Monday, March 25, 2013

Farm School-Week Four


This week a lot was covered at Farm School.
Not sure I'll remember every detail,
but it's a wonderful place to be.
I'm finding that mindfulness is a constant discipline here.
That's something that I can use a lot more practice doing.


Presence is more than just being there.
-Malcolm Stevenson Forbes



First thing we did was check on the kales, beans and maters.


 Lynn has two different kinds of netting on the crops,
aiming to keep out unwanted critters.



 The kales, especially, are susceptible to worms.



 The tomatoes are growing strong
and producing clusters of fruit.


It won't be long...


and there are more of these beauties coming...


 We checked on the delectable peas.
Lynn and Faye had recently worked on tucking the vines
inside the baling twine, to keep the aisles clear
and give more support to the crops.
We also reseeded a few rows.





I'm happiest when my hands are in the dirt.



Here, Lynn explained to me how he had cut back 
the New Zealand spinach.
The stuff grows like gangbusters!
It's a great addition to a salad and bolsters one's iron sources.


 The broccoli is still putting off shoots of the most tender sprouts,
even though some of it is flowering.


The upcoming eggplant looks healthy and vibrant.
I was able to harvest a few lovely specimens 
from the remaining plants.


 Two varieties of leeks are being grown.
It'd be interesting to sample each and compare their taste.


 The dill seed is almost ready for harvesting.
Isn't it a wonder how Mother Nature provides sustenance
in such an amazing package?



I learned about the importance of investing in quality equipment.


Now the REAL fun begins...


We were going to sow seeds and Lynn showed me his method.
One of the crops we're starting today is Roma tomatoes.
He's never tried growing them before,
but a certain someone (wink) suggested it for her homemade gravy
and he was gracious enough to oblige.
Cluster packs are reused as needed,
so he's got quite a stash.
We're all about the recycling here!


 Tools of the trade...
 (Tweezie and The Levelator)


 His secret mix is loaded into the trays and leveled.


 Ready for sowing.


Only non-GMO seeds are used here.
 Some seeds are so tiny,



 they are put in using tweezers for precise placement.
One seed per cell is all that's required.



Trays are marked with the variety and date
then placed in this double rack system.
(He also records his efforts on his ongoing log.)
A good sprinkling of water will foster germination.
A plastic lid is placed on top to preserve moisture.



How blessed to be learning from someone so skilled.
The methods I am being taught
could be so well adapted to the application I have in mind.
I'm picturing Maple Hill and all of its beneficiaries.




Seems like it's all coming together...
Be blessed!