Over the Fence Urban Farm


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Field Report: April 6, 2017

It’s been a busy week and getting busier everyday. Here’s a quick look at what’s been happening on the farm.

Chicken run unwrapped! The girls are very happy to have the air flowing again.

…very happy hens.

The work table and area was emptied and out for spring cleaning.

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Unearthed a mouse corpse in the process.

New CSA member John Grimes helped us move one of the two compost bins. One more to go.

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Spring garlic planting experiment…

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.…with help from Mia Grimes.

Transplated radicchio and kale with new CSA member Benn Vaughn.

I planted a green onion vortex.

 

 

 


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Welcome to the 2016 Season!

In keeping with the unusually mild winter weather we enjoyed this year, overnight temperatures  are predicted to be above freezing for the foreseeable future.  That means it’s time to get the farm back in action. Here’s what it looked like yesterday morning. IMG_4994

The chickens have wrecked havoc on the beds all winter, scratching and kicking straw and soil every which way. Going into our third season it was time to remark our beds anyway – some had shrunk by a couple of feet on the ends – so the girls kind of did us a favor.

With help from die-hard CSA member Melissa, we got started measuring, moving and prepping the soil, and put a few trays of greens in the ground.IMG_4995

These babies were hardened off and ready to embrace the cool crisp air. (clockwise from top left- radicchio, lacinato kale, buttercrunch lettuce, rainbow chard, and romaine)

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Melissa pulled the plants from the trays…IMG_4991

…and I tucked them into their freshly (re)made beds.IMG_5010

Then we covered them with a frost blanket (sorry no photo), just in case Jack Frost comes back around this way.

Next week: The Return of Happy Hour on the Farm!


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Farm Fresh Start

New Year’s is all about fresh starts. For lots of people this means cleaning up what they eat. Following that tradition, Over the Fence held our first winter harvest salad party today.

After a short, finger-numbing time in the field, we shared a quick bite to eat with some of our most intrepid CSA members. We even sent them home with some goodie bags to keep them on the path to a healthy new year. Hope you find ways to be clean and green in twenty-sixteen!

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I Heart Our CSA!

This afternoon our CSA members turned up and knocked out some seriously good and important work. Here are a few highlights.

Sarah and Emily helped my harvest nearly 40 lbs of new potatoes. Then Melissa helped me replant the row with some quick growing haricot-vert and cilantro.

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Carrie harvested beans that have already come in.

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Liz and Melissa did some heavy weeding to help prep the old garlic bed for fall crops.

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Elizabeth pruned basil and Sarah followed behind with fish fertilizer.

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Pam worked her magic on the tomatoes.

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And Andrew checked after the irrigation system.

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Love you guys.


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2015 Post-Compost Post

I’m tired.

There’s still a pile of compost on the driveway, but it’s less than half the size it was this morning. And it’s only there because I didn’t let folks mulch non-farm related areas. Those feel like personal responsibility. Not because we couldn’t have moved it all in a single day. So, once again, I am amazed by what a small group of people can accomplish when we come together and set our head, heart, and hands to it.

Here are a few highlights from the day.

The kids went worm hunting,

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and they took the new wheelbarrow out for a roll.

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Henry and Marc assembled our new farm toy – the broadfork.
Then Henry, David, and Andrew put it to work.

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Cora, Melissa, Kate, Pam, Elizabeth, and I planted and transplated – leeks, cabbage, radicchio spinach, radish, kale, chard, peas, and fennel.

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Then Carrie and I put them all to bed under a nice frost blanket.

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And, of course, we moved about 7 yards of compost! (Go early team that didn’t get caught on film – Jess, Kathy, Damon, Emily, Mark, and Joanna, and Sarah!)

Looking Southeast – Before and After

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Looking Northwest – Before and After

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It was a VERY good day.


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It’s Time for the 2015 Compost Mosogi!

Last I posted here, the 2015 Compost Misogi was just a seed. That seed sprouted, took root, and will bloom this Sunday when CSA folks come by throughout the day to help us spread 10 yards of Price Farm Organics Zoo Brew compost all over the farm.

Everytime I talk or write about this, the voice inside my head sounds like a sports announcer, and I’m cool with that. This event has all the makings of a great test of endurance and determination – physical challenge + finite task.

Yesterday I picked up another load of burlap coffee bean sacks from Crimson Cup and laid them out in the paths between our rows. Don’t want folks sinking too deep in the early spring mud we’re sure to have. Sadly, it’s raining as I type, and we’re only 36 hours from the opening bell, but the pile is safely waiting for us under the world’s largest tarp. Thanks, Jenny! Something borrowed and blue for good luck, right?

Here’s the field looking southeast.

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And northwest.

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You can be sure there will be after shots.


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A Harvest Worth Waiting For: Sweet Potatoes

Melissa.

Melissa.

Sweet potatoes are a long-term commitment.

(Like garlic which we are actively working on getting in the ground so we can reap the reward eight months from now…)

Early in the season our dear friend and CSA member Melissa suggested the idea of an x-ray machine that would allow us to see below the surface, to see the sweet potato tubers growing. I loved that idea and referenced it over and over in my mind and in conversation. Last week I broke down and pulled the soil from atop one of our 25 plants. The results were totally amazing. tubers that measured over a foot in length and weighed over 5 lbs.

Getting the rest of the crop out of the ground the past few days has been like digging for buried treasure. Now, the long wait ’til they are cured, sweetened by time (and some ambient heat and humidity in the basement next door), and ready to eat. You can be sure these will be part of our Thanksgiving feast.

Early June. Sweet potatoes were in the row to the right with the black plastic.

Early June. Sweet potatoes were in the row to the right with the black plastic.

Field pre-harvest.

Pre-harvest. (Since June sweet potatoes moved north and south taking over where carrots (to the left/north) and garlic (to the right/south) were.

Post-harvest.

Post-harvest.

Jodi.

Jodi.

Pam.

Pam.

Potato Fork.

Potato Fork.