Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bits And Pieces

There are many things that take place on small farms, as well as large farms, that most people don't think about. This is not a critique. It is simply a reflection of not knowing what goes on behind the scenes. We might be familiar with the outcome of a particular vocation, but have no awareness of the day to day tasks of a particular line of work. When it come to food, we eat food, we might even have a family garden, but what a farmer actually has to do in order to bring food to your table is not something that most do not pay much attention to. In that knowledge is power, knowing how your food gets from farm to table might enable you to better appreciate and enjoy what you are consuming; especially if what you are eating comes from a local farm. The bias here is that organic produce is the best way to go. Local and sustainable agriculture, even if not organic, is a great way to go.

Before showing some of the details that go into a farm operation there is some flattering news about Farmer David and Z Food Farm. In the June 2 issue of U.S. 1 (a weekly 'newspaper' that identifies itself as "Princeton's Business and Entertainment Newspaper) there was an article by Pat Tanner (pg. 19) about David and Z Food Farm. It's a very nice article about David and how he has reached this stage of his life. If you are interested in reading the article go to, click on the archives tab to locate the June 2 edition and then go to page 19. (One correction- David does go to Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, but the market is on Saturday [9:30-3:00], not Sunday as mentioned in the article.) As has been mentioned previously, David has benefited from the assistance and support of other local farmers, especially Farmer Matt of Cherry Grove Organic Farm; also in Lawrenceville, NJ. The farm community in the broad, general area in which David lives (Mercer County, NJ) is comprised of some pretty great people. To be repetitive, if you go to a farmers' market far more often than not the farmer will be there and will be quite happy to answer your questions about the food you are buying from them. Here's to farmers and farming. Without them you would get pretty hungry.

Previously you've seen a picture of the posts. Here are the posts that have been wired. The wires are hooked up to electricity. You might think to yourself, why? Simply answer- deer; lots of them. Without a deer fence the farmer would be feeding the deer, not you. Each wire that you see was placed where you see it with one person going all the way around the field- one strand at a time. Another one of those tasks that seems (and does) to take for ever.

It's a BLUE SNAKE!!!! No, it is the tubing that carries the water from the well head next to the barn out to the field. This blue tubing is connected to black tubing- into this black tubing 'faucets' are punched into the sides and attached to the 'faucets' is the drip tubing which delivers the water to the rows of plants. Ah, drink my little hearty's.

A single piece of the blue tubing is not used. There are a number of sections which are attached by the connectors that you see.

Here is a picture of the field. Some plants are covered by the 'white cloth' that you see. This is intended to keep out at least some of the insects. It also provides a little extra warmth to the plants as they get started on their journey from seed to field to harvest to being eaten.

Weeds are pernicious and combating them is an ongoing endeavor. One weapon in David's arsenal is a flame weeder. It is used to burn weeds in planting beds prior to seeds being directly seeded into the bed. Getting to the weeds early gives the newly planted seeds a better opportunit to germinate and to not be over matched by the weeds. In the second picture you can see intern Gregg having way to much fun burning the weeds.

A quick word- today, June 12, marked David's initial appearance at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers' Market in Philadelphia, Pa. There will be more about this in the next post. For now Farmer David wants to extend his thanks to all who stopped by, whether a purchase was made or not. He looks forward to spending the months ahead getting to meet people and to bring his high quality produce to Philadelphia.

Good health and happy eating to one and all.
Peace and hopefulness to one and all.

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