Oh Hey, September is Here!

8/23/16 – 9/2/16 | Headlines from the past week and a half:

  • Canning tomatoes and banishing weeds from the garden
  • School…
  • Chicks are getting big! (and sorta ugly, depending on what kind of person you are…)

So I actually didn’t have many tomatoes this year. I didn’t plant enough plants for some reason… but thankfully Jan was willing to give me her seconds! Tomatoes with splits or bug bites are awesome for canning. I ended up with 14 quarts!

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The chicks are getting big! I graduated them from their little plastic chick feeders to this one that they’ll use for the rest of the time. They’re starting to walk and look like meat chickens already! Do you see their huge legs? Goodness.

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I’ve been working on school some too. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll be graduating with a BA in English in December! Since I enjoy both writing and farming, I’ve loved this blog where I can combine the two. Anyway. This is a neatened version of what it looks like to write a paper on social media farm marketing. I’ve actually been doing surveys at the market for this paper – trying to learn what people like to see in social media posts from farms and what kind of posts are effective in helping farmers sell more of their produce/goods.

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Also. My garden was a mess yesterday afternoon… for some reason I’d neglected the weeds for too long. The plus side is that when I finally got out to pull them, they were tall enough to get a good handle on! They also made nice mulching material. Here’s my garden right now. See the flags in the background? I’ve had problems with rabbits or coons or something nibbling off the tops of my tiny bean, beet, and spinach plants in the past. So when I planted my last row of beans I stuck flags among them, and the varmits seemed to respect the colors enough to stay at a distance. Now the flags are standing guard over my fall crop of spinach. (I’m not sure it’s the most respectful thing to do with flags, but I didn’t have any other similar scary objects. Maybe I should make something…)

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And finally, Jan and Andy gave me a huge pie pumpkin!! It’s got a bite on the side, so it can’t be sold at market. But it will get turned into pies (and maybe cheesecake? We shall see) instead! Here’s a post about how to prepare a pie pumpkin, and another with my pie recipe is in the works. Fall is coming, guys! And so are the pumpkin pies.

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Seeds, Handouts, and Broilers Coming Up!

4/25/16 – 5/1/16 | Headlines of the week:

  • First salad from the garden
  • Making a video about the broadfork
  • Creating a farm handout
  • Ordering broilers

My lettuce is having a great time in the cold frame/raised bed, and this week I thinned it and my family had salad one night for dinner with the thinnings!

This video was super fun to make. If you don’t know what a broadfork is, check it out! And if you do… hey, it might be fun to watch anyway. One of my friends suggested speeding it up, adding some fun music, and calling it the “gardening dance.” I thought that was a grand idea, but I have yet to find the gumption or time to act on it.

I also received the seeds I ordered in the mail and planted more spinach and kale, green onions, beets, and carrots.

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This is what occupied my desk on Friday, a picture I like so much more than the schoolbooks typically sitting there! You can see my lovely (free) row markers made from an old yogurt container and my to-do list scribbled on a half-finished handout to take to the farmers market next Saturday.

I’ve really enjoyed writing those handouts. You can’t see from here, but inside is an order form for my broilers and some information about how they’ll be raised. I think writing can be powerful, so I tried to write it in such a way that’s inviting, open, and encouraging. You know how most flyers are matter-of-fact or boring? Like a robot might have written them? Mine’s not like that – it sounds like wrote it, and I hope it sounds like I care about the reader. Because I do! I want to connect with my customers and form lasting relationships with them and ultimately demonstrate the love of Christ. I think this is a good first step.

But before I can sell broilers I have to raise them, and I ordered 77 Cornish Cross chicks with an arrival date of May 31st. The reason for the odd number is that my shelter (which I’ve yet to build because it’s going to be a project for a few of us) will hold 75 birds and since I’ll likely loose a chick or three I wanted to be as close to that number as possible.