(eeep! so much for the summer and all of our most sincere intentions to share happenings, whoop-de-dos, and whatnots from the farm this season. If you are interested in April-November, there is a collection of our weekly farm share member newsletters in a pdf here.)
We wrapped up our harvest season with the last farm stand market at the end of October. Some of the highlights at the market were frost-sweetened parsnips, sunchokes, lemongrass, and La Mesilla chiles (a variety originally from seed stewards, farmer friends and mentors at Monte Vista Organic Farm in northern New Mexico). Another highlight: Jeremy as a rabbit.
In the few weeks since our last market we’ve been making good use of this extended autumn. We were able to get the last two beds of garlic planted as well as a block of flower bulbs. (“a block” being a modest way of saying: “holycrap, you guys, we planted 2000 flowers, two thousand!, each variety carefully selected for highest RUSDSG potential. Hold on to your vases, friends, next spring is going to be superdooper spectacular and fantastically bloomy.”) With a surprise and very merry visit from our friend Tom K. (who is currently rocking freshman year of college with all the appropriate quantities of gusto and diligence), we finished getting the greenhouse cleaned up, overwintering crops planted, and a covercrop seeded. And our dear friends Marci and Dan came over post-work, post-sunset, post-election results for a tunnel moving party turned Champagne (well ok, sparkling wine) toasting and fire pit appreciation party. We’ve been hauling wheelbarrow loads of wood chips, compost and straw bales out to the field. And hauling wheelbarrow loads of detritus back from the field to the compost pile, which is heaped high and feeding 10 billion of our beloved microbial besties right now. The finished pile has been mostly sieved, bagged, and brought in to the greenhouse in anticipation of early spring soil blocking (we learned the hard way that sieving frozen compost in February is not a whole lot of fun). Jeremy did a final draining of waterlines in the packshed and field irrigation pipes. The packshed is cleaned up, harvest totes washed and stacked away. We had our first success at growing out and saving eggplant seed. We also saved some lovely dry bean seed, including a couple of breeding projects that we are very excited to keep working with. And, shifting indoors, we’ve been putting together more dried herb blends and teas (Trish) and carving spoons and spatulas (Jerm), getting ready for our winter pop-up market.After a whole lot of coocheecooing, ruminations and kisses, dodging of Budbill’s increasingly assertive advances, reading poetry and expressing gratitude, we slaughtered the lambs on farm early last week.
It’s quiet now and we are looking forward to a restful winter, tucked inside with an extremely inviting stack of books. We’ve also been scheming art projects, including sewing projects and block printing. With many thanks to several woolly sheep belonging to Jeremy’s family in Montana and the advice and skills of our friend Kelly at Dakota Carding and Wool and her friends at Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill, we have a big box full of beautiful wool that we will get to learn how to dye, mostly with farm grown dye plants (dyer’s chamomile, coreopsis, black walnut, oh my). And we’re looking forward to safely visiting friends and family over these next couple months, certainly many, many visits via skype and zoom. We hope this note finds you as drenched in gratitude as we are, stay safe and be well, friends.
And thank you.
Attention Spearfish farm friends! We are setting up the farm stand THIS WEEKEND for a super sparkly special winter pop-up market. Come! Tell your friends! We will have Jeremy’s handmade wooden utensils – all from farm trees. Pot holders and lamb fleeces. Farm grown dried herbs and tea blends. Chile powder! Garlic powder! Garlic braids and other winter storage crops. Stunning hand-stitched ornaments and notebooks and gift bags (made by Trish’s amazing mother). It’s an open-air market at the farm stand, we’ll be doing our very best to keep everyone safe – please mask up.