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Our Beautiful Mess

Over the past couple months we have somewhat unintentionally fallen into our own roles with the farm. I seem to focus on problem solving, big ideas, and the manual labor side of things. Audra is killing it with the record keeping and business side of things. Oh, and the flower arranging as well. We’ve been excited that these past two weeks have seen a LOT of flower arranging.

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Today as Lincoln and I wove in between buckets upon buckets of flowers and sidestepped the growing pile of leaves and stems dropped by Audra from her work table, I told him that this is what it feels like to live with a hoarder. At least the mess is always temporary and the flowers never seem to stay too long around here. The only real chronic problem with messiness is our mudroom, which serves as the main entrance to our home for us and our guests. We could literally vacuum the rug in there twice a day and never even leave the house and somehow 25 pairs of shoes and a cornucopia of grass, dirt, and who knows what else would still fill the space. Maybe it’s a fitting symbol for how messy our lives feel right now.

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In our countless hours of planning over the winter, we failed to create an effective succession planting schedule. At the time, we were just hoping to grow a bunch of stuff for the first time and see what happened. As June turned into July and now July into August, we have been blessed to be able to sell a great deal of what we have grown. Unfortunately, we are now entering a phase where we will have a slight lull in flowers to offer until our next plantings of sunflowers and other fall crops are ready in September and October. The snapdragons are officially goners, and we were both relieved and sad to see them go. The bounty they put on for over a month was breathtaking, but they were so much work to harvest, grade, bunch, and then try to sell. They were the one product that we’ve had that we couldn’t begin to sell all of what we grew. However, when people see Audra’s bouquets, those are the flowers that people gush over the most. Snaps will still be part of our plan next year, but we will approach them in a much different way I think.

As we’ve been clearing out the snaps planting beds, as well as a couple other beds of spent crops, we decided that instead of planting cover crops that we should try to get another crop out of them this season. So, yesterday Audra ordered 2,000 sunflowers and a bunch of seeds of a flower called “calendula.” These flowers all grow very quickly and should be ready in about 60 days from germination. Needless to say, we should have some sunflowers available this fall.

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The veggies are finally coming on strong, the most exciting of which is the tomatoes. It has been a rough year for tomatoes for most people around here. The wet weather caused all sorts of disease issues. I was diligent with spraying an organic copper fungicide on mine, and it seems to have done the trick. My plants are loaded with fruits, and now that we have some truly hot weather, they are ripening all at once, instead of the staggered approach that I thought I was getting when I chose these varieties.

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We also have loads of cucumbers available this week. If anyone is interested in bulk purchasing of either cucumbers or tomatoes, please let us know. Our farm stand is open most nights, but if you’re making a special trip, maybe call ahead just to make sure. Odds are we’re out in the field doing something.

This week we also tilled up some new planting beds for next year. We will be planting at least 50 peony bushes this fall, and we will have triple the field space next year, bringing us up to about ½ acre of production. That might seem small, but when you are doing nearly everything by hand, it’s enough. By golly, it’s enough. We can’t wait to show you how much beautiful and tasty stuff we can produce from this little farm. I’m betting that dirty little mudroom hasn’t seen the best of what we can do yet…

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This week on the farm stand we have:
Tomatoes
Onions
Green Beans (the last of them)
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Cucumbers

Coming soon:
Comb Honey
Raw Honey

 

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