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farming

Starting to feel like summer

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Starting to feel like summer

With the temperatures soaring into the nineties, it's time to shift into our hot-weather schedule! This means early mornings followed by a tactical retreat to inside chores (like writing this blog) during the brutally hot midday. Even the chickens take an extended siesta in the shade. Luckily, with daylight hours stretching indecently into the evening, all the work manages to get done.  With the advent of summer heat, our spring crops (like peas and lettuce) are making their exit, and summer crops (like squash and beans) are starting to come on. There hasn't been rain for awhile. Luckily we captured about 1100 gallons of those April/May showers and that H2O bank is seeing us through nicely. Still, we wouldn't complain if the predicted rain gave us a break from hand-watering!

Another six healthy chicks hatched this week, bringing our total chicks for the year up to 26. That should be more than plenty for our flock to replenish itself! Going into fall we should have about a dozen new laying hens and a dozen roosters in the freezer.

This week everyone is getting salad mix and peas, as it might be the last for a while. Some of you are also getting kohlrabi, a bulb related to kale and broccoli which you can eat raw or cooked. It goes great in slaw or chicken salad, or you can slice it and roast it, or throw it in a stir fry.

We hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of spring, and managing to keep cool!

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Our Farm Share is starting!

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Our Farm Share is starting!

Welcome to the first week of the 2017 Rosy Buck Farm share! We are looking forward to providing you with delicious vegetables all summer long. This week many of you will be receiving garlic scapes. These delicious and mild curlicues occur when the garlic plant sends up a flower stalk. Since we want the plant to put its energy back into the bulb, we snap the tender stalk off and get to eat it! You can use them anywhere you would use garlic, we love them in eggs, pasta, pizza, or sauteed with veggies. The scapes are also mild enough to put in a potato salad, chicken or egg salad, or anywhere you want to spice things up.

Many of you are also getting radish pods, which look like funky green beans. All radishes put out seed pods after they bolt and flower, but usually they are very tough and stringy. This variety of radish, the Rat's Tail Radish, is grown only for the pods, you don't harvest the radish at all. These crunchy pods are great in salads or wraps, and have a light radish taste. They can have a bit of heat to them, like a radish, but if you give them a quick stir fry or a light roast they mellow out!

We are busy getting all of our starts out of the greenhouse and into the field, it seems like there is always more than we have time for! Last week we put out a bunch of cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and two days later they were all bitten off at ground level by rabbits. Needless to say, we were a bit upset, and are now trying to figure out the best rabbit deterrents. Delta, our Great Pyrenees, is great at keeping deer and chicken predators away, but rabbits are below her radar.

We also had a surprise hatching of chicks over the weekend, which is always fun. This hen apparently decided that behind an old bike in the shed was a good place to go broody, and now we have 10 new chicks! As an added bonus, we think most of them will eventually lay olive-colored eggs like their mother. 

The above photo is our daughter in a little tent we made for her one  day out in the field, we are always trying to find ways to keep her occupied and out of the sun! 

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Spring is here!

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Spring is here!

We enjoyed our winter "break," though with markets until Christmas, seed orders in January, and planting by Valentine's day, it went by fast! But we still had a great time visiting family out in Massachusetts and planning for the upcoming season. Now we have been planting both inside and out for a good six weeks and both the greenhouse and the fields are full of spinach, pak choi, salad mix, onions radishes, beets, carrots, collards, cauliflower, peas, and more! Our goal is to double production from last year and so far we are on track. Since our beds are already built and full of healthy compost from last season, we are well ahead of where we were this time last year. 

The big news of winter is that we are expecting another baby! Holly is due in late July, so we will just see how that affects everything. She still has no trouble tackling farm work, although bending over too much is starting to get uncomfortable, and there is a lot of bending over in small-scale no-till farming! But, we have plenty of support and can't wait to meet the new little one! We keep thinking back to when Holly was pregnant with Mira, and we were hitchhiking in France and having to haul heavy backpacks around, thank goodness that isn't the case this time!

Even with the cold snaps, fertility is everywhere; one of our hens went broody and successfully hatched an even dozen chicks who are all healthy and active! So far they have been in their own cozy, protected room in the barn but soon we will start letting them outside. We have two other broody chickens who are also sitting on large clutches so we might not have to buy in any new chicks this year!

Farmers' markets are fast approaching, and we are excited for our second year here in Missouri! We can't wait to get back to Schlafly and Wildwood. We still have some spaces left in our Rosy Buck Farm share, check out our Build Your Basket page to see all of our options! Until next time!

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