Monday, January 31, 2011

The Last One

Bradley - our tireless trench digger has done a heroic job of digging a trench around our fence line so that we can put in an apron of chicken wire below ground to help keep out the critters.  The south side of our fence was bordered by a row of large river birch trees whose roots were reaching into the 3rd row of beds. Using only muscle, mattock, shovel and axe Bradley has conquered them all!

Here I am on 15 Jan 2011, holding up what I affectionately call “The Last One” – the last big birch tree root I dug up during trenching the south fence line of the Emerson School’s Farm’s Garden.
The school’s Kubota tractor is in the background.  The building way in the background, with the slanted plastic roof, is the greenhouse
A picture of some weirdly “welded” together birch tree roots – this hunk of roots was a real pain to dig up – besides all the cross-links you see here, there were other roots diving down into the earth from this complex of roots.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flower Day

Yesterday (1/27) was a flower day on the Biodynamic calendar and, believe it or not, there was a beautiful flowering tree in full bloom right next to Sarah's log cabin.  I don't know what the name of this flower is, but the scent was heavenly.  Spring really is on its way!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27 and 28 work days

I plan to be working in the garden from 1 to 3 today (1/27) and 1 to 2 tomorrow (1/28).  Today we'll pull out and cut back any dead plants in the flower and herb beds and focus on continuing the fence trench with any time remaining.  Tomorrow I'd like to experiment with starting some parsley in the green house.  We'll see how well it grows given the current condition of the building.  We'll work on that fence trench some more with any remaining time.  

Next Thursday (2/3 and 2/4) look fairly promising as far as the weather goes so I'll probably be there from 1 to 3 on both days.  We may even be able to finish planting any turnips and carrots that the 3rd grade wasn't able to get to if the weather is nice enough.  Spring is on the way!!

If you are interested in coming out to the garden to work, keep checking the posts for the plan and or send me an email at if you would like to come on a different day than Thursday or Friday.

Exploring in the Rain

     Yesterday was a cold and rainy day.  When third grade gathered at the farm, we quickly emptied our kitchen scraps, cleaned out our buckets and then headed out for an exploration of the whole 16 acre section of the property that we call Emerson Farm.  The children saw diamonds (water droplets) in the trees,
     fungus growing on branches,

twisty white vines,

beautiful green mosses,

flat strips of bark from a sycamore tree, and the way the colors are so much darker and stronger in the rain.  They stopped and listened to the bouncing, rattling, pattering of rain as it came down through the branches above them.
     They discovered that the farm's boundaries are Millhouse rd., the driveway and yard of our neighbor, the railroad tracks and the playing field.  They also discovered the bed of an old pond

and the break in the dam through which the water escaped.

On their return they had the chance to leap a small creek or take the long way around and go over a wooden bridge.
     We wished that we had more time to explore and we also wished for trash bags when we walked along Millhouse Road!  All in all it was a great way to spend a rainy day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Work Schedule

Today (1/20) promises to be another warm and lovely day so I do plan to be in the garden working hard from 1:00 to 3:00.  Come on out if you're available and looking to get your hands into the ground.

Sadly, I can not be there tomorrow, but next week Thursday and Friday are looking very promising as far as the weather goes unless the forecast changes, I will be at the garden from 1:00 to 3:00 on Thursday 1/27 and Friday 1/28.  Hope to see you there!

Third Grade on January 19

The third grade had a lovely time at the farm yesterday.  It was a lovely, warm, sunny day such as we have not seen in quite a while.  The children got straight to work.  One group put overalls onto our second scarecrow and stuffed them with hay.

They also worked on sawing lengths of wood to make our new compost sifters.

Another group worked on tearing down an old structure to make way for bees in the spring.  A third group added this week's classroom scraps to the compost pile and then continued work on the trench for an underground length of chicken wire along the fence line to keep out the digging varmints.  A fourth group learned how to properly prune rose bushes and pulled up some of the dead annuals in the garden.  At end of day we shared our closing verse and said our good byes.

For the dark earth that cradles the seed.
For the rain that brings forth the green leaves.
For the stars that give form to the flowers.
For the warm sun that ripens the fruit.
For all that is good and beautiful.
Oh heavenly spirit we thank thee.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Signs of Spring

Even though it's cold and the garden is covered with ice, signs of spring are starting to pop up.  In these photos you can see a daffodil sending up a tip to explore the temperature and a lovely bunch of creasy greens.

The daffodil is still in the shade in the photo.  Pretty symbolic of where it stands in relation to spring as well.

Creasy greens are one of the first wild foods to come up in late winter/early spring.  They are in the mustard family and delicious raw or cooked.  You can find out more about them at Creasy Greens... Say WHAT??  I prefer them raw.  Straight from the plant into my mouth!

Half an Inch of Ice

I just went out to the garden and found half an inch of ice over most everything.  I pruned the raspberries, but left the ice for the sun to take care of.  It will probably need tomorrow to work its magic too so no work day tomorrow either although I may show up to drag off some of the old broken down tomato cages.

Pruning Raspberries and Covering up the Weeds

I'll be out at the farm today (Thursday, Jan. 13) and tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 14) from 1:00 to 3:00 if anyone cares to join me.  Looks like pruning raspberries and continuing our cardboard and wood chip campaign against the weeds in the paths is the order of the day.  If the ground isn't frozen it would be nice to prep another bed as well.  I spoke to our summer camp person last night and she is looking to use and care for the garden all summer!