Monday, November 30, 2009

It's a twistah!

I have recently learned that there is nothing more shocking and depressing than walking around the corner of a barn, looking out over the garden at a glance and then doing a double take because there is no greenhouse where there should be a greenhouse. Nothing, that is, except walking further around the corner and discovering what is left of the greenhouse and where it ended up.
Saturday was a windy one at the farm (and at the Burgess Farm that's saying something). Travesty struck...several times. Here is our brand new, fully mobile greenhouse in all its glory.
And here it is 1 wind storm and 75 ft later. The wind was powerful enough to pick the entire thing up (ripping the anchors out of the ground) and set it down 15 feet away and then drag it another 60 or so feet.
These pictures really don't do it justice. You can sort of see where the new wheel system dragged through the garden. It also ripped through our low tunnels, crops and newly prepped beds. I also have pictures of the snap pea trellises in horizontal position (that isn't how I last left them) and our new stake organization boxes on their sides (also not how I last left them). Nature is awesome in all her glory. Sigh...time to start again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday in which they were surrounded by family and friends and wonderful food. I spent the day threshing beans in the barn (great rainy day activity in the fall). These first two photos are the result. First is Tiger Eye and the next picture is Saturday Night Special (an heirloom variety developed by a Maine breeder several decades ago). There are lots more to do and it's tiresome work so I'll save it for another day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Harvest Thanksgiving Share

Happy Holidays! Thanksgiving is almost upon us and that means that our Holiday Harvest Shares are finally ready to be harvested, put together and delivered. I have spent the last week preparing the boxes and bags and filling them with the items from our root cellar. This all culminated today, which I spent, mostly in the rain (flashback to summer!) harvesting the plethora of fresh food from our gardens, greenhouse and low tunnels. Here is a shot of what our Holiday Harvest Share members will be receiving today.

This is the first season we have offered this Holiday Harvest option and I'm quite pleased with how the Thanksgiving version ended up. I'm very interested to know how our members feel after hosting their various holiday get-togethers. The share includes, in the front row: beets, carrots, turnips (both large storage type and small bunched, butternut squash, broccoli, decorative gourds, salad mix (baby spinach, baby Bull's Blood beet greens, baby Red Salad Bowl lettuce), spinach, apples from Mainely Apples in Dixmont (a family orchard run by some friends of ours), potatoes (white and red skin), baby onions, Long Pie pumpkin and buttercup squash. On the top row: leeks, large onions, freshly pressed cider (also from Mainely Apples), decorative white pumpkin, Elephant garlic, German Extra Hardy garlic, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

Here is everything bagged up and ready to go.

If you happened to get on of the pie pumpkins that isn't fully ripe you can hasten the process by keeping it in a warm, sunny spot. A south facing window is a wonderful place to ripen a pie pumpkin. Also remember that fruit ripens from the inside out. The color that we associate with ripe is simply natures way of telling us that the fruit is ready inside. So even if the pumpkin isn't fully orange by the time you are ready to use it, chances are it will still be ripe enough on the inside.

Enjoy and happy holiday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Blog - What's new at Parker Produce

Welcome to the new and improved Parker Produce Blog. We hope that this new blog will be easier to use for both us and our members.

Looking outside right now I can see the heaviest frost of the season. But there are a lot of wonderful things still happening in our garden. I removed some row covers the other day to behold some beautiful purple cauliflower had begun to ripen. These are transplants that I am putting under quick tunnels.
I have also finished construction (but for a few cosmetic touches) on our new, movable greenhouse. You can see the track system below. The examples I have seen are all metal but I wanted to use local vendors and materials so I got cedar from a sawmill in Corinna and bought my track from a fence company in Newport. It came out great. I can't wait to move it in the spring with nothing more than some elbow grease.

Finally, I just wanted to plug our Winter Club. A few of our CSA members have been enjoying produce from our root cellar and fresh from the gardens. You too can sign up to receive emails telling you what we have available each week. Imagine fresh spinach, lettuce, carrots, turnips, beet greens and much more from right here in Maine throughout the winter. If you would like to receive these emails please contact me and I'll get you on the list. Enjoy the sunshine!