Friday
Mar232012

spring has sprung.....

baby kale!We know spring came really early this year, and we should be a little concerned, but it is hard to be upset when the weather is so lovely! We have been busy doing all of those projects to get ready for spring that we thought we would do over the winter but never got to. We have also been preparing the garden for spring planting and watching the grass turn green. We will be able to get the cows out on pasture early this year, which is great for them and for us.

tomato seedlings

Little seedlings have started sprouting up in the cold frame, and I have already run out of room for all the things I want to plant. I am most excited about all of the varieties of tomatoes that have germinated. Though I am quite jealous of our friends in CA that have already set their tomato seedlings out in the ground, I am giddy with exitement anticipating our own summer bounty of tomatoes. The other exciting thing that I am experimenting with this season are sweet potatoes, which I planted whole in sand yesterday to get them to sprout little shoots, which will then be slipped off the main body and planted straight in the ground.

Given this past week's weather, and at the recommendation of trusty sources at MOFGA, we went ahead and planted some cold tolerant things in the garden- peas, spinach, arugula and even tried some beets and carrots. As the temps drop this weekend, they will all get covered with a fabric row cover which will help keep them from getting too cold. We are also happy to see our little garlic plants sprouting up out of the ground in the garden. I planted 6 hardneck varieties to see which do well and which we most like the flavor of. We will let you know what we find out! 

There are still a few spaces left in the CSA..... please help us spread the word to people who might be interested in some summer deliciousness from Winter Hill Farm!

hardneck garlic variety 'music'

Friday
Mar092012

Seeding has begun!

The cold frame is finished. Thanks to my dad for the help! So far I have seeded kale, chard, artichokes, onions, leeks, and some peppers. I expect to see tiny little kale seedlings popping up in just a matter of days, while the onions might taunt me, taking their time to slowly awaken from their slumber.

In the next few days I will also be seeding flowers, eggplants, tomatoes, and in the coming weeks all the brassicas will be seeded as well. Even though we are still along way from warm summer temperatures, just having little green seedlings to tend will make it seem like winter is a fading memory (unless of course we get slammed with snow storms in the coming weeks). 

This summer we will plant between a quarter acre and a half acre of vegetables- not a huge garden. We want to really get familiar with the land here before we start taking land out of pasture for vegetables. We also plan to plant blueberry bushes and some fruit trees to experiment with different varieties of apples, pears, peaches and cherries. I hear there may even be an apricot variety that we can grow- my favorite! 

We still have room in the CSA for the season. If you are interested or know someone who is, please visit our CSA page to learn more and to sign up. We would love to feed your family this summer!

 

 

Sunday
Mar042012

The maple trees are tapped!


 

 We have never made our own maple syrup, but it is one of the things that most excited us about farming here in Maine- the chance to learn how to tap trees and make syrup. We lucked out, because there are three massive sugar maples standing alone in the driveway.

I wasn't sure exactly when to do it, since this year was a little bit crazy with temps in the 40s most of February, but Isaac and I went ahead and put 6 taps in and we are watching the sap flow! The buckets are all about 1/3 of the way full after about 5 hours. We really have no idea hat to expect, but we hope we can put away a few quarts of syrup for the year. Isaac sure thought the whole process was pretty fun, though I am quite sure he had no idea what he was doing. I can't wait to have our very first batch of homemade syrup!


Update: we are now on day 4, though two days of the four were too cold and no sap flowed. we have harvested about 20 gallons of sap, but it is flowing swiftly today as temps reach near 60. By my estimation we should be able to get about a half gallon from that. If we are able to make a gallon total this year, I will be a very happy girl. We love maple syrup in this house!

Tuesday
Feb282012

Seeking a farm apprentice for 2012

We are so excited to be able to offer a farm apprenticeship this year. We look forward to sharing all of our farming experience with an aspiring farmer. Please read about it here or download the application. Share it with anyone you think might be interested! We are really looking forward to the spring and all the projects we have lined up for this coming year.

Saturday
Feb252012

Welcome to our new web site!

We are so excited to finally share our new site with you. Please take a look around, there is a lot of good stuff here! Feel free to give us your feedback and let us know what you think.

We want to give a shout out to Stacey Collins (www.staceycollinsdesign.com) for all her hard work and patience through this process.

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