5.15.18 Tomatoes and Potatoes!

We are very excited to let everyone know that we have started transplanting our heirloom tomatoes!

This planting is a couple weeks ahead of last years schedule, so we are hoping for some early season tomatoes! The last couple of days we have transplanted over 1,000 tomato plants! We plan to be planting tomatoes over the next month or so. Last year we had an immense amount of rain through the spring which set us back on planting because the fields were too wet. This year we feel like spring skipped us- we went straight from winter to summer weather! This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just as long as we get some rain along with the sunny weather! When it doesn't rain we are forced to be watering the plants by hand.

Along with tomatoes, we also planted potatoes! We planted some blues, some reds and some double reds (red skin and red inside). Potatoes are unique when compared to most produce because to get potatoes for this year we simply plant leftover potatoes from last year!

There are many spring jobs on the farm which we enjoy however trimming apple trees is not one of them... If it weren't essential to do, we would not do it. It's one of our least favorite jobs on the farm but we love good apples so it's a must! When we trim the trees we mainly try to cut off the water sprouts, unless more major trimming is required. If we let water sprouts continue to grow they'll turn into full branches. Water sprouts typically grow straight up reaching out to get as much sun as possible. When trimming apple trees you don't want branches overlapping, growing together or growing straight up. This causes issues as they get bigger. This is why we work hard to eliminate those sprouts to keep the trees growing healthy and producing good fruit!

3.5.18 Planting has officially begun!

Today turned out to be quite the snowy disaster out here on the farm. We're not exactly sure how much snow we got, because of the wild winds, but it's a lot!

Late season storms are always unwelcomed by us, due to the back peddling it causes us to do. We had the driveway fully cleared, most the snow melted from around it, trees tapped and the syrup boiling spot clear. Well, now the driveway is full of snow, buckets and lids scattered from the wind and our boiling spot is buried under the snow. Once the cover of the snowy night lifts we'll begin to recover. Plowing the drive, searching for buckets and uncovering what was buried.

One may ask themselves, "What do you do on the farm when it's a blizzard?" Well, we jar up honey and plant seeds! Jarring up honey and planting seeds are both long tedious tasks, but they are enjoyable in their own way. For honey, it's oddly enjoyable slowly warming up gallons of honey over multiple hours, getting it to the point of bottling. Seeing that yellow pure raw honey glistening in it's bottle as the sunlight peeks through the window.

Planting seeds is a task we start in March and goes on for months. We must strategically plant our seeds so they'll be ready for transplanting at the right time and eventually ready to put in the earth. It starts off slow, a couple hundred Black Krim here and a couple hundred Paul Robeson there (a couple of tonight’s tomatoes we planted.) It's a process that takes patience and time. It's something that we have gotten down to what some would call, "The art of planting". Starting with the perfect amount of soil, evenly spread and slightly pressed. Then we make shallow even rows for the seeds. After that we'll use our seed dropper to drop in an even amount of seeds along the row. Once the rows in the flat all have seeds we'll carefully spread the soil back down to cover the seeds and finally gently water the soil to feed the seeds!

We enjoy our "snow day" as much as the next guy, but unfortunately a farmer never gets a true "snow day" off.