WITH LIGHTENING SPEED, 2015 IS ROCKETING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR’S BLUEBERRY HARVEST!
I regret not having written an update before now, but it’s been busy times here at the farm, so much so that inspiration to put fingers to keyboard has been lacking of late. So, what have we been up to? Well................
Pruning: Generally a January / February task, and it was again this year. Different though is that by this February, the blueberries had broken dormancy and buds were swelling before I was done. Is this part of the new normal? Who knows? But, I believe I’ll start pruning in December next time and try to have it wrapped up early in 2016, JIC.
Weeding: Always weeding! One of the components of the annual organic certification renewal is a question as to whether we have devised any new methods of dealing with weeds. Hah! My answer is no; hand pulling is still the technique used around here. But, I did comment that I have a new attitude towards them – weeds are free compost feedstock! I love free.
Feeding: Blueberry fertilizing begins in March for the blueberries and continues to mid-June. We do several applications over this period. At the same time each plant is scrutinized for any issues, such as unwelcome critters or lack of vigour. Even mowing the alley ways is another opportunity to have an eye on things.
Planting: The Market Garden seeding started last fall with garlic and continued with peas kale spinach strawberries spuds and beans this spring. We are still working out which crops are best suited for our conditions and time. I split the rhubarb plants last fall and they are working hard at getting re-established now. As far as I can tell, we will have at least some to harvest in another little while. As for the spuds, this is an experiment. Folks with a lot more experience and know how than I say that potatoes are easy to grow. Guess we’ll see if that holds true for me!
The irrigation system for the market garden is 95% complete. Steve dug in a water line from the well-head down to the garden last year. This year's task was to set up the micro-sprayer system to each individual planting block in the garden. This gives us perfect flexibility and control to water where, when and as needed. Sure beats standing watering with a hose and nozzle. Hooray for Steve!!!
The office: One of the bedrooms is now “the office”. At long last…files, computers, phone, books, records and writing tools all have one lovely, comfortable permanent home – which is not the kitchen table. I so appreciate having everything in one place that doesn’t have to be gathered up and moved regularly. Having my desk under the window looking out into our burgeoning little food forest makes me really, really happy.
The farm stand: Just finished tonight!
This is where produce from the Market Garden will be sold, as its available, on the self-serve honor system model. First up – kale. Watch for the sandwhich board on Evergreen as you drive by. When the board is on the roadside, there'll be stuff in the cooler.
Hiring: I’ve got a couple of fantastic farm hands here helping with the weeding and a few other assorted tasks. What a delight to have nice company in the field! Many hands make for much forward progress J
Next up: Hiring the picking crew.
Observations from the field: Early season worries about the numbers of bumble bees in the field eventually gave way to relief as flowers turned to early green fruit clusters in abundance. Yay bees!
I still consider the plants juvenile, or at best, adolescent, considering their anticipated life span and potential size at maturity. But, this year the robins have taken note and the bushes are now substantial enough to serve as observation perches for these delightfully pesky and messy farm dwellers. They are being duly warned that the net will be going up again soon, and they will not be welcome back in the field until after harvest.
As in previous years, the farm gate will be open for small quantity fresh blueberry sales three times a week. Please see “OUR OFFERINGS” page for the hours, which will be posted soon.
And as before, we take orders for larger amounts any time. We pick fresh for you!
NEW THIS YEAR - U-pick – BY APPOINTMENT! Call or email us to arrange your visit!
We look forward to seeing you this summer here at the farm or at Pier Street Farmers Market.
Thank you for supporting local agriculture!