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Nursery Greenhouse Phase I


Every spring without fail, we make lists of all the things we want or need to do on the farm. Our lists always contain more items than any of us can accomplish in any given year, let alone the short couple of months we get once the snow starts retreating, and before the temperatures warm up enough for planting. Once that occurs, the hectic life of farming swings into full gear and some of our intentions fall by the wayside or get put off until next year. Over time, we have begun to learn how to assign priority to these tasks and choose one or two important projects each year. We are also learning to work in phases. DSC_0870

Phase 1 of our new fixed nursery greenhouse began last week. Unlike the other two, this greenhouse will be heated to start our seeds. We will also use it to raise potted plants for sale, and perhaps microgreens in the off-season. We have not even begun to figure out everything we will use it for! Very exciting! The north wall will have the composting facility behind it to help to insulate the greenhouse. We also plan to use barrels painted black inside, filled with water for a heat sink. Initally, we will heat with a propane heater, but eventually Mike hopes to build a rocket heater with a cobb, a masonry structure formed around the vent pipe of the stove which will run down the length of the greenhouse. The idea is to build one fire to heat the cobb, which in turn, gives off heat throughout the night. The propane then becomes the backup…

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The giant rock at the corner is here to stay. Made a good footing! DSC_0803 DSC_0826

Seeing Todd in shorts, you wouldn’t know that it was a blustery 40 degrees all week. The wind never stopped blowing!DSC_0804  DSC_0809

Crushed stone and then a poured footing… DSC_0840

Then the wall building began. DSC_0838

Phase 2 will involve building knee walls and anchoring the other corner pipes. We hope to have the plastic on before long, and we will have a staging area for hardening off plants. We will still use the Sanderson greenhouse for the next few weeks to get our babies growing!

A few more new things on the farm…

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Meet Wyatt, Mike and Desi’s new farm dog — a rescue mutt with a really sweet personality. He’s an awesome buddy for Charger, and even Grammie likes him!

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Also, a new paddock for Prudance and Ruby.  They are very excited about their new space to roam! DSC_0865And last but not least, I uncovered the garlic today. Looking good!

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Had to share this. It encapsulates so much of what we’re about here!

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Winter Wonderland


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Happy end of February! The weekend snowfall started as rain, but it was gentle and slow and didn’t stop anyone from getting anywhere. The snow is so beautiful, the way it sticks and glows bright in the rising sun early on a Monday morning!

DSC_0457The storm systems seem stuck in a pattern of firing off a weather event every Sunday. You wouldn’t know from seeing this, that lots of melting went on with the rain which came first, and ended with this soft fluffy sugar-coat of snow.

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It would be easy seeing this, to get locked into feeling like spring will never come.DSC_0467

The woodpile is dwindling…

 

But there’s hope! Because good things are growing… (you already know about the carrots that were planted here a week ago. We shall have to wait another couple of weeks to see anything…)

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…inside the two hoophouses!DSC_0466

There are still salad fixins in here from last fall’s planting of spinach, mache, lettuce and green onions!

DSC_0473Meanwhile, in the barnyard, Prudence gets a mani-pedi!

DSC_0480Have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

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Filed under Four Season Gardening, Greenhouse, Planting, Spring, Uncategorized

Hoophouse Planting — First Carrot Crop of 2013


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After last week’s nearly three foot dump of snow, and this weekend’s additional 4 inches, Spring seems just a rumor. DSC_0397

But not inside the hoophouse, where it reached a high of 90.6, stayed there for almost an hour and then began to drop. DSC_0398

Earlier, the beds in half the hoophouse had been turned over with the broadfork. This day, we raked out clumps of dirt and roots and smoothed the beds to prepare… DSC_0401

The hoppers of the six-row seeder were filled with pelleted seed…

DSC_0405The beds must be fairly smooth for the seeder to operate correctly. We use a short handle on the seeder that helps avoid any damage to the hoophouse walls.

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A small amount of moisture is added to the planted beds.DSC_0432As the sun begins to go down, the temperature drops rapidly, but the humidity has risen.  This is good!

DSC_0429We hurry to cover it all with a layer of black plastic. This keeps in the moisture, and helps promote even germination.DSC_0435

We install hoops over the two rows, topped with a layer of agricultural fabric. Each layer gives the advantage of a zone further south of added warmth. Since the hoophouse is unheated, this is necessary for successful germination. The carrots will come up anywhere from two to three weeks. Once they’re up, the black plastic will be removed, and we will plant a second succession of carrots. By the time we move this hoophouse in April, there will be two well-established crops for harvesting well into July!

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Fresh and Local — Dinner from the Market


There are so many great things from a farmer’s perspective about doing a farmer’s market: the chance to get off the farm and socialize with other farmers and compare notes; getting to meet new customers; meeting up with old friends; laughing at the antics of children and dogs. The icing on the cake — bringing home dinner!

Here, from yesterday’s Middleton Farmer’s Market, where people showed up with umbrellas to buy even though it was raining, we have fresh baked bread from AJ King, pork chops and spicy barbecue sauce from Open Meadow Farm, sciracha spaghatini from Valincenti, amazing fresh ricotta and peppercini cheese from Wolf Meadow Farm, kale from Gaouette Farm, and arugula from our very own Mehaffey Farm.

For dinner I cooked up the fresh pasta and added it to sauteed garlic scapes in butter. Then I mixed in several glops of the most delicious homemade ricotta ever tasted, and shrimp. Served with fresh bread…Yummy! (Sorry, no photo of the finished result, it was late we were hungry and we ate it all up!!)

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Another Eye on the Farm


We have a guest photographer today. Desi took a walk around the farm and posted these on Facebook. She has a great eye! These absolutely blew me away and I had to share. I love seeing the farm through another’s lens. I will definitely be asking for more guest photographers!!

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Filed under Antique tractor, Farm Animals, Greenhouse, Spring, Tractor, Uncategorized

Moving the Hoop House – An annual spring rite at Mehaffey Farm


“Is it moving?” “Nope.” “Yep.” The carrots are uncovered and soon we will plant baby ginger under the hoops. Turn on the sound to hear the peepers. Love Charger’s reaction.

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April 25, 2012 · 9:26 am