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CSA Week # 3 – Breezy Meadows Orchards & Nursery

CSA Week # 3

One of the stranger things we grow here on the farm is rice. We built 7 rice paddies a few years ago that cover about an acre of our hillside. We have never planted the whole thing to rice and this year won’t be any different. We are trying a tighter plant spacing, which in theory will give us a higher yield per square foot. We will be growing either veggies or a cover-crop in the paddies that are not in rice this year. The lowest paddy is usually the driest in early spring and has been in clover for that past two years. With our new tractor I was able to make a few long raised beds that we planted out with beets, carrots and peas. Next year I’ll re-level the paddy and it will go into rice for the first time.
By changing between holding water and dry cropping we are able to keep weeds confused. The wetland weeds that want to take over the flooded fields can’t handle the drying growing conditions and the dry weeds can’t handle the flooding. Because the paddies are level and are surround by walls when we do plow we don’t loose any soil down the hill. It is exciting trying out different crops and growing techniques in this very foreign landscape.
Meadow is starting to work outside more. We’ve been moving fencing together and she has been planting out tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in one of the high-tunnels while her dad and I finished planting out the rice. With her missing from the garden I have fallen a bit behind on our planting schedule. But now with Meadow back in at least partial swing we will be able to catch up.
The new milker for the cow and goats finally came on Friday. It is amazing how well it works. My hands have a brand new outlook at life. We are still working out the best layout so that both the cow and the goats can be milked. Meadow separated the little goats from their mommas this week, so now she is milking two times a day as well. I’m sure she will be really happy once we’ve figured out the setup.
With her recovery she is also able to get the school garden ready for the summer. They are pulling weeds, laying hay and planting more seeds as they make room. I went over with the tractor to reclaim a section of the garden where they are going to plant corn, beans and squash. (I wonder why its not corns, beans, and squashes?). The kids were all pretty impressed with how fast they got their garden back. Once the summer program starts Meadow doles out sections of the garden where each kid can plant what ever they so desire. Some go with flowers some with veggies and I think one just dug a big hole to fill with water. It looks like she is going to have more kids then ever. She really enjoys doing it and since every year more kids come I think they do too.
It looks like it is going to be a good berry year. The blueberry plants are busting with flowers and the raspberry, gooseberries and blackberries are all looking very healthy. We lost a few trees this winter. Two of the young peach trees were to irresistible for some rodent or rabbit to nibble on and the cold seams to have killed off two of our big cherry trees. They were already stressed out with a disease. But our other trees made it through just fine and had a nice bloom of flowers despite the cold.

June 5th, 2014|

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