Compression Spring

 I do believe we've seen this before. Garlic popping through the straw, and a greenhouse starting to fill with seedlings.

I do believe we've seen this before. Garlic popping through the straw, and a greenhouse starting to fill with seedlings.

2018 Week 9, Winter CSA Pickup 7 of 13

Hi all. This Wednesday marks the start of another four-week bunch. I am very eagerly watching the greens re-growth, and expect some lettuce shortly. Hip hip.

It has been so nice these last two weeks to get a bit of work done out in the fields. I mowed and weeded all of the raspberries for this coming fall, harvested another bed of carrots -- an emergency late fall planting that's somewhat tiny -- and moved the rhubarb. "Moving the rhubarb," it turns out, is something like a 25-hour job. It sure is nice to so poorly estimate a task at this time of year, rather than in a month when things start getting hectic.

The rhubarb got a new home because I changed my orchard plans to allow for better scythe-flow. They are now in-line with the orchard trees -- mid-way between the fruit-trees and the future nut-trees -- and part of a companion mix that might reduce disease, attract beneficial insects, balance root space, and correct a carbon dioxide imbalance that a grass sod would create. Comfrey, chives, mint, perennial flowers, some nitrogen-fixing legumes like white clover, some tap rooted 'weeds' like plantain and dandelion, and a small balance of clumping grasses get seeded next.

I also got some good-bad news from the small-engine mechanic. The good news is that my tractor won't start because a $1.50 compression spring snapped. The bad news is that he got the spring, and it looks like it will be cheaper to buy a new engine -- two CSA shares in value, ugh -- than get it back in place. So, while we sort this out, I will be prep'ing the beds by hand. Although the tractor being down is a definite bummer, the prospect of manual bed prep excites me ... actually. Much of the farm-design works toward a low horsepower agriculture, and this finally makes me walk the "well, in theory, one day, it would just require a wheel hoe"-talk.

I was at a pruning workshop over the weekend, and was all too easily convinced that proper orchard floor management can make a peach tree possible in Virginia -- which, heretofore, was an 'organic' impossibility. So, in the spirit of confirmation-bias, I am pencilling-in some peaches. There is a spot at the bottom of the farm I call the 'gravity point,' and it would love a ring of peaches. I won't guarantee them 6 years-out, but right now I'm rather looking forward to them.

In a total non-non-sequitur regarding the tractor and more trees: As always, if you know of any prospective Summer members, send them my way, and I'll send money yours. The farm breaks even at 25 shares, and we are up to 5 paid at this point, which, if my calculations are right, means we still have room. ;)

I forgot to show everyone the tomato book last week. If you missed it, we now have a book of the photos and stories behind the 97 varieties of tomatoes planned for this summer. Fun.

Be so well,
See you on the farm,
Austin

Veggies
Dry Beans
   - Carolina Crowder
   - Kenearly Yellow Eye
   - Kebarika
   - Midnight Black Turtle
   - Quincy Pinto
Leeks
Popcorn - Cherokee Long
Winter Squash
  - Long Island Cheese
  - Seminole

Roots
Beets
Carrots
Celeriac
Kohlrabi
Onion
Parsnip
Potato
Sunroot
Sweet Potato
Radish, Winter
Rutabaga
Turnip, Winter

Medicinal Roots
Ashwagandha
Burdock / Gobo

Culinary Herbs
Cilantro
Garlic
Hot Pepper

Tea Herbs
Anise Hyssop
Basil, Italian
Catmint
Chocolate Mint
Lemon Balm
Lemongrass
Peppermint
Shiso
Spearmint
Sunset Hyssop
Thai Sweet Basil / Horapa
Tulsi / Holy Basil

 The rhubarb started to wake-up, so I got busy moving it.

The rhubarb started to wake-up, so I got busy moving it.

 I couldn't get them all in the shot. About 15 vultures enjoying the new spring thermals. I also saw 100+ geese vee-ing north that same afternoon. Remembering an old Henry Bugbee quote, I watched them pass by, then just before they left, hurried as fast as I could to count one side of their formation, and then double for a total. Even after farming in Maryland on a tributary of the Chesapeake, I've never seen so many.  “Friday, October 30, 1953 … A flock of wild geese passed over our house – geese such as I have often attended to most cleanly before – and I rushed to the window all-eagerness for them, but with a slightly spoiling expectation. I counted them all before they disappeared in the stormclouds downwind – there were forty-five. On telling of them and their number I met with a true question:  If you counted them, how could you have seen them?  ”     --Bugbee, Henry. “The Inward Morning: A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form.” (1958).

I couldn't get them all in the shot. About 15 vultures enjoying the new spring thermals. I also saw 100+ geese vee-ing north that same afternoon. Remembering an old Henry Bugbee quote, I watched them pass by, then just before they left, hurried as fast as I could to count one side of their formation, and then double for a total. Even after farming in Maryland on a tributary of the Chesapeake, I've never seen so many.

“Friday, October 30, 1953 … A flock of wild geese passed over our house – geese such as I have often attended to most cleanly before – and I rushed to the window all-eagerness for them, but with a slightly spoiling expectation. I counted them all before they disappeared in the stormclouds downwind – there were forty-five. On telling of them and their number I met with a true question: If you counted them, how could you have seen them?
   --Bugbee, Henry. “The Inward Morning: A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form.” (1958).