When we took a look at the crops, we realized that we need to start the CSAs THIS WEEK! Some of our cool weather crops are ready. To make this event even more real, we picked up the delivery boxes from Kirsop Farm. They were very kind to let us piggy-back on their order of boxes...the alternative was to order the minimum of a pallet of 350 boxes. Our daughter, home for the weekend, was a great help--putting in a new gate, planting lettuce, and baking chocolate chip cookies to keep us going. We spent this morning re-doing the electric wire fence for the cows who are coming next weekend.
On Saturday, we had a visit from Steve McCulloch's South Puget Sound Community College Edible Plants class. This meant we uncovered all of our hoop houses covered in Agribond--a white filmy cloth that we cover just about every crop except peas. The cloth keeps new starts a bit warmer and is a nice barrier to garden pests. We were surprised to find our first bed of broccoli ready to harvest--an affirmation that things are growing despite the cold, damp weather.
Saturday was one of Mark's favorite days--tomato planting day. We had great help from friends, Steve and Carol McCulloch, Amanda, Jeff, and Rob. We planted about 100 tomatoes in 2 hours in the high tunnel green house. Mark's secret is to plant the tomato almost sideways, burying much of the stem. We have nice wood stake signs and a slick way to tie the 'indeterminants' up as they grow. We even laid the drip tape and red plastic which heats the earth even more than black. And, we ended the party with pizza and beer and good conversation.
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We have named all of our fields or gardens. My very favorite is the Butternut Garden, named for the beautiful tree next to it. This weekend, I spent some treasured alone time in that garden, weeding strawberries and planting flowers. it is a nice secluded out-of-sight place with a peek-a-boo view of Mt. Rainier when she's out. We had our farm crew of my Mom and Dad over helping us put wood chips around the old Butternut. Our tree guy, Ray Gleason wants the wood chips in place of grass because grass requires more water than is healthy for the tree. And speaking of Ray, he came over last week and pruned the butternut and the old hazelnuts--mostly to give the butternut even more space. We are very grateful for his ongoing stewardship of the tree.
The Pacific Northwest Archeology Society had a program last Friday night on George and Isabella Bush--up in Seattle at REI. Shanna Stevenson, Roger Easton, and Dale Croes along with his student, Tyler, gave a great presentation on the Bush family with a special emphasis on the Bush women. It was fun to be in the audience, hearing about the very land we live on. Sometimes we pinch ourselves because it seems like a dream.
Max, our Jack Russell Terrier, who stands about 15 inches high will get anything edible within his jumping reach. This proved true again when he knocked a 10 lb. box of powdered fish fertilizer off of a table we had in the metal building. By the time we realized he had been out of our site for awhile, he had chewed through the box and the plastic sack--fertilizer all over the dirt floor and there he was, just eating/licking away. It'll be days before the fishy smell evaporates.
We are getting a real taste of farm work on our 'days off' from the other jobs. We had the extreme pleasure of working outside all day Saturday and Sunday, planting spinach, swiss chard, onions, lettuce, bok choy, and cabbage outside.We started seeds for summer and winter squash inside. The race is on--will the weather cooperate for growing vegetables by the first week of June?
This blog reflects the journey of Kathleen and Mark who have left suburbia to steward this historical property and transform the land back into a working farm.