Friday, April 27, 2012

Onions! Leeks!

Bill prepped the soil in field 3. This field has been in a manure mix (field peas, oats and hairy vetch) since last August. I have to say that hair vetch may well be my new favorite plant. It is so amazing. Spring brought it back to a vibrant green and it is growing well and smothering weed cover. It is a nitrogen fixer and adds organic matter to the soil.

About 10 days ago, Bill mowed and then cultivated and finally ran the rototiller over beds within the fields. He then shaped the beds by hand.

Today we planted onions, leeks, beets, radishes and spinach. A red, white and yellow storage onion. Leeks. Beets. (wow, 40' of beets!). Radishes. Spinach.

1 bed down. 8 to go.

Tomorrow we are off to a permaculture seminar with a friend in Westby, WI. Taught by Mark Shepherd. We are excited to meet him!

Red onions

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Planning the Planting

Being a certified organic grower has forced us to sit down and put our plans to paper. We are significantly scaling up our operation this year; we are expanding from the 3 fields that currently certified to 11 fields. All told the fields total just under 3.5 acres. Included will be the orchard and our vegetables. Although this year we are growing our vegetables for mostly our own use, we decided that certifying them is good practice for us and in case of a glut of harvest we can sell them.

Under review is also our 3 Flat Acres branding, logo and website.

We celebrated Earth Day by organizing seed and putting the plan to paper. I finally went through my seed box and weeded out (yes, pun intended) all of the outdated seeds. I found seeds from 2004!

I will also plant some more greens in the church-house garden today - seems the thing to do on Earth Day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

orchard photos

(I found my camera cord.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Garlic update

I have a lot of great photos of the garlic progress but alas, I can't find my camera cord to get them downloaded.  The weather has been tricky - the garlic is about a month ahead of where it typically is at this time of year.  We had some frost several nights last week (and forecasted again for tonight) and the garlic is definitely getting some frost damage on the tips. 

Last weekend we got the orchard planted.  24 heirloom varieties and 4 pear trees.  How I wish we had done this years ago and again I was down to the wire on making choices, but in the end we just placed the order and planted them.   We've got Liberty, Freedom, Duchess of Oldenburg, Northwestern Greening, Lodi, Wealthy, Northwestern Greening - several others that I can't remember off of the top of my head.  We planted the trees in a swale - permaculture-like. 

Bill plowed 4 more fields with the two-bottomed plow last week.  After several days he disc'd once and broke down some of the sod.  SW Wisc desperately needs some rain to help break down the plowed fields and allow him to disc again.  Then once thru with the cultivator and the tiller and we'll get it covered with a spring manure mix (vetch, oats and field peas).

Additionally, we are mapping our fields and progress on AgSquared.  It has a free trial for several months so we'll give it a try to see if it meets our needs for fieldwork, mapping, and tracking.

This is the first spring in years that I haven't started my own seeds.  We'll be buying what we can from our pal Penny who farms in Freeport.  Looking forward to seeing them and their progress on their farm!