Showing posts from March, 2008

Grow Dead Grow

From the wheelbarrow of soil (Frog Log 3/5) to the tower of seeds (Frog Log 3/10), we now have little seedlings starting to fill the flats. Here is the beginning of our salad mix; these are all flats of baby lettuce seedlings. A few nights ago I woke up with the words "grow dead grow" running through my mind. Kind of ominous when I write it, but I really didn't feel too bothered at the time. It was a weird night, but it reminded me of our very first greenhouse at the farm. We took the side off the old south-facing chicken coop and tried to figure out how to give the plants a head start. We probably didn't have much in the way of heat; I can't really remember - it was so long ago and I was so clueless about the growing process. We weren't really based on the farm much in those days -- still trying to pay for it by working in town. So, not surprisingly, a cool night came along in early spring and we either didn't notice or weren't around to place the p

Spelling it out

Being somewhat a linguaphile, I subscribe to a nifty little web offering called A Word A Day (AWAD), written by Anu Garg. Five days a week I receive a word, its definition, and its use in recent publication. The author always includes a quote from known and unknown thinkers from the past several centuries -- no specific word emphasis, but almost always thought-provoking. There is a guest author this week who seems to be a vegan and encourager of food awareness. This was a recent entry: factory farming (FAK-tuh-ree FAHR-ming) noun An industrialized system of producing meat, eggs, and milk in large-scale facilities where the animal is treated as a machine. [From the idea of operating a large-scale farm as an efficient factory.] Some of the characteristics of a factory farm include intensive crowding of animals, trimming of birds' beaks, cutting pigs' tails, force-feeding of ducks, injecting artificial growth hormones, restricting mobility, etc. A factor

Tower of Power

One son was taking the seeds up to the greenhouse -- all the seeds. And in one trip. It wasn't working so well and as he stopped in the kitchen to regroup, I realized that he was trying to carry our entire season's worth of seeds. So I took a picture and there it is. Those few boxes, with a little added sun and rain, will expand into a colorful cornucopia of vegetable nourishment. You can see that we get a lot of seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds out of Maine. I believe that Frog Holler and Johnny's both began in the same year. Johnny's has definitely thrived and a year or so ago when the founder, Rob Johnston retired, Johnny's became a company that was owned by its employees. No sell-out to Burpee or Monsanto here. Underneath the Johnny's boxes is a box of yummy "baked stuffed potatoes". Good old Fedco seed company. These guys are righteous to the core -- but does a seed company that deals in the thousands of orders, really go out and trash pic

Humble beginnings

We mixed our first batch of soil this week. There it sits in the wheelbarrow in the greenhouse. Nothing too special -- peat and vermiculite for the most part. But we'll start our first batch of seedlings in that soil. Once they have two or so "true leaves", the tiny plants will be transplanted to their little compartments -- three or four to a "cell". They will continue to grow in their new quarters until the stems are stocky and the roots established. When the weather welcomes, we will transplant the young sprouts to the field. There, good Lord willin', they will thrive in the springtime sun, rains and gentle breezes. When they have come into their varieties of vegetal fullness - mostly green and leafy - we will harvest them, wash, pack and transport to market. They will shine on the market table, waiting for you to put them in your basket. They'll ride home with you, to be washed, prepared and set on your table. From there to your plate, and then your