We are very busy on all fronts at the farm, and are pushing to get everything in the ground and growing happily. We have magnificent baby carrots from the greenhouse coming to market for several more weeks. The beautiful asparagus is being picked by Kate ‘the Asparagirl’ daily and we will have it at market for a short time in June. The green onions will be available for a few weeks in June. We hope you got some baby beets and greens while you could, because there are no more baby beets until later in the summer when we’re thinning the field crop. The radishes are over for 2017. The celery is growing nicely and we look forward to eating some, and if all goes well we’ll be bringing celery to market in July. The garlic is looking wonderful and will soon be producing scapes. We added borage to the chives, pansies and sunflower edible flower selection this year. The raspberries and saskatoons have flowered and we’ll soon be harvesting sweet fruit for our dehydrated products. Trish is looking forward to picking raspberries with D2 the dog, and accidentally stuffing her face with berries.
Dawn and Kate planted the cucumbers, summer squash, Brussels sprouts, fennel, borage, and sunflower in the field. (‘Planted’ makes it sound so easy, but of course first Dawn and Kate had to develop the plan, order the seeds and start and maintain the seedlings. Then the fields had to be weeded, then came the transplanting and watering, and the floating row cover was placed over the Brussels sprouts which are in an area about 60’ x 250’. The work starts in January in order to get things to this stage.) Sunflowers were planted not only to enjoy their beauty, but also to reduce the amount of dust from the road. The newest transplanted crops are the winter squash, and they live in the 45’ x 300’ field farthest from the greenhouses, near the pond. We have over 250 squash plants, with French varieties like Musquee de Provence, interesting ones like Long Island cheese, delicious Hubbards and all sorts of others! The carrots and beets were also seeded into the fields for the fall harvest. The potatoes and onions for the dehydrated vegetable mix are now in the ground too.
Other crucial tasks on the farm are maintaining the compost and weeding. There’s a lot to maintaining healthy compost, and luckily Jill helps manage the compost such as taking the temperature daily and turning it as needed using the big equipment. Good compost is an important part of maintaining healthy soil on an organic farm, which is a huge topic we’ll talk about soon. Weeding is a constant battle, and we’re always looking for ways to improve weed management. We use clover as a cover crop in between the rows of garlic, and a black geofabric helps keep the weeds to a minimum for the winter crops like squash and Brussels sprouts.
All of the hard work will be rewarded soon for at the end of June we get to party! Dawn, Kate and Trish are going to North Country Fair this year and we’re really looking forward to it! Dance, dance, dance! As a result, we are not going to be at market for the Summer Solstice weekend, on June 24.
Dawn and Kate aspire to being farmers who take the summer ‘off’, not really off as in on vacation for two months because that is a fantasy (right now), but at least not back-breaking busy. This summer they are acting on restoring some work/life balance by attending as many music festivals as possible. We are located in a beautiful landscape, and want to enjoy it while the native plants are blooming and the land is green and sweet-smelling. Also, we are not going to be producing a newsletter during July and August. We will be back with a fresh newsletter in September. Hope you have a wonderful summer!
~ Happy Solstice from everyone at Sunrise Gardens!