Tuesday, April 1, 2008

a balmy day

This photo represents my goal... to produce heaps of yummy vegetables! Of course this photo is six months from now. So let's go!

April first, my official start date for the internship here.

We got to work making a big long to-do list & prioritizing the items on it. Farmer Dave does it all in Excel... he really likes that program. I love how he is including us in every step of the way.

We organized the office space. Lots of dust (we wore masks). Now we have a clean table & a big whiteboard to lay out our day on. And I checked out the seed cabinet, with all the vegetable varieties organized by botanical family. He doesn't grow corn anymore-- boo! There's a bunch of 10-yr old cover crop seed on the bottom shelf, like favas & pinto beans-- Nick & I might try to eat some to hone our survivalist skills & save $$.

2 volunteers came out for a couple hours & we all planted seeds in the greenhouse! This one volunteer, Mary, is 78 years old and has been volunteering for 9 years. She eats dandelions... after planting she went out to look to see if they're up yet. We planted lots of broccoli & cabbage, in 50-cell trays, and lettuce in 128-trays. Dave uses a potting mix from a local producer, with homemade compost & peat & perlite & brick? & some kind of organic fertilizer.

Nick, the other intern, & I had a real fun time cleaning out the chicken house (with masks)! It's this old built-into-the-barn structure with a concrete floor & big wooden roosting areas & a bunch of nest boxes. Dave likes to use wood shavings instead of straw. There are about 10 hens, rhode island reds & these big black ones that are really heavy to pick up. No roosters-- seems appropriate. Farmer Dave says that they had a rooster and it just made the hens wary of humans, and they are really good for the kids & members who come out to the farm.

We cleaned out the root cellar-- found carrots, onions, potatoes, turnips, beets, celery root, and garlic, all in pretty pristine condition. (some butternut squash that was not in pristine condition too) But all in all, pretty good for 5 months of storage without any refrigeration at all!

So right now I'm cooking up some of those yummy roots & watching the sky turn shades of lavender. It is 67 degrees right now, can you believe? And just a day or two ago it was snowing! The spring peepers are screaming like crazy, and today I heard all sorts of birds calling in the spring. I even heard a mourning dove. I missed these sounds. I'm glad I'm back.

Nick seems like he'll be a great fellow intern, and I think it will be a really fun summer.

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