Sep 6, 2011

It's Been a Long Time, We Shouldn't Have Left You...

We can't believe it's been almost four months since we last wrote a blog post! Spring turned into summer, and summer produced some crazy hot, hot temperatures, and what else can we say? We've been working tremendously hard these last few months out in the fields, at the markets, and around town.

Now for a brief little recap:
You might already know that our grow space at our homestead in Affton is around 1/10 of an acre. While it's surprising to see the bounty such a small space can produce, we started searching earlier this year for ways we could acquire more land on which to grow more crops. Our search ended once we met Virgil and his wife, Margaret – farmers in nearby Fenton, Missouri (St. Louis County) whose property spans 500 acres in the middle of subdivisions and strip malls.  

We've been renting a few acres from Virgil and Margaret, and if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you might have already seen photos of what our plot looks like and the transformation its undergone while in our care. 
(keep reading...)

Also, if you follow us elsewhere on the internet, you might have noticed the shiny, red, apple of Justin's eye these days: Our fully restored Farmall A tractor. It's been our most exciting farm-related purchase to-date, and one that Justin spent countless time researching. The tractor runs like a champ, and it's already proven to be a terrific help with working the modest acreage we have.

Other things we enjoyed since the last time we wrote: Our first-ever CSA program was launched in the spring and then sold-out within mere hours! We've had a great time so far getting to know our subscribers and chatting with them every week when they pick up their produce from us. We had some fun in June foraging for chanterelles, and in July we unearthed a nice-size garlic harvest, which is now inspiring us to grow even more for next year. We hatched some naked neck chickens in our DIY incubator, watched a few more litters of rabbits be born, and adopted a new outdoor cat to patrol for mice out back.

While this year's been full of milestones and successes for our farm, the weather seems to be the only real hindrance to our performance this year. In the spring, it was nothing but rain, and the ground remained so soaked that it significantly delayed us being able to get plants in the ground. Ever since, it feels like we've been playing catch-up, trying to find other ways to compensate for crops that never reached their full peak. The sweltering heat of July and August didn't do much to help matters, but now that things seemed to have cooled off (at least for now), we're eagerly watching our fall crops grow and mature. While we had planned on our thousands of tomato plants producing record numbers of fruit for us this year, the weather issues serve to reinforce the fact that we can't predict nature and we can't guarantee yields. ...we can only look forward with hope for a flourishing fall season.

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