Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fair Share Farm CSA Video

For some reason this year the signups for the CSA have been coming in at a slower rate than other years. Perhaps for the better, this circumstance has caused us to review our "marketing" plan and spruce up our image.

So we decided that we should make a video showcasing the wonderful, fun and tasty aspects of our CSA. The first hint to go in this direction was based on comments received at our Jan 22 Core Group meeting (thanks guys). Right on the heels of the meeting we were shown more of the way by the GVOCSA...the CSA in Rochester where we first met. To see their video, click here.

The final inspiration came from some musical and cinematic professionals. Our good friend Jamie Ratcliff (Ernest James) was our first choice for an upbeat fun song.

Lastly, we went to see "The Artist." This modern silent movie convinced us to chuck our script and use text and images to tell our story. We hope you like it and have fun watching.

Remeber, if you want to join the CSA, go to our website, and click on the JOIN button.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kite Flying

Our good friend Bill McKelvey recently visited the farm and told us of a how-to paper he had describing how to take your own aerial photos with a kite and a digital camera. We thought the idea sounded fantastic, and saw it as a great event for a farm day of the future.

Before planning for such fun though, we thought that we should first start taking the steps needed to become expert kite-people. We figured that with all of the scrap materials we have on the farm we could easily construct a kite for no cost.

So...with a little web surfing, some old lath, a peat moss bag, tomato twine, a stapler, and some old rags, we attempted our first kite today. After several unsuccessful combinations of materials (row cover appears to be too thin) we hit it right with the peat moss bag for the kite and old tea towels and t-shirt material for the tail.

The wind was a little weak, but despite that we got the kite up and flying--a successful trial run. Now we will start working on the contraption needed to house the digital camera, and play around with some kite designs and sizes.

If you have kite flying experience we would love to hear from you. We look forward to having some fun with the late-Winter and Spring winds that always cross the farm.

Tom with his kite.

Rebecca launching the kite.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hello 2012

Welcome to 2012. We are gearing up here on the farm for what we hope is a good year…our 10th farming and our 9th CSA season. Hard to believe that it has been that long. Those 10 years have seen a lot of cover crops, compost, hay, straw, wood ash, lime and organic fertilizer added to our soil, and we are looking forward to reaping the benefits of those years of soil feeding. Over the last several years we have begun to see noticeable improvements to the soil, both in its texture and fertility.

In that time period we have also changed the layout of our fields several times. Areas that are susceptible to wet conditions are no longer farmed for annual crops, but have been replaced by perennial plants or laid fallow. We have also been breaking new ground in the areas where we have run the Parker’s sheep.
For some of the poorer soils on the farm we have implemented a system of continual mulching. We cover the beds with a deep layer of hay, and add more several times throughout the season. This mulch acts as a nice “canopy” over the soil surface, keeping it from getting compacted by rain, or dried out by the sun. It also serves to keep down weeds and retain moisture during droughty conditions.

Our electric tractor has proven a boon too, as the disking attachment allows us to easily make “raised beds.”  Put on the cultivator, and it allows us to break up the top couple inches of the soil, minimizing the need to till the beds. These techniques significantly improve drainage, while minimizing disturbance of the worms and other life in the soil.
January Work
This unseasonably warm weather has been a pleasure to work in over the last week. We are lucky to have our intern from 2011, Luke Knutter staying on as a hired hand for a couple days per week. We plan on getting caught up on a few things this winter, ahead of the Spring planting push.

Activities at the farm this week include the 2012 seed and equipment orders, inventorying,  budgeting and planning, cleaning and organizing the barn, maintaining the deer fence, and tractor maintenance. Next week will include more deer fence and equipment maintenance work, as well as planning and site work for our proposed high tunnel. More on that in our next post.
Fields at rest

Rebecca working on the seed order

Rocky at rest

Luke sorting row cover