Remember me? I had this blog, and then I bought this farm, and then, and then and then….well, I am back. Let’s just say I am glad 2016 is in the rear view mirror.
So much has happened in the last year, including a big life reality check that put a hitch in all of my giddyups, including this blog. But we survived, and all is well for now. And boy am I grateful for every sweet farmy day. I need to go pot up peppers, but here’s a quick overview of what is happening on the farm, headed into year 3!
I went morel hunting, and finding! This really is an R rated mushroom. But delicious-we made morel/nettle/bacon pizza.
On the farm I started experimenting with occultation a la Jean Martin Fortier, a la french intensive gardening. Very happy with the results so far, including being able to work up some beds in spite of the relentless, never ending, ceaseless, continual rain. Is it raining right now? Yes, yes it is. Heck, people on the East side of the Cascades are complaining about the lack of sun. Like they even know…..
Left to right-prepped and planted terrace, terrace with amendments but no compost (it is there at the end of the bed), terrace whose tarp has just been removed and then rotoharrowed, then a terrace that has just been mowed and covered with the tarp. This process seems to take about a month to 5 weeks in winter, I expect that to shorten down to two or three weeks in summer, when soil biology is more active. I have high hopes this will reduce weed pressure significantly.
I am also hoping this tarp process will help me incorporate cover cropping into my rotations-here is a bed I seeded this spring with the intent to let it bloom and grow all summer and then prep using the tarps for fall crops.
As my soil improves I can plant more intensively so I can actually take some terraces and beds out of production for a while-and I am changing my methods away from row cropping and more towards intensive planting. Growing things with a shorter turn around time also helps me keep ahead of the gophers, though I am seriously considering introducing some gopher snakes to the farm. I had to replant almost all of my garlic, and I built a screened bottom bed just for that purpose. But it isn’t big enough-I should have at least twice as much garlic as this. Sigh. Moving on….the greenhouse is awesome. So awesome I went nuts and planted a bunch of stuff that has matured 3 weeks early. Oops! Well, consider this research into season extension and a possible future Shoulder Season CSA. Call me if you want lettuce.
Hope everyone out there in blog land is healthy and happy! If you want to know more about the farm and what we are up to-head over to the farm website: