Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thanksgiving Share!

 2012 Mud Creek Farm Thanksgiving Share - $45

Reserve yours now! 
Pick-up on the farm Sunday, November 18th 1-5pm
$45 for a heaping bushel of goodies
Lots of squash, onions, potatoes, beets, carrots, and more.

For more information:

Friday, October 19, 2012

October skies

My favorite month!  All harvest.  Reaping what we have sown.  Enjoying crisp cool days, watching yellow leaves fall gently in the breeze.  Cold fingers, warm faces.  Thinking of next year.  Preparing for the winter.  Celebrating the bounty.  Harvesting cold muddy roots from the ground.  Eating soup.

The cover crops are growing in, and the farm glows in shades of green, neat satisfying rows of rye.

We got our first hard frost.  That always makes the reality set in a bit more for me... the momentum of the season meets its inevitable end.  The crickets and frogs that serenaded us all summer are now quiet.  Everything leans towards a going-inside, resting, sleeping.

We put away the season's irrigation tape, the crops' life-giving veins of this long, hot summer.

Our walk-in cooler is full of bounty for the final few weeks of distribution.  The farmworkers have started calling it the "squeeze-in" instead of the walk-in.  We can't cram any more carrots or cabbage in there!  What a good problem to have, too much food.  What a great season it's been.
Last week I got to meet the presidential candidate for the Green Party, Jill Stein.  No endorsement here, I swear-- just wanted to brag about my brush with fame!  Yes, we are holding rainbow swiss chard and red russian kale from Mud Creek Farm.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September's Harvest and Thanks

2012 Mud Creek Farm Crew
We've been picking and hauling.
Discovering and learning.
Bunching and drying.
Tossing and catching.
Storing in Jack's hay loft.
Washing, washing, washing.
The fall fields are just gorgeous.

Glowing health.
The winter squash harvest this year is AMAZING!  They are ready a whole month early.
Wonderful volunteers come out on a Sunday afternoon to help pick up squash.
We haul them into the greenhouse to cure.

Even smaller hands can help too.
Some CSA members volunteer to make dinner for the hungry farmworkers.
Mike and Valerie really outdid everyone -- gourmet gazpacho, organic ham, corn relish, and chocolate tarts!

  We are so grateful.

Our neighbor Jack (who can fix anything) stops by to fix the ancient Ontario Grain Drill.
We hitch it up to the old Farmall Cub to plant the winter cover crops.
An agricultural miracle.  But one that has happened before, likely.
We pour the Grain Drill full of Rye and Clover seed.
These fields have yielded much abundance, and will hopefully continue to do so.

Rest, fields, in restorative grass roots.  We are grateful.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August at the Farm

August is a time when the juiciest crops are at their peak ripeness!  The tomatoes are rolling in, the peppers are turning red fast, and the cucumbers are heavy on the vine.
Picking, picking, picking is mostly what we do!
The winter squash field is a sea of green, and underneath this canopy of leaves are the butternuts and the pumpkins and the acorns and the red kuris and the delicatas using this heat and sun to ripen also.  We harvest them after the vines have died down, in late September or early October.  I can't wait.

 But there is also something else going on in August: planning for next year, and the tractor work to prepare the fields for next season's crops.
 In the next few weeks almost ten acres will be planted with winter cover crops-- rye, oats, and clover.  These crops are not harvested, but are planted for the health of the soil, to be plowed into the ground as a kind of mulch or compost grown right in place.  It's important work, as essential as planting the vegetable seeds themselves.
 The crew this summer has been absolutely wonderful.  They are a joy to work with, and we are just what I dreamed we'd be by August: a well-oiled machine!  Young people eager to learn about CSA vegetable farming-- getting their hands dirty, learning from the successes and challenges the season offers.  It's a fun job.  If you know of anyone who wants to work with us next year, I start interviewing folks for paid apprenticeship positions in October.

Happy feasting!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Farming: A Hand Book

Late July's bounty is upon us, in all its colors.  It is a time of feasting and joy, and as farmers we celebrate the fact that we are still in one piece after the spring's crazy demands on our bodies and mental states!  I thought I'd share some photos from the last few weeks on the farm, and some poems from a book I've been reading lately, "Farming: A Hand Book" by Wendell Berry, written in 1967.

Sowing the seed, 
my hand is one with the earth.

Wanting the seed to grow,
my mind is one with the light.

Hoeing the crop,
my hands are one with the rain.

Having cared for the plants,
my mind is one with the air.

Hungry and trusting,
my mind is one with the earth.

Eating the fruit,
my body is one with the earth.

-Wendell Berry

Carrot harvest, a poem in pictures:

Put your hands into the mire.
They will learn the kinship
of the shapen and the unshapen,
the living and the dead.
-Wendell Berry

 Let me wake in the night
and hear it raining
and go back to sleep.
-Wendell Berry

I love to lie down weary
under the stalk of sleep
growing slowly out of my head,
the dark leaves meshing.
-Wendell Berry


Don't worry and fret about the crops.  After you have done all you can for them, let them stand in the weather on their own.

If the crop of any one year was all, a man would have to cut his throat every time it hailed.

But the real products of any year's work are the farmer's mind and the cropland itself.

If he raises a good crop at the cost of belittling himself and diminishing the ground, then he has gained nothing.  He will have to begin all over again the next spring, worse off than before.

Let him receive the season's increment into his mind.  Let him work it into the soil.

The finest growth that farmland can produce is a careful farmer.

Make the human race a better head.  Make the world a better piece of ground.

-Wendell Berry