Archive for April, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Ok, so I’m a little late on discussing Earth Day, but shouldn’t every day be Earth Day?

Last night we attended and spoke on a panel at the Folsom Lake College – El Dorado Center about eating locally. The discussion was informative, and reminded me of what we are trying to do, here at the farm.

“What is that?”, you say. (Me too, by the way. I wonder often why, what and how long.) But last night, communing with interesting, like-minded people, I was reminded. Sure, we grow and sell veggies basically….and that’s how we started out….thinking, “We can grow for ourselves, why not for other people?” So we started. Probably not the way a “business” ought to start. I hear you should have a plan, goals, projections, stats, research, focus groups, etc.

We just started. Maybe we were a little crazy, still are probably, but we thought everyone needs food, including us and wouldn’t it be great to grow our own and be able to share it with others. Besides, home-grown is the best and I’d rather go to the garden, pick myself lunch, rather than go to the grocery store or a restaurant. I know that plant, I know where it came from, how it was treated, where it grew up…like an old friend from grade school.

Growing your own food helps the environment in so many ways; less fossil fuel is used; nutritious food to eat; blossoming flowers for the bees; creating open spaces; protect habitats; use less packaging, therefore, less waste; growing organically, so no chemicals; soil building; you get the idea. All of these things help the environment and we get a good feeling knowing we are a little part of that.

Plus, we get to meet the most interesting people and be involved in a variety of community groups. And we have FUN!

So bottom line and back to the question, “What are we trying to do here?” Have fun, grow good food, help the environment, meet new friends and make a little income.

New Beds

Thanks to Tish, we have a recent picture of the new beds.

New raised beds

New raised beds

Carrots, Beets and Lettuce

We planted all of these seeds in the last week and a half, and guess what???? They are all coming up. No matter how often I plant seeds, I am always amazed when they show themselves. Little seedlings, popping up out of the soil, me checking in on them like newborns.

Carrots are like little, tiny blades of grass. Beets are long leaves but still small, some red in color. The lettuce is tiny too, but round in shape. They are all under cover, to keep them warm and moist. I am not sure what to plant next, but that will have to wait until next week. We need to make a trip to the nursery too, to purchase plants and more peatmoss. The rain last week soaked the soil and compacted it a bit, so we need to top off the soil to the top of the raised beds.

We haven’t started selling shares yet, as we’ve been so busy with other things in life that take priority. I’ll work on the 2009 Questions and Answers soon and will send them to all of you on our email list. We know we will be scaling down this year, at least at first. Once the summer kicks in, we can take on more subscribers.

We finally bit the bullet and hired someone to build the fence. This will help us out tremendously. All of our acreage will be fenced, keeping the deer out, so we can plant everywhere. This will allow the farm to grow and expand, something we’ve been wanting to do for some time. Lots to look forward too.

Give Beets a Chance!

We’re moving along, getting boxes built and making soil. Sunday was our first volunteer day for our farm. Up to 15 volunteers came out to help us make Mel’s Mix and learn a little about Square Foot Gardening. This was such a success and everyone had fun, that we will probably have another. We’ll keep you posted via this email newsletter. There is always something to do in the garden.

The potatoes are growing tall and so are the onions and garlic. I’ve covered the kitchen counter with seeds, choosing which ones get planted next. Yesterday I planted 3 varieties of carrots: Cosmic Purple, Purple Haze and Scarlet Nantes. Four varieties of beets were also planted. Red Ace, Chioggia, Golden Beet, and Forono. All a variety of colors; red, candy cane stripped, gold and a Cylindrical, deep purple.

Ok, I hear some of you sneering at the thought of a beet, but believe me, once you have tasted homegrown, fresh picked beets, you’ll wonder why you hated them in the first place. Most of us were raised on canned beets and no wonder we don’t care for them. Fresh beets are like candy, full of sugar….yummmmm!!! They can be grated raw for salads, juiced, steamed or boiled. Any way you have them, they are wonderful. This is one of the veggies we grow that people tell us they don’t like and then once they try them, they are converted. Give beets a chance. 🙂