Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Baby chicks, tomato plants and fresh from the garden salad...

...who could ask for anything more?
I have been meaning to post some photos of our newest arrivals. We ordered 30 baby chicks this year to accommodate all of our members who answered our survey regarding interest in eggs from Parker Produce. Once we have a 'final count' of this year's new members I'll be asking again and we may end up putting in another order...depends on the interest in local, pastured hen, humane eggs. These chicks arrived about 2 weeks ago as day old chicks...
...and now look at them. I guess if you don't have a comparison shot they don't look that big but they are! That's a 4ft high plywood wall on the right (below) and they are just about able to leap/fly over it. It won't be long before I get them down to the farm and onto fresh pasture in the garden.
I also want documentary proof this year of my efforts in the tomato department. Last year's blight infested, rain filled, cold summer led to a total loss of crop. Unlike other farmers, I am unwilling to drown my plants and garden in copper sulfide (organically approved!) as it stays in the soil at least 90 years! I don't find it ethical to do something to the soil that will last long after I'm gone just so I and my CSA members can have tomatoes for a few weeks at the end of the summer. I want to thank all of our returning members for their support of that decision.
This doesn't mean it isn't a horrible, horrible thing to spend literally hundreds of hours on tomatoes, blocking, seeding, transplanting, planting out, staking, trellising, weeding, pruning etc. only to be forced to rip them out, covered in disgusting late blight. Jim, a gentleman who helps out at the farm, can attest to my depression over last year. It wasn't a good day when they all got ripped out. Worst of all, we didn't have tomatoes last season. Ugh! I love tomatoes and I know many of our members feel the same. Hopefully, this year will be better weather wise. I'm also trying a new theory if the blight moves into the state again. Stay tuned but keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't happen. Below are my most recently started tomato seedlings.

And here is a shot of some that have been at it for a while. Once the last throws of winter (frost last night) leave us, I'll be able to get these out into the garden and start working on the trellising.

Finally, this weekend our family celebrated Mother's Day and a couple of birthdays and we had a big feast. I was able to get out the garden and grab a few things to throw together a wonderful, fresh salad made up of healthy, beyond organic, ultra-fresh (it takes about 45 seconds to walk from the garden to the house...beat that California bagged greens!) greens and radishes. Delicious!
To our new members, this is what you can expect in your first few deliveries...among other things. I hope everyone is enjoying the spring and looking forward to the beginning of the CSA season (which for me started last November :-).

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