Monday, September 20, 2010

Mountains of Treasures

Dear friends--
Oh my goodness gracious, how time flies! I thought it had been barely more than a week since our last post, but it looks like it's been a full two and a half. Let me see what I can pull together.

We had another epic round of salsa-making in early September. I forgot to take a picture of all of the tomatoes together, but we really did have mountains of them. I think we're over the peak of that mountain though; they're starting to slow down now that we are getting nights in the low forties. Here are some of our puniest little cherry tomatoes...oh wait, those are Brandywines.

They make great turbans, too.

Other mountains of treasures we have on our farm:

Chicken manure, trucked in from southern Maine, four 32-ton loads. Here are two of them.

An ever-increasing supply of woodchips (good for mulching blueberry bushes and fruit trees), dumped by the road-trimming crew that is working its way through downtown Monroe. Here are three loads, but we now have over ten:

Mountains of dedicated hard work: while Seth and I scurried around preparing for last weekend's framing party, Tyler, Elsie, Gib and his friend Matt tackled the long-standing barn roof and laid down those panels until there was no more metal to lay.

This was the morning, three panels in.

And here was the end of the day, twenty panels and a new farm record!

Mountains of livestock:
New sheep arrivals (6), and probably the very last of the new livestock for this season:

Black face=friendly, white=skittish. They weigh about three times as much as the stunty Coopworths we have, and they are meat-fiber crosses. Mountains of trouble? They may be that too as they have already broken out once, but they seem quite herd-able.

Little chickies, all growed up! We lost a few to an unknown predator, but the chicks have since grown up enough to not be such tasty morsels, and they really appreciated getting moved into an outdoor movable chicken tractor. They are now grass and bug enthusiasts.

As we speak, Tyler and Seth are getting the horse-drawn plow ready to go, and Tyler hopes to be plowing in the peas-oats-vetch cover crop with April and May today! We are having Too Much Fun on the farm, and are happily working our hearts out as the days get shorter and cooler. We had our first light frost two mornings ago, September 18th, and we are all looking forward to the Common Ground Fair this coming weekend. On our local community radio station, WERU, all the DJs are playing fall season music, and the transition from summer to autumn feels so tangible right now. I hope you all are enjoying these days, wherever you may be!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Putting Food (and Housing) By

Most recent to least, some photos of the Seth-Anna slab.

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs), assembled and ready to be filled with concrete.

Seth on a hot one, putting it all together. Don't worry, the house will not be built ENTIRELY out of styrofoam, despite appearances to the contrary.

Full (almost) view of the slab.

Slab pouring party!!!

Tom and Patrick, preparing forms for concrete pads to use up extra concrete.

Pouring concrete pads with leftovers. Seth, Tyler, Danielle, Cretia, Minh, Anna, Jonny and mystery person.

Keeping our eyes on the prize.

Gib and Jonny supervising while Seth power-trowels the drying slab for a smooth finish.

Gib screeding the 'crete, Chris and Tyler moving it around while Anna chats with the concrete delivery man.

The 7:30 pm to 1:30 am salsa canning party: 16 gallons of salsa, done!

Our main fuel, sea salt dark chocolate.

Gib and Seth, nutty at midnight.

Tasting the fruits of our labors, halfway done.