Monday, March 25, 2013

Planting, planting, planting

The Long Island Improved Brussels sprouts have already grown large enough to be transplanted into bigger containers. The onions and leeks are 3+ inches tall. Radicchio, endive, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have been sown in at least two successions apiece already. It's amazing how whenever there are things to do, our family shows up and gets their hands dirty. We're so thankful. They have faithfully babysat the seedlings, and they look pretty good if I do say so myself. Next weekend, we start the tomatoes.

Apart from planting, planting, planting, we have been:
  • Moving into a smaller apartment & simplifying our life in preparation for a full summer
  • Feeling thankful for the 7 compost piles (about 448 cubic feet) we've accumulated. They are still unfrozen despite the weather
  • Listening to Seed Savers Exchange free webinar, Seed Starting Workshop

Thursday, March 7, 2013

MOSES Organic Farming Conference Recap

Two weekends ago, we had the pleasure of being two of the 3,200 organic farmers at the 24th annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference in LaCrosse, WI. It was so worthwhile. We learned a ton of new things, made valuable connections with other local farmers, and had an absolute blast. 

Not every conference is called to order with an Alpine horn, but this one is. Photo from MOSES.

Attendees represented an incredible variety of people, farm sizes, crops produced, and levels of experience, and MOSES did a fantastic job providing a variety of workshops to match. Everyone from new farmers on small rented acreage to old hands who farm hundreds of acres were there and could learn something new at the conference. 

There was a great exhibit hall full of seed companies, tools, resources for farmers and more. Photo from MOSES.

We split up to cover more workshops. Between the two of us, we hit:

  • Vegetable Crop Rotation for Nutrient Cycling & Disease Suppression
  • Alternative Small Fruits
  • Wholesale Markets
  • Identification & Control of Insect Pests in the Garden
  • Social Media
  • Managing Water & Fertility in the Hoophouse
  • Capitalizing the Market Farm the First Five Years
  • Organizing for Success: Beginning Farmer Resources & Coalition Building

My favorite by far was the workshop on how to navigate the first five years of farming. The two guys who taught the class have been doing CSAs for over 20 years. I took away more clarity on my goals and some genuine affirmation what we are on the right track.

We really want to bring the whole family next year. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

And We're Off!

Seed-planting time is here. The red and yellow onions have been growing for a week. The first planting of leeks and Brussels sprouts were started today. 

Planning and Dreaming of Spring

Aleatha mixing the potting soil - 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost

Andrew carefully planting leeks