Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Farm Update

Hi Everyone,

Things are starting to crank up here at the farm. Snow and Sugar Snap peas were planted Saturday, the garlic that was planted last fall is about six inches high and I just noticed today that a few tops of the Asparagus have made an appearance. The Asparagus will be harvested long before the CSA begins, so we will let you know when you can come over and grab a bunch. In the next few days, weather permitting, we would like to get the potatoes in, the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and head lettuce plants hardened off and in the ground and start planning for the carrots, spinach, leaf lettuces, beets, turnips, onions, kale etc. We actually are leasing some extra land this year, don't worry it has either never been farmed or only farmed organically, for melons and winter squashes and organic sweet corn.

The bees had a tough winter. Our state bee inspector Cybil, has told me that the cold winter claimed 50% of the bee colonies in the state. Mainly the extremely cold December was the culprit. You always leave plenty of honey in the hives for the colony to feed on during the winter months, I found the bees in three of my four hives all dead with plenty of honey right next to them. They just couldn't move to get to it. I'm not discouraged, our one hive left is already going gang busters and I have ordered 4 boxes of bees to start another four hives. I'm sure one of the colonies will swarm and if I'm around so I can get it before they take off for wherever, that will give me the start of another hive. So we're hoping to have 6 hives this year. That's our plan and we're sticking to it. (Honey Humor)

We know that many of you have signed up for egg delivery, but for any of you who haven't and would love farm fresh free range eggs delivered to your door every other Thursday evening, just let us know how many dozen you would like and your address and you'll be good to go. The eggs are $4 delivered or you can pick them up anytime at the farm for $3.50 a dozen. The next delivery is this Thursday 3/24.

Don't forget if you haven't gotten your check in yet for your CSA membership, we have to receive it by 3/31 for you to participate this year.

Rousedale Farm
2604 Fallston Rd.
Fallston, MD 21047

See you soon!

Steve and Vicky

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Farm Update

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday was such a beautiful day around the farm, it really feels like we are on our way to Spring. The day inspired us to write you a short note on what is going on around here. So after fixing the split rail zig zag fence that the high winds blew down last week, and after pruning our 30 peach trees, 4 apples, one pear and 26 grapevines, brought in the last of the firewood, and washed a bucket of eggs, we sat down late last night and composed you the update email. As we finished up we checked out the correct spelling of Brussels for Brussels sprouts and internet explorer promptly stopped working and we lost everything we had written. We try again.

We received notification that our latest batch of strawberry plants have been shipped and we will have them this week.
These will fill the strawberry patch to completion and give us around 400 plants. We won't get many berries from the new plants this year, as we will pick off most of the blossoms to strengthen the plant for better production in the future years. Strawberry plants last about 5-6 years then should be replaced for optimum production.

We attended a seminar on blueberries Saturday. We got a few tips and we hope our three year old bushes will be loaded with fruit this year. They did quite well last year for two year olds, despite a very dry June. I think we had 4 weeks of blueberries for everyone, but hope to improve on that this year.

The cole crops are doing well under the grow lights in the basement and will continue as long as we stop hitting the light switch on the wall by the door every time we leave their room. The lights are on a timer and when the light switch is turned off, it messes everything up. It's the same reflex that we all have when the power goes out and we still go around attempting to turn things on. I think a nice piece of duct tape over the switch is in order.

We have a couple of birth announcements, other then Vicky's new seedlings. CSA members Brian and Jamie Kunkel Bartell welcomed Helena Isabelle in October and Kirk and Amanda Bolen welcomed Eamon James on January 26. We're sure that both of the future farm volunteers will be having some form of Rousedale Farm produce this summer or should we say produce in some form...strained beets anyone?

To summarize:

Strawberry plants going in this week
Cole crops doing well in basement
Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, brussels sprouts etc. starting next week
Raised beds being prepped for carrots and radishes
Being a member of our CSA could cause pregnancy

Have a great week.

Steve and Vicky