Monday, May 4, 2009

Good To See You

"Good to see you. Good to see you again. Good to see your face again. Good to see you."

The winter is over. There is the scent of spring in the air. There is the whole process of getting ready- get your compost, get your soil. Mix together the compost, the soil, and various other ingredients to have your organic soil mixture. Get the greenhouse cleaned up (sort of), get it organized (for the most part), and then start seeding. And then cross your fingers while waiting for the seeds to start germinating and then start poking their heads through the soil. Ah, so good to see you, so good to see your face again. This is David's third year at Gravity Hill, and the start of his sixth year as a farmer. (Where has the time gone?) And there is still that apprehension, a bit of anxiety about whether or not the seeds will germinate and grow strong and healthy. What a relief when it all works out. Then the new plants need the right balance of warmth and water. To much of one, and too little of the other is not a good combination. Then you kick yourself, reseed, and pick up the pieces and move forward.

As April has moved into May there has been, there still is, a lot of raining going on. Fortunately there were enough dry days and Farmer David was able to do a significant amount of planting the past few days and he is on par to have produce available for the upcoming markets. Speaking of markets- for the coming season Gravity Hill will offer its produce in the following locations: Sunday mornings will be the same as last year at the Lawrenceville Farmers' Market (9AM-1PM). Tuesday afternoons AT THE FARM (1PM-7PM). This is a new addition. Thursdays in New Hope at the high school parking lot. This too is the same as last year (3PM-7PM). And another new addition- Saturday mornings at the Pennington Supermarket parking lot. Last year there was a one off 'green market' in Pennington towards the end of the year. This event turned out to be very popular and it was decided by those who decide these things to have a weekly market. More info about the Gravity Hill farm stand and the Pennington market will be forthcoming.

As you might be aware, Michelle Obama is converting part of the White House lawn into a garden. Michael Pollan (author of "Omnivors Dilemma" among other books pertaining to our relationship with food) wrote an op-ed piece pertaining to this topic in 1991. If you are interested in what Mr. Pollan had to say go to:

Greetings this posting from Edward la Gatta. She has proved proficient in catching mice. While Edward is a pet as well as a hunter, there are a couple of other cats that are roaming around the farm. If they are ever spotted pictures will be taken. For now they are elusive.

On the left is the ever present Hule. On the right is the latest addition to the menagerie at Gravity Hill, Mia Bella the miniature donkey.

As you can see, the green house rapidly filled up. Once the plants have become firmly established they will be moved outside to adapt to 'real' weather. Once the plants have acclimated to the outdoors they will be planted.

This shows plants at various stages of growth and development.

There would be no plants if there was no one to seed them. Below you see David, Marily (Mare), and Val busily placing the seeds in the seeding trays. Last year Valerie was an intern at the farm; this year she is working as a 'regular' employee. Welcome Back! Mare is part of the extended Earling/Nicolo family. Welcome Aboard! Seeding is very time consuming and requires patience and determination. And until you see how small some of the seeds are you can't appreciate the challenges of seeding.

The first picture below shows the pile of compost that gets added with various other soil components and ingredients to make an enriched environment in which to place the seeds. Within the compost are twigs and clumps that would make seeding even more of a challenge. To sort out these impediments the compost is placed in the 'wheel' that is shown in the second picture. The wheel gets spun around, the sifted compost falls through the openings of the wheel leaving behind the clumps and stuff, and falls into the wheelbarrow. As you can see in the third picture the compost is mostly smooth and ready for mixing.

Well, that's all for now. To date the farm season has gotten off to a good start. The rain is somewhat impeding weeding, but then again the newly planted seedlings are happy. In farming there are things which can be controlled; the weather isn't one of them. Peace to all. Happy and healthy eating to all.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I'm positive the mini donkey would be a hit at the markets. I'm just saying.