2016, October

Farm update – 10/30/2016

Check out our online market and see what’s ready for harvest!

I can hardly believe it, but this weekend marks nearly one full year since the launch of the Calamint Farms website/blog. Weekly farm updates didn’t start until February 2016, but in the time since the launch of this site, we’ve expanded farm operations considerably (including prepping a quarter acre field for planting, then recently adding raised beds), developed a farm logo, planted and harvested more than 75 varieties of vegetables and herbs, started selling at farmer’s markets, dabbled in growing shiitake mushrooms, been worn out, rejuvenated, frustrated, and delighted by both great successes and small setbacks. It’s been so much work, and so much fun, and I hope you’ve enjoyed being on the journey with us.

At this point in the farm life cycle, we’re cautiously optimistic about the success of the fall garden. Optimistic because what’s growing in the field looks great. Greens are starting to trickle in, and will be full production before too long. Root vegetables will be ready for harvest in the next week or two, and boy am I looking forward to farm-fresh salads again!

The cautious part comes in because it feels like we’re one moment away from heartbreak at all times. One day this week we discovered half a radish bed and an entire cilantro plant had been eaten by some spicy-food-loving deer. The next day they had walked all over the row cover we’d put over the radishes for protection, rendering the row cover, and its protection, all but worthless. Today we lost half a carrot bed to armadillos digging for food. And we discovered the beginning of what could be a “game over” scenario. Three broccoli plants under a row cover had been eaten by deer. Row covers are currently our only protection against deer, so if they realize how much food they can gain access to just by nibbling through row covers, then the field will quickly become an all-you-can-eat deer buffet.

img_20161030_223022

One other (anticipated) heartbreak was realized today: there will be no fall honey this year. It’s been two months since we added empty supers to both hives, and one month since the last hive inspection. Well, we did another hive inspection today, which revealed that the bees have done in the past month what they had done the month before: exactly nothing. They continue trying, poor things, but there just isn’t any nectar for them to collect given that we received less than half the rain we should have in September and virtually none in October.

img_20161030_150145394 Fall hive inspection

We’ll keep moving forward, and hoping for the best. And we’re certainly looking forward to what the next year has in store for Calamint Farms!

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