The Dirt on Our Farm
We grow food year round, producing the freshest and tastiest Certified Organic vegetables and berries. The food we sell is grown exclusively on our own farm - no reselling and no buying at auctions and calling it our own. We raise all our vegetable plants from seed right here on the farm without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Cultivating our vegetables reqires a very limited use of fossil fuels each year because we farm mostly with our backs in the sun and hands in the soil. Furthermore, we limit our reliance on external sources by making our own compost, refusing to use black plastic sheeting over the soil, and growing all winter in a passive solar greenhouse that needs NO back up heat source.
The bottom line is, we want to feel great about what we do and the quality of what we grow. That feeling is only possible for me if I follow my heart, which tells me that I am a steward of this land - not a dominant force. And I care for my farm based on the understanding that it is what sustains my community and family, not just a resource to be tapped.
When a farmer strives for ultimate control over her farm, she will be disappointed. We aim to work within the natural systems of our land and micro ecology to grow our awesome tasting produce. This way, we're supporting our ecosystem and facing fewer production hardships since we aren't fighting with nature's cycles.
What does this mean in terms of production? Using regular soil tests and constant observation, we keep soil nutrients, micro organisms, and agregates in balance with compost, cover crops, naturally derived minerals and amendments, and don't add them if they aren't missing. Our goal is not to have the hugest of vegetables, but instead the MOST DELICIOUS! Huge can mean flavorless, and big tasteless vegetables, frankly, are a waste of space. We interpret system issues and problems based on what symptoms arise. For example, certain weeds can indicate deficiencies or excesses of nutrients and minerals in the soil. Vegetable crops could exhibit stress, telling us a piece to the soil puzzle is missing. Pest and disease pressure often means a farmer has not focused enough on crop rotation and soil health. The idea is very simple, but the practice requires diligence and a love of seeing the inseperable union of science and nature.
We love food at Everblossom Farm, and whether you're a farm laborer here or an eater of our goods, you'll come to realize that farming is more than just throwing seeds to the ground and reaping a harvest. For us, it's a connection to survival and happiness. And despite some overly challenging days and occassional disappointments, we're rewarded by this place and it's provisions every single day.
Posted by Elaine L. Lemmon :: Monday, April 22 :: 8:53am
This blog's author is Megan, our new crew manager. She's had a small staff to oversee so far, but their tasks have been diverse and extensive. While this was written several weeks ago (thank you, Megan), we do still struggle on these frosty mornings with the dilemna of "long underwear today? Or no?"
Spring has arrived! Farmers rejoice! It’s time to get to work. There’s hoeing and digging, transplanting and weeding to be done! I can finally put away my long underwe- snow?! Oh well, I guess I’ll have to layer up for another few weeks. Despite the clinging chill in the air, here at Everblossom Farm we have been staying very busy during these last few winter months. This is the last week of our Winter CSA and I know we have been enjoying our harvest here at the farmhouse. We have been eating kale at least three times a day, throwing it in everything from tuna salad to sloppy joe’s! We hope you were able to come up with some new recipes this winter as well.
Ellie Mack and I have been seeding like crazy. We’ve got onions, leek, collards, celery, celeriac, kohlrabi, kale, cabbage, bok choi and much more to come. In addition to seeding, we have been “pricking out”, a technique that is new to me. I will attempt to explain. When the seedlings are a couple of weeks old, we transplant them to a second tray or “flat”. This gives them more room to grow, since they are seeded very closely together in the first flat. The process requires one to pull the seedlings out of the dirt, trying not to disturb the fragile roots. I was nervous at first, thinking that I was certainly going to harm these tiny plants during the journey from first to second flat. Elaine assured me that the cute little buggers would be fine. With the appropriate handling, they are no worse for the wear. I’m happy to say that Ellie and I have become quite adept at pricking out. We have had plenty of practice already, some days going for 5-6 hours!
These last few weeks of winter are a good time to prepare for the upcoming season. We have been doing a lot of cleanup, both inside and out in the fields. The barn was home to a mountain of bean pods so large that Ellie and I were prompted to dub ourselves the “queens of beans”. We even climbed to the top and snapped a picture of us conquering Bean Mountain before hauling truckloads out to compost. We are working on the bigger and better washroom, which is very exciting. The new space is going to give us a lot more room to process our delicious vegetables. Cleaning up the fields is very important around this time of year as well. We pulled all of the old peppers, kale, brussel sprouts, basil and bean plants in order to make way for this season’s plants. We even managed to salvage some brussel sprouts for us to eat. All of these dead plants are added to the compost pile, which will be used next year. The tomato and asparagus plants require a bit more work. Tomato plants are pulled out of the ground and piled with the asparagus plants, which are cut down to ground level with a scythe. These piles are then set ablaze with the backpack FLAME THROWER! Pulling, cutting and piling all those tomato and asparagus plants took us a lot longer than the three minutes it took for them to burn. Nevertheless, I have to admit this job was actually fun. Wielding the flame thrower makes one feel like a superhero of sorts. It could be all that kale I’ve been eating too, though.
As you can see, the farm team is working hard and preparing for a great season. We hope you are just as excited as we are!