Look who we caught in the hen house. Twice now! Both times she spit out an egg halfway in her mouth. In spite of losing an egg or two, we are glad to see her around because she is certain to be eating some of the many mice who have been chowing on the chicken feed over the winter and on into the spring.
Friday, June 7, 2013
A new idea is coming to our area. At Durham.LocallyGrown.net, you can look up what produce, meats, dairy and other products are available, prepay by Tuesday, and pick up on Thursday. The market is easy to use because you can shop at home and know what you are getting ahead of time. On pick up day you are prepaid and just have to swing by and get your box. Growers are local and list their farming practice (certified organic, no pesticides, conventional, etc.) on the growers page. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Fourth Annual Great Tomato Festival, Saturday July 20th, 2013
Family fun, Farm tours, Musicians, tomato cooking contest, Taste 40+ tomato varieties
- Short seminars with expert advice on which varieties to plant
- Information on caring for tomatoes in the garden.
- Great ways to cook tomatoes.
- Tours of University Farm research plots.
- Activities for children.
Admission: $5 per person
Children under 10 and tomato cook-off entrants FREE.
Click here, then scroll down to the bottom of the list for a map of the farm location. NCAT&T is located in Greensboro.
Friday, May 24, 2013
This week 7th grade cleaned the chicken coop while the chickens looked on.
Winter held on to our broody hen, Oreo, while her "nest" was cleaned.
One of many fresh eggs collected before cleaning out the coop.
Sarah Sophia in the middle of the job.
Meanwhile, outside the coop, the rain barrel has been thoroughly filled to overflowing.
Someone felt the need to wash their toes in the rain water.
All the rain has also given us plenty of clay to play with.
Batian loves weeding carrots so much that he is jumping for joy! OK, maybe not really... Daniel, our photographer for the day, took this shot multiple times until he got it just right.
Meanwhile other members of the class prepared a bed for the cucurbits.
Sarah found some interesting things while prepping the bed...
World's longest worm.
And, the rarely seen Emerson Gnome. He agreed to have his picture taken in Sarah's hand as long as we didn't show his face. Worm included for size comparison.
Friday, May 17, 2013
This Monday was a flower day on the Biodynamic calendar and the garden made the best of it. It was cool and sunny with a slight breeze that made the plants and flowers dance and kept everyone's spirits high.
Noah and Alex went to the horse barn to collect rain water for the new jauche barrel. Our jauche is made of a mix of weeds and rain water, allowed to ferment for 3 weeks or more and then poured on our plants as a liquid compost.
Meanwhile, Maite and Mia fill up a wheelbarrow with some finished jauche so they can feed the flowers.
Mia didn't much care for the smell of the jauche.
But the smell of the flowers they were feeding more than made up for it.
Even though it doesn't smell so good, it is beautiful work.
And in honor of our flowers, here are just a few that were blooming on Monday.
Friday, April 19, 2013
This week the camera came to third grade where it caught each of the four third grade groups working on their task of the day.
The Earth Group emptied the kitchen scraps from the classroom into kitchen scrap compost pile and then rinsed the bucket.
We collect our kitchen scraps in one area for five weeks and then spread them in one big layer onto our big compost pile which also gets layers of horse manure, chicken bedding, hay and weeds.
When they were done with the kitchen scraps, Earth group sprinkled the Barrel Compost preparation that 7th grade had stirred for them earlier that day.
The Fire Group worked hard, clearing the weeds out of a new bed to get it ready for planting.
The Water Group harvested. Here you can see them picking swiss chard.
The Air Group helped set up an experiment in weed control. Instead of digging up the weeds, we decided to cover the whole bed, weeds and all, with paper and then plant seeds through the paper. Here's hoping it works!
Earlier in the week, Jim Mueller came by the farm and helped to cut the split ends off of the siding for our shed. We hope to have it finished before school gets out.
Around the garden...
The rye cover crop is growing beautifully. Rye has long roots that help to break up clumps of clay deep down and provides organic matter for the garden. We cut it and turn it under before it goes to seed, then wait three weeks and, voila! we have a lovely bed full of rich humusy earth.
Last year's third grade made these beautiful stepping stones which were completely hidden by weeds in the flower beds this spring. We had a couple of very mucky spots along well worn travel ways so the stones got moved to keep our feet from getting too wet. They do a great job and they are beautiful. Thank you Mrs. Comaniciu's class!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
This week we began applying fermented weed tea to the beds again. Fermented weed tea is pretty much what it sounds like. We fill a large barrel about half full of weeds, then add water to the top and wait at least three weeks. The result is a nutrient rich, liquid compost that can be used to water the plants and give them a boost. According to biodynamic thought, the concentrated remains of the weeds also discourages those particular varieties of weeds from growing again. Below are some pictures of our weed tea and a few other pictures of the day, taken by Pascal.
Emptying the weed tea barrel.
Carrying weed tea to the garden.
Annalyse, our beekeeper.
Daniel weeds the parsley.
Tendril on one of last year's vines.
Senposai, ready to be put into a bed.