 inch? Those leaves grew last fall. Then look how close the leaves (middle of the plant) grew together during the cold part of winter - really close. Then look how quickly the plant has been growing recently with all the heat! So, you can have fun tracking how fast it's been growing for the last 7 months.

Over 80 degrees in the greenhouse on a day when it was about 35-40 degrees outside.

The garlic, which we planted last November, is coming up great.

My two brothers, Philip and Timothy, planted 1,400 lettuce plants for me last Friday. 

They did a good job!

Potato planting time!
We planted 600 lbs. of seed potatoes this year, which translated into over 1.5 miles of row! Anyone want to help weed...? 

I love this job because it's one of the first things we do outside in the spring, and it requires us to use some big, fun machinery, which we don't get to use much the rest of the year. I like powerful things!
This is how we farm, Elise. Do you want to help Daddy in another couple years?

I hope you enjoyed this post and will continue to do so with the upcoming ones we're hoping to do to help keep you informed on what's happening how "down on the farm".  Please feel free to leave a comment; we love hearing from you!