Sunday, May 30, 2010

CSA week 1

Welcome to Muddy Fingers Farm CSA's 8th year.

Our May 22 CSA workday was a pleasant event with nice weather and several families coming out to experience the farm. After lunch we headed to the field and planted 2 beds of tomatoes and 2 beds of potatoes. While the potatoes are not up yet, the tomatoes are doing great in all of this heat we had last week. Thanks to all who showed up to lend a hand.

Farm Update:

Its been hot, hot, hot. We've irrigated the last couple days for the first time

And we've been getting in all of our summer crops as fast as we can - beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, summer squash. While hoping that our mature spring crops - radishes, lettuce, spinach can hold on for our first week CSA harvest before they start to bolt.

Good thing we finally got our new (used) cooler put together and the air conditioner and Coolbot installed (The Coolbot is a nifty little device that connects to the air conditioner and tricks it into continue cooling the room down to as low as 32 degrees)

We also got our new root washer. It is not installed yet and we probably won't need to use it until August.

Hopefully Blogger will cooperate with our computer again soon and we can get some more pictures posted

This week's (expected) vegetables:









Monday, May 10, 2010

CSA right around the corner now...

Hello friends of the farm, I hope the spring is treating you well. It has been a weather rollercoaster around here. We’ve had heat, we’ve had cold, we’ve had rain, and we’ve had none, it seemed that we would have to be watering back in late April until the rain started coming reliably and so much so that we have had trouble getting in to till the soil. In all weather fun, we even had our first hail storm! NO damage, so don’t worry, it would have been funny to see us from the outside of the house, noses pressed against the window as we watched those little pellets fly. It was the longest minute of the day, but we made it!

Speaking of dramatic weather, we were away for the night on Friday to go to the memorial service for Matthew’s beloved grandfather. Our neighbors were kind enough to water our greenhouse and care for the farm. We had no idea that there would be a windstorm with 40+ mile per hour gusts. One or more of which took the top right off of our greenbarn! (Our greenhouse that is used like a barn) Our neighbor was kind enough to pick up everything in the building that would get ruined by being rained on, it was so nice to come home and find every single tool and cardboard box safely stored in our walk in cooler, where it would stay dry.

And speaking of normal weather, worry not about the frosts and even snow flurries of the last few nights. We certainly have lots of plants in the ground and the only ones that could be harmed by a frost are the few rows of the earliest potatoes that are up six inches tall. We covered them last night, but even if they do freeze, they will regrow, but we would like them as early as possible, so we don’t want to lose them.

This is a busy week, we are glad to be hosting two high school groups and to be speaking at a middle school career day all through the career development council. It is really gratifying to have farming be considered a career that we may want to introduce our youngsters to. With the average age of farmer’s today being well in the 50s, we will be glad to have young people entering farming in the future.

For those members who pick up in Elmira, we hope you will be excited to see the farmer’s market that will be happening in Grove park on Monday evenings. While we have not technically received permission for the market yet, at this moment we are just waiting for the paperwork from a few of the farms to get turned into the city. We will let you know when it is official, but for now, we have ourselves, a flower vendor (corning and WG members will recognize Christina from high meadow flower farm from those markets), an egg and meat vendor, a fruit and veggie vendor, and just today we talked to a food vendor who expressed interest, we’ll see how it pans out. We had asked an ice cream vendor but it doesn’t seem that they will be attending.

We’re thinking tomatoes right now, we spent a little while tonight potting up our plants into larger cells. Last year we tried grafting our favorite tasty heirloom varieties onto disease resistant root stock, but did a poor job of it. This year we tried again and achieved much more success, not a 100% success rate, but far better than last time. When we first attached the tasty variety on the top of the disease resistant bottom, they were very wilted and looked like there was no chance that they could live (see photo) many or most of them took and now they are growing on top of totally new roots- amazing!

Speaking of tomatoes, we will plan to do some transplanting of them at the May 22nd CSA get together, hope you can make it, we will be starting with a potluck at noon followed by a tour and a little transplanting.

praying mantis case on a tree in the orchard, (they are beneficial insects and we are glad when we see their egg cases.)

that about does it for now, hope to see some of you on saturday the 22nd. and the rest of you in the first week of june when the CSA pickup begins.

liz and matthew