A rainy day is a great opportunity for updating the farm blog, after planting the squash and cucumbers of course! Even though it might not be the most pleasant weather to work in, cloudy and rainy days are the perfect conditions for transplanting. We’re in a transplanting frenzy this time of year, with more and more going in the ground each week. It’s also the start of the farmers market season. We’ll be back at both the South of the James and the Carytown farmer’s markets this weekend. This spring we’ll be bringing some heirloom tomato plants to sell at the market in addition to our chemical-free produce. We’ve still got a few spots left in our CSA, so if you’ve been thinking about joining, you’re not too late! It starts the weekend of May 30th, and you can find all the details by clicking here. By joining a community supported agriculture program you are making a commitment to support a small farm, but you are also making an equally important commitment to yourself- to eat healthy locally grown food each week. See you at the market!
It sure has been a chilly February, but that hasn’t kept us away from farm work. At the end of January we attended the annual Virginia Association for Biological Farming conference. It was a great opportunity for us to get re-energized for the coming farming season, and to chat with other sustainable farmers from around the state (you can find out all the other great things VABF does by checking out their website, vabf.org). Another thing that gets us excited for the coming season is the arrival of all the seeds we ordered! This year we ended up with way more carrot seeds that we planned for, with one packet as a free gift, and one that was sent to us by accident. Combined with our brand new flame weeder, maybe this will be the year we finally kick some butt growing carrots! In addition to all the edible seeds, we also ordered a ton of flowers and herbs to create a mix of plants to attract beneficial insects. We’ll plant this around the edge of the farm to create habitat for good predatory bugs and provide consistent food for our honey bees and other native pollinators. The threat of heavy snow and record cold temperatures convinced us to delay starting some of our early season plants, but we’ve finally got the greenhouse fired up and it’s starting to feel like spring! Now is the perfect time to sign up for a share in our CSA for 2015. We still have spaces available for pickups in both Richmond, VA and from the farm in Quinton. Click here for all the details.
The 2014 farming season was a whirlwind of activity that left little time for contemplation. Looking back at the photos taken during the summer is a vivid reminder of the amazing produce we grew, and how green Virginia was even a few months ago. We trialed some crazy looking tomatoes this year, many of which will be making a return for 2015. Our bees did great things for our squash and cucumber crops, and the fall weather was perfect for radishes and turnips. We’ve been busy making our field plan for next year, a task that really starts even before the last produce is out of the ground in the fall. We’ve got lots of exciting things in the works for 2015, and one of best ways to experience them first hand is through our community supported agriculture program. Shares are now available for 2015, and you can find all the details by clicking here.
Now that the danger of frost has passed for this spring, we’ve really kicked it into high gear on the farm. The greenhouse is full of gorgeous plants and our direct seeded crops are starting to flourish in the warmer weather. We’ve been keeping busy, and so have our new bees! This spring we installed a hive of honey bees to help out with pollination on the farm. Many plants that we grow are self pollinating, or only require pollination to make viable seeds but will still make a fruit. The plants in the squash family need pollination from insects, such as honey bees, or else they won’t produce fruit at all. We’re hoping that more bees means more squash, cucumbers, and melons this year. If we’re lucky we might also get to harvest some honey from them at the end of the season. Honey bees are amazing creatures and we’re glad to have them adding to the biodiversity of the farm.
In other news: There are still shares available in our 2014 CSA. Click here to learn more. Also, farmers markets are starting back up for the season and you can find us at the Carytown Farmers Market every Sunday 11am-3pm, and starting the weekend of May 3rd we’ll be at the South of the James Farmers Market in Forrest Hill Park every Saturday 8am-noon.
We’ve certainly had our share of winter weather this year, but that hasn’t stopped us from working on some new projects. In January we started a new batch of shiitake mushroom logs, and we are expanding oyster mushroom production this year as well. Our market season doesn’t start back up until late April, but we’ve already got the first round of seedlings started in the greenhouse. If you’ve missed our eggs at the market, you might be able to find a dozen at Little House Green Grocery, along with a ton of other local goodies. Winter is also the perfect time to sign up for a share in our CSA. All the details and the registration form for 2014 can be found here.