Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farm School Field Trip & other useless info

Because I know all of you readers plan your days around mine, I thought I'd give you some useless information:

I'll be headed out early on our first field trip for Piedmont Farm School. I've got my muck boots ready and my camera packed.

Oh, and the duck is laying eggs in a nest.  Just sayin'.

The radishes popped up today. I could almost see them in motion.

Yesterday's egg count: 12
Today's egg count: 10

Keep calm and farm on,

Sunday, February 24, 2013


There are days when not one single productive activity happens on-farm. Today was one of those days. The day consisted of breakfast, some studying, a couple loads of laundry, lunch, a birthday party, a trip to town, supper, and then the bare minimum in regards to farm chores. Then, for dessert, graham crackers with some more studying, 2 essays, and 3 quizzes.

Some call this kind of day a loss. I call it a day of un-doing. Although there is always something to be done, on some occasions it isn't necessary to be so pressed that it becomes a burden.

With a farm, even one as small-timey as ours, most days are filled with to-do lists and not enough hours in the day. I'm grateful that we can occasionally take one day "off," if you can call it that.

Today's egg count: 10

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Where My Seedlings Get Their Start

There is always a sense of urgency during this time of year. I call it the "hurry up and wait" session. There is so much to be done in the garden area, and if you're anything like us, you've been inundated with the deluge of water from the clouds lately, making a lovely mud soup out of the area that needs to be tilled.

Looks like a bunch of junk, huh!?

No entry. Unless you want to lose your muck boots in the 12" deep mud. I survey the untouchable landscape with some anxiousness. I NEED to get in there and plant the cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower seedlings that are getting far too big for their infant carriers and either need to be transplanted or potted up.

Digging, welding, and more. Captain Strong Arms had his work cut out for him.

But I digress. I may be getting ahead of myself, because after all, this greenhouse has only been up since late fall of 2011. We came by the 1938 Lord & Burnham beauty just in time. She was going to be torn down. Can you imagine? In order for her to fit in the space which we needed her to reside, she had to be shortened a bit. This meant that the supporting beams and cross-braces had to endure some fabrication. I just make the sandwiches, folks, let that be clear. Captain Strong Arms is to blame for all the hard work here.

It looks like.......a ?

See that look? That means, "put the camera down and bring me a sandwich," to which I happily oblige. If it means I don't have to hammer here, "hold this" there, and stand with my arms over my head for what feels like hours, I'm all about the sandwich. 

Suddenly, there she is.

 I digress. Again. Hardening off will have to occur before transplanting, but potting up requires a step up container-size wise and more potting soil or soil-less mix. Then, they'll begin to need fertilizer as they won't be getting the nutrients they need to get to the next size.

What I'm trying to embrace, here, is that all good things come in due time. "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." Lau Tzu

I'm grateful that Captain Strong Arms has the vision, tenacity, and know-how when it comes to tearing down and re-building something like this. I've watched him time and again repair something, restore a part of the house, all with little investment (use what you've got mentality) and the results are always shining.

Thank you, dear husband, for working so hard around this small-timey farm, making our lives that wee-bit easier.

I'm really glad my seedlings have a nice place to wait.

So, this is where my seedlings get their start. And I am so grateful. Even if I have to wait for the rain to stop and the mud to dry up. All good things come to those who wait. I'm going to hurry up and wait. Meanwhile, I'll be starting more seeds.....and watching over the seedlings, assuring them of their future.

How are YOUR seedlings waiting?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Farm School?

It seems kind of crazy, to go to school to become a farmer, but I'm willing to do what it takes to learn all that I can. Even though I've been growing a lot of different things over the years, I have a great deal to put into practice.

Piedmont Farm School, they call it. Tonight is the first class in a seven-month series of classes and farm field trips.

PIEDMONT FARM SCHOOLThe Piedmont Farm School is a seven-month educational and outreach program that trains beginning and transitioning farmers. The program is designed to help them operate successful small-scale, sustainable farms. The effort aims to increase the number of local growers and the production of locally grown products within the Piedmont region. It also plans to create a network of local small farms and to help cultivate viable markets for their products. The school involves students from Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Montgomery, Randolph and Rowan counties.
Mike Roberts and Jonathan Baros, both affiliated with the N.C. State agricultural and resource economics department, will teach business planning seminars. Baros is also a member of N.C. MarketReady, the Cooperative Extension outreach of the Plants for Human Health Institute.
Learn more about the 2012 Piedmont Farm School.

It's going to be a great year. What are you doing this year that you never thought you'd do?