Weekly Farm Update, October 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

 

 

What a beautiful and interesting day we had last sunday. Around 30 people came to the farm (we forgot it was daylight saving weekend and everyone had to come out of bed extra early! Including ourselves!! ). Anyway it was well worth coming out of bed for as the calm and warm day (24 degrees celcius) turned out fantastic!

Frank did a wonderful job explaining why looking after our farm soil is so important to us. It is like his second body! Alive and kicking!  Our apple and cherry trees showed off their best looking and smelling flowers and Bruce, one of our CSA members, made some wonderful pictures off it all during the day and he offered I could steal some. So here they are scattered in this update.

With spring in full swing now we are starting to enjoy more harvestable quantities of fresh greens, like spinach, mizuna and green and coloured chards/beets; all  very welcome after weeks or months of stocked up root crops.  Soon we will start to see broad bean tops and the broad beans themselves, as well as mustard lettuce and other exciting fresh greens.

 

We are also eagerly looking at the fruit trees, seeing what they will bring this year. At the moment they are in full blossom and during last Sunday’s farm day tour we enjoyed hearing the bees buzzing around.  It was noticed that there were more bees in the apple block then in our cherry block and we all wondered why that was. I rung the local beekeepers club this week to ask for more hives, but due to the varoa mite there is more legislation about moving hives around and it seemed too much to ask. Frank is checking every day and he is starting to get excited about fruit set and the farm having to organize itself for harvest!  Wouldn’t it be great, especially after last year’s absence of any cherry fruit!

 

 

Frank's task of the day was to explain what we are trying to accomplish by explaining the links between a healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy food and ultimately healthy people. 

Life in a healthy soil is not very different, if not the same, from a healthy human body! Both need to have a balanced diet with a healthy flora of bacteria, balanced amounts of nutrients, enough water and healthy air to function and to grow.  Just like we do not treat our bodies as mere walking and talking zombies that need certain nutrients A, B and C in certain amounts on a regular basis to keep going, the soil is also way more than just an empty medium to hold up plants and trees (as we were taught 20 years ago at school and Uni).  Our farm soil is and has to be treated with extreme care in order to establish, keep and build up its 'strength' for years to come. 

Every treatment, if its mechanical or biological has to weighted up against the pro's and con's of these actions.  Every action causes re-actions - wanted and unwanted). If for example we cultivate now, what effect will it have today, in a month’s time, in six month's time and in 2 year’s time?  Things to consider are weather and wetness of the soil at time of cultivation, equipment, time and labour available to us, weeds now and in future, the crop that we want to grow here and our crop rotation. 

I am sure Frank will tell me I have forgotten something, but I think you will get the point: Ecological growing requires a huge amount of knowledge and experience that comes with years of growing on the land.  Every new year we are able to fall back on one more year of previous experiences and this is what makes being an ecological grower so interesting. No one year is the same and in this sense one really becomes wiser with every New Year! 

Your CSA shares this week:

Fruit Share: 1.5 kg Braeburn Apples, 400-5—grams of Grapefruit and 400 grams of Green Kiwifruit.

Small Veggie Share: 1.2 kg Agria Potatoes, 1 Broccoli, 450-500 grams of Yellow Heirloom Carrots, 1 bunch of Rapini, and a bag of Baby Chard.

Large Veggie Share: 1.2 kg Agria Potatoes, 1 Broccoli, 450-500 grams of Yellow Heirloom Carrots, 1 bunch of Rapini, 450-500 grams of Swede, 1 Lettuce, 100 grams of Rocket or 150 grams of Mizuna Greens , a bunch of Parsley a bag of Spinach and a bag of Baby Chard.

have a great week,

Josje