We have been busy the last many months, growing produce, laying drip irrigation, planting cover crop in the portions of the field we never had time to plant earlier this year, raising fifty new hens from chicks, selling eggs and produce at wholesale and at our temporary, modest farm stand, teaching our ten month old border collie/lab mix pup how to work - be a well-mannered farm dog and guardian - AND how to play - how to catch and retrieve a frisbee. We're grateful that the bees have been busy as well and we've once again bore witness to the incredible cycle of pollinators; from mason bees early this Spring to the bumble bees of late Summer, as they work diligently to bring food to their hive and, in turn, ensure cross pollination of all of our fruits and vegetables which feeds our own community of family, friends and neighbors. Our fields of buckwheat are currently alive each morning and evening - our favorite times of the day - with the hum of pollinators. It's a full, rich and busy life for all of us here.
Our new farm stand receives regular visitors which delights our nine year old son to no end. Elliot works incredibly hard each day, caring and tending to our flock of almost ninety chickens. He helps harvest produce (and eats his fair share of tomatoes in that process), helps to water our young orchard trees and our many antique and heirloom roses. The sense of pride and satisfaction he is afforded when our farm stand is supported by our community, is invaluable and immeasurable. Elliot is followed around the farm by Jasper, our pup who we rescued from Herd U Need A Home at nine weeks of age this past January. My husband and I have been blessed with a few exceptional dogs in our almost three decades together; Jasper is no exception. His calm, focused demeanor and loyal, playful personality is so incredibly delightful and a perfect fir for this place where there is a constant flow of activity.
Elliot has become not just a "chicken whisperer" but an animal whisperer. In addition to being the Pied Piper of our flocks, he has recently befriended a juvenile Rufus Hummingbird that frequents our salvia. He has gently caught this feathered friend on a few occasions and can now come within just inches of it and observe it as it feeds off the blossoms. Elliot's connection with the natural world continues to deepen as his curiosity cultivates a passion for farming, animal life and for this place. Nearly every day he tells us that he "loves our farm." He is blessed to have a number of friends who regularly come out and stay for a day, or sometimes days, and we will continue to nurture these menaingful connections as we head into the new school year and our first year as a homeschool family.
We have chalked this year up as a "test" year and have (mostly) successfully grown a number of varieties of cut flowers in out field, fed by rich compost and (thankfully) nighttime drip irrigation. Next week, with the help of family who comes out twice-weekly to assist with our efforts, we'll be planting our biennials and hardy annuals flower seeds into a few new, raised beds. Early next Spring, we'll be building a few caterpillar tunnels to protect our early blooms and to extend the season on both ends for a number of veggies and flowers. Next month, we'll plant our eight varieties of hardneck and softneck garlic, a crop we've enjoyed growing in out kitchen garden for close to twenty years. We'll have three, fifty foot beds of our favorites out in the field.
Our family loves tomatoes and the intense heat this year as been a challenge as we grew a dozen heirloom varieties (close to thirty) in the greenhouse which has lacked sufficient air flow on these hottest days. While we have indeterminate vines to the ceiling, many of the recent blooms have wilted and dried up in the heat before the pollinators have even had a chance to work their magic. Another reason for caterpillar tunnels next year...
In a recent walk of our property, we counted over forty old apples trees, each heavily laden with apples. We will soon be calling on family and friends as we pull out our cider press and begin turning these into both soft and hard cider. All of those years my husband spent brewing beer after college, and his hard science background, is once again about to pay off by the gallon. It has been a joy for us to send so many friend and family helpers home with eggs and produce this year... We could not run this farm without their love and support.
We are expecting a bumper crop of heirloom popcorn, heirloom melons and heirloom pumpkins this year! Check out our farm stand or this website for updates as these become available. Attached is a photo of our current farmstand offerings.
Please reach out with any comments, questions or inquiries! We would love to hear from you! We have a few photographers who we have opened our farm up to for Fall shoots. We love to share this historic space with fields of Queen Anne's Lace, big, beautiful maples trees that line our pasture and that turn golden each Autumn, and our barn which provides a fun backdrop for photo shoots. One photographer in particular will be working with us to create spaces throughout the property which will lend themselves to creative and interesting seasonal photo shoots. Give a call, leave a comment or drop an email if you'd like to have a walk-through of our space.
With love, from the farm,
Stacy, Kelsey and Elliot, dogs Dutch and Jasper, barn cat, Cinder, and too many chickens to count...