2017, May

Farm update – 5/21/2017

For this week’s Whole Farm basket, choose two large items and two small items from the lists below.

  • Large items: salad medley mini-heads (8 oz), Swiss chard (8 oz), squash/zucchini medley (1.75 lb), eggs.
  • Small items: carrots (12 oz), potatoes (12 oz), yellow squash (10 oz), herb sampler.

We are definitely arriving at the end of spring. We have harvested the last of our lettuce, carrots, and potatoes, and will have them available until we run out. Peppers and cucumbers are trickling in, but the stubborn tomatoes aren’t quite ready yet. I’ve been able to sample a couple of grape and cherry tomatoes that were ready earlier than their peers, and I can’t wait until they are all fully ready to harvest! Nothing quite says summer like the taste of vine-ripened fresh tomatoes.

IMG_20170521_162610235 This past week we received the first of our marketing materials, a postcard-sized flyer, that was developed utilizing our Fresh from the Farm grant from Southwest Georgia Farm Credit. If you would like to distribute any to family or friends who might be interested in our organic vegetables, fresh eggs, or raw honey, just let us know how many you’d like, and we’ll be glad to get them to you!

As we transition to the summer crops, we’re somehow ending up with some spare time. Or maybe it’s just that we’re working the same amount, but it doesn’t totally fill late spring’s longer days. This means we finally have time to relax some (yay!), but also to get around to farm work that maybe isn’t strictly necessary but falls more along the lines of tinkering and innovating to make future planting, maintenance, or harvesting easier. This weekend’s fun project involved a trip to the “bamboo forest”, lopping shears, zip ties, and voila! a trellis was erected over our tiger eye beans in no time, at almost no cost. The tiger eyes will be healthier, happier, and it should make harvesting time a whole lot less back breaking.

IMG_20170521_141928089.jpg

In between rain showers this weekend we were able once again to check on our bees. I felt pretty sure that this was the week we’d know for certain whether our two iffy hives were going to make it or not and indeed the answers were very clear. Our “orchard bees” do have a queen, which is great! I found her almost immediately upon going into the hive, and wasn’t really even looking for her, as I’d all but given up on that hive. She doesn’t appear to be the most productive queen bee ever, but we got them back to the bare minimum, just a single medium hive body, and hooked them up to a sugar water feeder, and maybe all of that together will be enough to get them back on track. The other hive, established from the captured swarm, was just the opposite. No queen, no brood, no bees that even really seemed to be residents of that hive. Wax moth larvae and hive beetles were abundant. With nothing there worth saving, we disassembled that hive and are back down to the hives we’d originally planned to have this year. We certainly gave it our best shot, and learned a lot about bee management along the way. We know for next year to be extra vigilant about imminent swarming, and will take preventative measures to try to keep it from happening again!

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