2014 in the rearview - 2015 straight ahead!
At long last I’m ready to ‘pen’ a new blog, starting with a few reflections of 2014. It was the second blueberry harvest for us here at rmf and we also produced and sold kale, strawberries, rhubarb, shelling peas, green beans, and lettuce at the farm gate as they were ready. Garlic and black beans matured a little later on also and proved popular. We continue to experiment with different food crops and will ultimately end up with a few that grow well here and complement the blueberry schedule.
The blueberry harvest was, in a word, intense. We currently have five producing varieties with (ideally) slightly staggered ripening patterns. Ah, but that’s in an ideal world – aka fantasyland - which is not farming!
The harvest started predictably, with the Dukes leading in mid-July. Then the heat wave came….causing the other cultivars to ripen at the same time. Yikes! Our picking crew was amazing, and did an outstanding job of keeping up with the ever-changing picking priorities while maintaining our ‘perfect berry’ standard!
We even opened up the farm to some U-pick to help with the harvest! On a bright note though: we were really pleased at the enthusiastic response from folks who took advantage of the ‘pick your own’ opportunity. The cliché win-win certainly applies here!
We worked hard through the frenzy but consequently had to miss out on a few Sunday’s Farmers Markets.
A couple from Quebec bought our blueberries at the Farmers Market in 2013. Finding us there again and getting more of their favorite ‘Dukes’ was priority one at Pier Street this year. We were delighted to oblige.
Joan, who has seen many years, and her buddy patiently waited for their favorite Hardy Blues to ripen and they were really pleased to get to pick their own. As they headed out to the field with their buckets, Joan asked permission to go barefoot. I was proud they felt so comfortable and wanted to connect with the earth here.
Three young lads came to the farm gate to get some fresh berries for immediate munching – and kindly told us they were very good. Better than candy!
black beans and edamame patch
There were plentiful dry black beans too, grown from seed saved from the previous year’s crop. Black beans are rewarding to grow – they’re good food, they grow well here and are easy to keep. Oh, and they're "delicious"!... endorsed by our South American customer for whom black beans are a dietary staple.
The new year is here…and with it, a profound sense of optimism and excitement.
I can’t put my finger on one particular reason, more a general feeling of joyfulness, excited to get started on a new growing season….
Only a moment ago we were doing some fall cleanup, making wine and preserves, and already it’s time to prune, plan and prepare this years’ garden. Hold on! – there’s still some of last years’ weeds to contend with! Argh!
Pruning is now underway – one of my most favorite tasks! I relish this opportunity to connect with each blueberry plant individually. And they seem to like it too!
New for 2015… in addition to our ‘we pick for you’, we’re going to incorporate some measure of blueberry U-pick as part of our regular offerings from now on.
It will be on a schedule or reservation system that I have yet to sort out. Details will be updated here on our website closer to the beginning of the season.
Steve and I are very much looking forward to getting some older undertakings finished up and starting some new ones. Yes, there is a list! the current project
As we look in the rearview, (this is where photos help with memory!), we are reminded of what we’ve accomplished so far. It’s kind of fun and at the same time kind of shocking to see the transformation of the property to a farm.
When we walk around the farm now, just a month into the winter, we can already see evidence of the pending spring. We also see the future. If we’re lucky, the new young fruit and nut trees, seedlings and shrubs we’ve planted will also bear food in the coming years.
our first apples
Perhaps I shouldn't be amazed, but I am constantly reminded that the farm always gets what it needs. Somehow, things just seem to work out.
How very awesome is that.