GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 8 Issue 8 February 23, 2016
FIELD NOTES: Humbug Creek Farm, Glencoe
Spring has come early to Humbug Creek Farm. False or not, our trees are fast coming into bloom. Pluots, Apricots,
Plums, and Asian Pears are out already, Apple buds are swelling. This is all taking place about 20 days earlier than normal and has us in a scramble to finish pruning, grafting, and dormant spraying before it's too late. Our big concern is that we will experience a cold snap in March or April which would destroy the bulk of our crop. On the other hand we need a lot more bad weather to mitigate the draught. Typical farm conundrum.
During the Butte Fire, as it approached our farm, we had to let the goats out into a large pasture which was scraped clean of brush and grass for their safety. Our buck apparently had a field day and we are in the midst of a series of closely timed births, some with complications. We've named the first kid BUTTE. In addition, the fire moved the mountain lion population which had dwelt in the Moke River canyon into the nearest unburned area: Glencoe. The fire was stopped just to the West and North of our farm on the adjoining parcels. We are having to be very vigilant after the first loss of a goat here in the last 5 years.
Otherwise things here are proceeding in the usual manner. The bees are flying, veggie planting is underway, the greenhouse is full of seed starts, the mangoes, avocados, citrus, and lychee fruit trees are all in bloom, and the early spring optimism is alive and well. (Only to be partially tempered by impending challenges and adversities.) We are planning for a big year and looking forward to sharing our harvest with all you MLH members.
Steve Wilensky and Pat Noll
GARDENING TO THE RHYTHM:the Biodynamic Calendar for Feb. 23-March 1, by Daniel D'Agostini, Abbondanza
Again some thoughts from the collected wisdom of Biodynamic farmers suggest this week is particularly good for pruning. Monday and Tuesday are perfect times for pruning fruit trees and vines to encourage fruit bud formation. Next Sunday, 28th and Monday are especially good for flowering shrubs such as roses if you have not done that yet. All week through March 2nd is good for pruning though as it is the descending moon period but those days I mentioned are particularly good for fruit and flowers if you can take advantage. This period is good for transplanting too. Wednesday the 24 the moon passes in front of Virgo an Earth sign and this is a large constellation and the moon will be in front of this sign through Friday so a good time to deal with root crops and also if you have leaf crops to transplant can be a good time as well. I will be transplanting lettuce Thursday or Friday as I have a lot in the greenhouse with their first leaves. Lettuce loves to be transplanted and the little leaves tell you when. Those first two little leaves that unfold when the lettuce sprouts are the dicotyledons- they are essentially feeding the little plant until the root hairs begin growing and functioning. When the first "true leaves" appear one knows that the roots are now working and this is the time one can begin to transplant. This dry spell is nice for pruning but personally I would like rain every few days.
MLH NEWS: Winter Quarter Open House!
We are just squeaking in a winter quarter open house before winter ends, on Saturday, March 19 from 1 to 4 pm at Butte Mountain Farm in Jackson. This will be a great time to visit the farm of Carolyn Boyd, as she has been welcoming a bunch of new lambs into the world. Visitors to her farm always enjoy seeing the baby lambs and the rest of the flock, her extensive chicken coops, and her garden-with-a-view, and learning how she manages it all sustainably.
Take advantage of this opportunity to meet Carolyn, who is also MLH's Distribution Coordinator, as well as other MLH producers who will be on hand, and feel free to ask them your gardening/farming questions. As with our other open houses, there will be light refreshments served. This event is free, but donations are welcome (suggested donation $5.00 per adult).