Sunday, August 27, 2006

Harvest Time

It's been busy here at Swamp Creek Farm. I am trying to get the high tunnel up and start the simple wood shed while taking care of the field. We have most of the hay cut, but still need to finish, and now I need to till in the wheat and oat straw. I dug up the elderberries from the orchard and brought them to the house until I decide where to move them because they were so close to the fence that is probably going to have to be moved because of this upcoming eminent domain road job. Eddy and I checked the orchard trees and dug up the dead trees. I was ecstatic to find that both the Nova and Golden Spice pear trees were still alive, as are the Knobbed Russet and Egremont Russet. So along with the Fameuse that is thriving, I still have three apple trees, two pear trees, and one Bali pie cherry tree so alive. I want to place an order for trees for fall planting from St. Lawrence Nursery in New York early next week and the cost now is going to be a lot easier to bear! I think I will move the orchard to the south end of the field but still have not decided exactly where I will put everything.

Went to the Farmers Market yesterday and got all the way to Fifield before I realized that I had forgotten the change purse. I wound up being half an hour late, but Nate (a fellow vendor) graciously parked the van in a tight spot for me and I was able to get quickly set up. I was surprised at how many people were there. I sold just about all the zucchini and squash this week, my Stupice tomatoes, and all but two of the Lemon cucumbers. No one is buying my wheat bouquets yet, but I will not go down on my price. The wheat is an unusual variety for this area (Polk hard red spring wheat from Johnny's Seeds in Maine) and I spent a good two weeks sorting, counting stems and bundling each bouquet. In the garden I still have summer squash and zucchini coming, and the fall Bull's Blood beets are looking good. Those will probably be ready about the middle of September. The winter squash is looking good as are the New England Pie Pumpkins -- if I can keep the deer out of the patch! I really want to have some Blue Hubbard squash to eat. I ordered a roll of Agribon 19 from Johnny's Seeds and hopefully will have it before the full moon on September 7th (when I expect the first hard frost). If I can cover everything before hard frost occurs, I think I can keep the harvest going till the end of the farmers market. I am still hopeful about getting basil and beans, but the sweet corn and okra I think are goners. Tomorrow I will dig the sweet potatoes and Yellow Finn potatoes for next Saturday's market. Also will bring some collard greens. I love collards! I think they are the best tasting of the greens, and they are great to freeze, which I think is the best way to preserve their flavor. I will save the German Butterball potatoes for a later market.

Chin Lee and Lisa 1-7 are doing well. Most of the hens have grown back their feathers from molting and egg production is picking up again, although I expect that will not last too long with the daylight hours decreasing. Next year I will increase the flock.

We did well at the Butternut Fair this year. I was pleasantly surprised to get blue ribbons for my French cut green beans, the Dominique eggs, sugarless strawberry jam, lemon cucumbers, a Victorian crocheted doily, and my hand knitted scarecrow doll. The kosher style garlic dill pickles got a second place, and the Clarimore zucchini got third place.