April Showers

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!

Lettuce patiently waiting its turn to be planted.

Lettuce patiently waiting its turn to be planted.

Potato plants off to a great start.

Potato plants off to a great start.

Preparing the field for spring transplants.

Preparing the field for spring transplants.

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Brrrr!

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.

Some of the seeds we ordered for this year.

Some of the seeds we ordered for this year.

ricosnow2

Rico, our farm dog, playing in the snow.

2014 in Review

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.

Funky and delicious tomatoes!

Funky and delicious tomatoes!

Squash at the market.

Squash at the market.

Fall radishes.

Fall radishes.

Winter projects

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.

Gus inoculating logs with shiitake mushroom spawn.

Gus inoculating logs with shiitake mushroom spawn.

Teal with the new shiitake logs.

Teal with the new shiitake logs.

Eggs from our flock of laying hens.

Eggs from our flock of laying hens.

Exciting news!

We’ve just received word that Pine Fork Farm will be a vendor at the Carytown Farmers Market this year. The market is on Sundays from 11am-3pm in the parking lot of Carytown Cleaners, 3300 W. Cary St, Richmond, VA.  The first market of the season will be April 14th, so mark your calendars! This also means that we are able to confirm the Carytown Farmers Market as a pickup site for the CSA. Shares are still available and you can find the updated registration form and more detailed information here.

Straw mulch on the asparagus beds.

Straw mulch on the asparagus beds.

2013 CSA

Registration is now open for the 2013 Pine Fork Farm CSA!

You can find the registration form and check out all the details here. There will be a limited number of shares, so make sure you get your registration in early!  If you’re new to the concept of Community Supported Agriculture, joining a CSA is a great way to familiarize yourself with seasonal eating while helping to support a local farmer.

Also,  check it out:  Richmond Chef Michele Humlan made a salad featuring my radishes and blogged about it over at River City Good Eats!