The Harvest News
March 4, 2016
What does a beekeeper do in the winter? How about make a website? It is not nearly as much fun as having your hands in an open colony of honey bees but it has been on the agenda for a very long time, which is where it would have stayed if not completed before spring. The website now presents a running list of available product for sale, prices, serving suggestions, and an update about how all the living things are progressing. Since all the humans around this farm are camera shy, the animals have taken over the Farmer’s Gold Facebook page. They are now employed to market the vegetables, the hay and the honey in addition to their lawn mowing, scratching, browsing, plowing and pollinating responsibilities (they feed their Farmers too). Farmer's Gold Honey Twitter is linked to Facebook and communicates short announcements. Would you like to buy some product? Contact me by email, text or phone to place your order and arrange a pick up time. During the winter, pick up times are by appointment.
February 8, 2016
It has been a tough week or two for winter vegetables. Too much rain actually flooded the high tunnel and some veggies were partially under water. Surprisingly, they endured no ill effect. The leaves are as dark green as ever and the roots are still brightly colored. All is tasty and well. The mizuna is growing back after having been consumed over the holidays. The beets are available. They are smaller than the autumn beets but even sweeter. Spinach, parsley green onions and chervil remain plentiful. Kale is still available but the only ones who really appreciate it are the goats. Four or five leaves of kale and the goats’ eyes light up like Christmas trees and they are all hugs and kisses to whoever gives it to them. There is nothing like seeing an animal happy with her vegetables.
A couple dozen or so carrots were excavated this week yet the supply in the high tunnel remains plentiful. Rocks and hard patches of soil emboss dents and waves on the majestically sized carrots while other rows of carrots are more normally sized and shaped. The cold January soil does nothing to the carrots but make them sweeter and sweeter. With a little slab of butter and a squirt of honey, a roasted winter carrot could even pass for a dessert. The kale, chervil, parsley, and spinach are plentiful. Such a display of the color green refreshes the high tunnel and the kitchen with visions of spring. The beet inventory is low, but delicious. Green onions were slow to join the party but they are here now. The honey inventory is woefully low.
December 21, 2015
Bittersweet news that the acorn squash, the butternut squash and the spaghetti squash have all been delightfully consumed. Next year…the winter squash needs a lot more space. Those squash proved to be so versitile, convenient, shelf stable and delicious that they have earned a position on the big field, next to the alfalfa and the honey bees. The winter squash maintains freshness for months so it really does not need high tunnel protection anyway, and that will leave more room in the tunnel for beets, carrots, and winter greens. But it is time to get serious about eating those pie pumpkins, carrots too. Meanwhile, spinach and chervil is plentiful. Parsley and green onions are moderately available.
December 11, 2015
The veggies continue to hold their own in the high tunnel. Slow growth is as expected for the time of year, but even slow growth is really not necessary for the root vegetables. The carrots and the beets are quite large. The carrots are so large that they could be considered mining material rather than pulling material. Spinach is plentiful. Mizuna is finally big enough to eat, although much of the mizuna patch has yet to emerge. Acorn squash is sold out but a few butternut squash remain available as do plenty of pie pumpkins. The rest of the high tunnel ground is being prepared to grow perennial Mediterranean herbs in the spring. Meanwhile, the honey bees are staying put in the apiary, huddling around the queen and sipping a steady supply of their honey.
November 23, 2015
November 16 was meteorological winter this year. Only ten hours of daylight shone that day and young sprouts are not expected to appreciably grow until meteorological spring, when the daylight hours surpass ten again (January 28 but who’s counting). The current vegetable crop can maintain itself under the protection of the high tunnel and some ambitious green leafy vegetables may put on some height. Fortunately, the Asian green mizuna finally sprouted through the cool but protected soil, just in time for winter keeping.
November 9, 2015
A second Indian Summer made the living easy around the farm last week. All the plants and animals got a hearty serving of sunshine. Everyone enjoyed a break from maneuvering around the weather elements. The honey bees would seem to have benefitted, yet the November warmth was even more of a tease to them. The bees expected to find flowers amidst warm air and bright skies. But the flowers were lost to autumn’s frost and the honey bees were just plain mad about it.
October 24, 2015
Who opens a farm stand and sells fresh vegetables on October 23 of any year? That must be someone growing vegetables in a tropical paradise, or at least in the southern hemisphere. Or, it could be someone who orders vegetables from afar and sells them at a farm stand. But no! These vegetables are grown in a season extension high tunnel here in central Indiana. That is, just to your right, or your left, depending on where you are located. They are grown in -season and picked right before you get to the stand. They are available for harvest all winter, unless someone eats them sooner.