Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Around The Farm: May

Broccoli harvested from the garden in our son's handmade basket
Many beds still bursting with different varieties of kale
Snap peas make perfect garden nibbles

Food Forest beginnings: Artichokes, kale, chard, sunflowers, banana, and a young hawthorn tree

Cylindra beets
Dehydrated beet chips
Strawberry beet fruit leather- try it it's amazing!
Lots of fresh cheese
Turkeys poults are growing up

Young hands jarring up honey- a sweet chore!

Drying the garlic harvest before braiding

So much to fit into these long, hot days.  Spring is feeling more like summer as we put extra mulch on the beds and get all the tomatoes, corn, squash, peppers and eggplant into the ground.  I've been feeling way behind as there are a ton of vegis to harvest and process with very little time and only a few hands keeping up all the work.  Our trio of goats are fat and due to kid in less than a month.  The stalls need to be cleaned out and bedded with thick fresh straw in anticipation of the babies we so adore.  The chickens are steadily laying away and the turkeys are growing large before our eyes.  I think those seven funny poults may have imprinted on me because they follow me everywhere squawking, "Mammma!" in turkey language.  I have become quite attached to them which is going to be problematic come Thanksgiving.  We harvested a good portion of garlic yesterday.  I'm excited to experiment with braiding both the soft and hard neck varieties later this week.  We harvested it still a bit green so the stems will be flexible instead of brittle.  We've been eating mostly out of the garden these days and can't wait for the fruit in the orchard to ripen: citrus and apricots first, then plums, apples, pears, grapes, persimmons and more...We are really praying and planning for a big harvest this year so we can put up the summer goodness for winter.  Much depends on the drought/water supply and how much our grey water can keep the soil moist.  For now, we're feeling optimistic and always filled with gratitude!

God never sends us more than we can handle. -Mother Theresa

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Day At The Green Festival

Last weekend we spent our Sunday at the Albany Arts and Green Festival.  Blessed with beautiful weather and a large crowd, we sold almost all our local organic honey, as well as many of the products from our Handcrafted Herbalim CSA. 

There was a diverse grouping of  booths at the festival; everything from solar/renewable energy to The Sierra club to The Alameda County Beekeepers Association.  We spent some time promoting our classes, discussing our farm with interesting people, and benefiting from all the giveaways (fruit trees, environmental books, compost and organic vegi starts).  

Fire Cider, Herbal Body Cream, Gardener's Salve,
Eucalyptus Lavender Salt scrub for sale

Both our honey and the model Warre hive we set up drew plenty of attention.  It was a blast talking about bees with other beekeepers and hearing about many of the local apiaries in the area. The best part of the festival was networking with so many interesting, like minded people. Of course taking home peach, apricot, and cherry trees, comfrey, globe artichokes, mugwort, and a few more starts for the garden was pretty great too.  Hurrah for the Green Festival!