After a long wait mother nature has finally let us start to get back out into our fields. Spring is a busy time for sure! Sean has been hard at work getting our hoophouse all ready for our greens to go in, which will be ready by our first market day at Lincolnville Farmers’ Market at Dot’s on May 16th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We have spinach, kale, lettuce, kohlrabi, and cabbage planted and tucked away safely for the early spring season. We are glad to have some green life back on the farm while many of our other seedlings are happily growing in the greenhouse space we are renting this season.
Beyond getting our fields ready, Sean and his father built a beautiful chicken coop for our four happily laying girls. We plan to eventually grow our chicken flock but for now we are happily enjoying our fresh eggs and can’t wait for all our other on-farm ingredients to be ready to throw into the pan!
The snow keeps on piling up over here, but thats not going to stop us from seeding our first batch of crops in the hoop house. This week a bed of arugula, one of baby carrots, another of scallions, and a few beds of kale and chard all made it in during a rare thaw. I’ve considered the hoop house to be a valuable hedge in providing more varied crops early in the season, particularly to the CSA. While we can only dream of seeding out in the field, its nice to get a jump on the season any way that we can.
The farm is still producing but it is starting to wrap up for the season. The Maine winter is closing in and we will take whatever we can get from here on out. Ol’ Man Winter is nipping at our toes and only the hardiest greens and roots survive outside.
This past month we have been busy working on the back field some more. We now have over 150 blueberry plants out back which should be bearing a bountiful crop in no time at all. We also transplanted most of our strawberries and next year’s pastures are ready to go and are a nice mix of grasses and clover.
We plan on incorporating some livestock into the rotation next season. We will certainly have a couple of pigs to till up a bit of land that will eventually be our herb and perennial crop garden. We are also going to raise a couple of cashmere goats for meat, fleece and pelts.
The farm is coming together very nicely and we are grateful for everything it has produced and continues to produce this year. This is a long-term project as all true sustainable farms should be, and we are just getting started! Thanks for all who have supported us this year and we look forward to growing the most sustainable veggies for you and your family for years to come. There is a lot more to look forward to over the years as we work towards offering a full range of local, nutritious, and delicious products!
The air is crisp but it is not too cold yet. We planted a lot of greens hoping for a late flush, and so far so good! With a little bit of rain hopefully we will have some nice, tender greens right through the month of October. Once the greens are out the fields will be ready to put to sleep in preparation for winter, we are just getting started over here.
The farm is really coming into full swing. The spring crops are tilled under and the summer crops are starting to come around. We’ve tasted our first few cherry tomatoes with many more coming down the pipeline. The fall carrots, broccoli, cabbage, winter squash, and popcorn all look good so far.
One of the long term projects here at the farm is to rehab our back field. The field had been growing corn for twenty or so years before we bought the land, so we decided to give it a rest this season. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of clover that self seeded, as the clover fixes nitrogen in the soil, as well as provides a massive amount of organic matter when it is cut. I began mowing a small field in the back that will serve as a vegetable garden at some point, probably the 2016 growing season. The field is basically entirely clover, and with each successive mowing a more substantial mat of organic matter gets laid down on the soil. The clover continues to grow right through it, coming back stronger and thicker after each cutting.
Part of the beauty of the farm is seeing just how nature takes care of the open soil that was the corn field. Besides the clover, there has been an abundance of daisies, goldenrod, a few wild raspberries, and countless other varieties of plants that I have yet to identify. Along with the plants come a wide array of animal and insect life, particularly birds and various pollinators. It really is amazing to see how nature brings herself back into an equilibrium. As the years go by we hope to manipulate the field in such a way as to make it bear bountiful fruits and veggies for us, while also maintaining large areas of open space where nature can take charge.
It has been a busy few weeks over here at Murphy Family Farm, as you can probably tell by our lack of farm updates. We now have a few weeks of CSA shares behind us and have been attending our market in Lincolnville for over a month. We also have some new additions to the farm. Our second field, about a half acre, has been tilled up for us by a neighbor farmer and it has also been prepped and planted with squash, corn, and beans by Sean. Another particularly adorable farm addition are our seven baby chicks!