Happy plants and happy people!

We wanted to offer a brief update about what’s happening here on the farm. It has been a very nice spring thus far – mild temperatures, light rain, decent sunshine, and lots of loving hands on the ground.  As always, our friends and family are indispensable in our pursuit to balance production with property management. 50 diverse acres is no small undertaking. We have a number of new systems in place that are working to make life easier, one of which is our first employee! Conner also set up our cultivating tractor to lift some burden from our bodies. The irrigation system is finally (almost) in place, with more valves and more capacity. The hoop house/high tunnels that we’ve worked on for the past year are finally (almost) finished and are full of plants.  And to help with property maintenance in the pursuit of meat, we have a lovely flock of sheep munching away on our fall-planted pasture.

After a year of farming this land we have a little perspective and an idea of what we’re in for. Something we learned last year was that as good as our soils are, they are delicate and need some special care. Years of conventional management left them depleted of organic matter.  They also fall on the clay side of the spectrum, and so compaction is an issue. This spring we waited longer to till, resulting in nicer seed beds and less disruption of soil structure. Waiting is hard to do since we’re impatient to start eating from this land, but in the long run, the better we treat our soils, the more we’ll get from them.

So much for a brief update! You’re probably wondering where we are now….In relation to last year, we have MANY more plants in the ground and MUCH less weed pressure – two things we are extremely happy about it. We’re hoping to be at our first market on June 21st  and the CSA should start the Tuesday before or after. We cannot wait to begin harvests!

Your Farmers,
Conner, Sarah (and Wendell)
And to help you remember what the season holds in store…

Changing Plans

We wanted to let everyone know that we will NOT be at market tomorrow. There was a family emergency this week that really threw us off- everyone is ok now. In addition to that, it is going to be a very very wet weekend and rather than harvest we need to get our cover crop planted! We will plan on being at market next week for our last hurrah.

Please don’t forget to sign-up for our Fall Harvest Share. There are limited spots and we’d like to prioritize our local folks before committing to a Portland drop. Thanks to everyone who has already signed up.

Growth

Life, babies, plants, markets, and summer all seem to be hitting their stride….Thank goodness for family, friends, good local seed, flame weeders, ladybugs, sweet smelling flowers, and delicious food. These factors- and many more- have made for moments of celebration. There are certainly some hurdles this first year, as you’d expect with a first  year on new ground, and we’ve learned many good lessons already for next season:

– Plant more beneficial habitat for the good bugs

– Buy a new tiller (there’s a long to-buy list but this is a priority)

– Flame all the beds to kill baby weeds before we plant (flaming is much easier on the soil than tilling)

– We have cucumber beetles and they like almost everything we grow- develop a strategy to beat them!

-Sarah needs to take a week of in the spring to help get the major spring planting in the ground

The past two markets have been great, we continue to meet very cool folks, and are already looking forward to next week.

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Silverton Farmer’s Market July 13, 2013

Sweet corn and dry beans. 2 of the 3 sisters.
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Sweet corn and dry beans. 2 of the 3 sisters.

We are going to be swimming in peppers.
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We are going to be swimming in peppers.

Baby carrots tossed with olive oil and salt. Broiled on low until browned. So delicious!
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Baby carrots tossed with olive oil and salt. Broiled on low until browned. So delicious!

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Silverton Farmer’s Market July 6, 2013

Our First Silverton Market

I’ll embarrassingly admit that I was rockin’ out in the truck on the way to market today. We’ve dreamed of farming for so long now that to see it finally being realized is a lot to get excited about. It was a crazy week getting everything together- signage, chalkboard, harvests, table clothes, baskets,

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etc- but it totally paid off. Today at market we had: garlic scapes, spinach, snap peas, snow peas, cilantro, dill, butter lettuce, romaine, chard, kale, and beets. We did a decent job of estimating sales and have a much better sense of what folks are looking for (more cilantro, less snow peas). After

everyone got a round of naps in this afternoon I was able to upload some shots from this week.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us. It is great to be getting to know our neighbors and building local community!

Potential new items for next week’s market- Diggin’ Roots Farm organic cotton T-shirts (!), a whole lot more peas, and new potatoes for perfect 4th of July potato salad.

Potato flowers at sunset.
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Potato flowers at sunset.

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The blossom from our yellow snow peas- amazing!