Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oyster Mushrooms

Fifth grade planted oyster mushrooms 5 weeks ago.  They did great for their first 3 weeks, but when they began to poke out of their mushroom bags, they did not fare well.  There just wasn't enough moisture in the classroom for them and too many books to be spraying extra water around.  

I took them home for the break and have been spraying them 3 to 5 times a day.  You can see below how well they have done.  These are daily shots of the same bunch.

 Dec. 21

 Dec. 22

 Dec. 23
 Dec. 24

Dec. 25

 Dec. 26

 This is the bunch with the largest mushrooms.

And this is the largest bunch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Artistic Photography of the Farm

Our photographer this week was Sarah Sophia.  She took a lot of beautiful shots of the people, plants and buildings that make up the farm.


 Denis and Noah



 Sarah Grace

 Broccoli crowning

 Cabbage coming to a head.


 Gill over the Ground and Speedwell

 View from inside the greenhouse

 Parsnip forest

 Pine needles and pine cone.


 Shelf fungus

 Squash left over from fall celebrations

 Water on kale

 Wiregrass root.  Get that out of the bed!!

 Weeding garlic


Ian's holiday cactus

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Day With Third Grade

Each week when third grade arrives at the farm, they break into four groups.  Each group performs a task.  

This week everyone helped to bring the leftover hay bales down to the farm from the Holiday Fair archery area.  The hay bales will be used for seating during the high school bonfire.

Once the hay bales were stacked, Earth group harvested lettuce and shiitake mushrooms

It was an unusually big harvest so the bucket ended up full to overflowing.
Fire group painted sealer on some of the siding for the new shed. 
Air group cleaned out the compost buckets and moved horse manure to the compost pile. When they were done with all that, they weeded the asparagus bed.

Water group worked on building chicken tractors.  
 These chicken tractors will be a house on top and a run on the bottom so that our girls can earn their keep by eating bugs and weed seeds in the beds and fertilizing the beds with their manure.  The tractors fit exactly over 1/3 of a bed and can be moved as often as necessary.  Once the girls have gone over a section of bed, we will make sure that crops are planted on a schedule that allows at least 120 days between harvest and the bed's last exposure to chicken fertilizer.  Thank you to Kristen McGee who came up with the blueprint for our chicken tractors, purchased materials, had the wood cut to the appropriate lengths and angles and is providing some of the tools we are working with.  As a thank you we are building two tractors, one to keep at the farm and one for Kristen to take home. 

Earth group also worked on digging out the fire pit for the high school bonfire once they were done harvesting.

Michael takes a break and lets Parker do all the work.



Many thanks to Barbara Holloway who took these amazing photos.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter Projects

Cooler weather and shorter days are upon us now.  At last it feels as if the weeds are (sort of) under control.  Now is the time for projects.

Thanks to the start of the new shed, the area just north of the garden is a regular construction zone.

Ms. Miller supervises the building of two new chicken tractors.

Camilla helps out with chicken tractor building by sitting on a board to hold it in place.  If only all jobs were this easy!

Winter fiddles with a tool.

Sarah attaches the top side support.

Both Sarah's take a break to admire their work.

Meanwhile, another crew sets up a work station for preparing the siding for the shed.

First they mark the board ends for trimming.  We need to remove any splits.

Leland and Natty bring the saw for trimming.

Another crew stirred equisetum preparation for spraying over the whole garden.  Equisetum helps to keep fungus and bacteria in the soil where it helps plant roots gain access to the minerals they need.  It also helps to keep fungus and bacteria from growing above the soil on the upper part of plants where they can do a lot of damage.

One more group worked on preparing a new space against the fence for our raspberries.

 It was a very warm day for December.  Alex needed a break.

Come to think of it, so did everyone else who was digging in the sun.

Sarah and Camilla take a break on the hay bails they helped to move.

Many thanks to Mia who was our photographer for the day.