Clayfield Farm

  (East Blue Hill, Maine)
A thirteen acre organic farm on the coast of Maine
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Mirai Sweet Corn

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


Folks who have lived in East Blue Hill, Maine for a while remember John McGraw who lived on the Jay Carter Road.  John was a consummate gardener.  His garden was quite large and had an unusual soil profile of clay over sand.  This made for a productive garden with the fertility of clay and the drainage of sand.  When John, in his later years, got too tottery to keep up with the hard work that a garden demands, Deborah and I helped him out with the weeding and the harvesting.  When John finally had to give up gardening altogether he offered his entire garden space to us.  That became our cornfield.

For several years we grew corn there and it was during that time that I discovered Mariah sweet corn.  John said it was the best sweet corn he'd ever tried in his whole life.  I had to agree with him.  A number of other people said the same thing. Pretty soon I was growing nothing but Mariah.  But then the seed company, in all its wisdom, decided to discontinue that variety.  It was a sad day for the corn lovers of East Blue Hill.


I was determined to find a worthy replacement so I tried Trinity and Bodacious and Argent.  I tried Honey Select and Sugar Buns and Spring Treat.  I tried Incredible and Luscious and even one called Kandy Korn. This went on for a dozen years. Nothing came close.  Then one day I had dinner at John Bunker's house in Palermo.  He served fresh sweet corn.  With the first bite I knew I had found what I was looking for.  John had bought the corn from a roadside stand and was able to give me the phone number of the farmer.  His name was Bruce Potter and Bruce and I ended up talking nothing but corn for about a half hour.  He said the variety was Mirai.  What!  Did you mean to say Mariah?  No.  Mirai.  

That was five years ago and now I grow nothing but Mirai. 

Having led you this far with the story, I now have to say that 2014 was a terrible summer for corn.  Corn hates to have it's roots disturbed and in mid July a big East wind came along and blew the corn down.  I drove stakes in and strung clothesline and propped up as much as I could.  And then another big wind came, this time out of the West, and blew the corn down again. The vast majority of corn stalks continued to grow but never produced ears.  And then we had a cool summer.  I was still waiting for the 95ยบ temperatures that corn likes so much when the season turned and we started the long slide into Fall.

But to make a long story short, the Mirai finally matured this week and I was able to salvage about fifty good sized ears.  The good thing about how late the corn came in is that there is virtually no insect damage.  The ears are perfect and the taste is sublime.  I can just about guarantee that this will be the best corn you have had all summer.  No, wait.  I can do better than that. I will guarantee that this will be the best corn of the summer or your money back with a smile.   Mirai Sweet Corn    $.75 an ear

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The Recent Cold Snap in Maine


 And so ends the most remarkably long cold snap we've had in many years.  As of this writing, at the tail end of January, the cold snap finally ended late last night with a freezing rain that turned into all rain, falling on top of 14 inches of dry powder. It ended just about a solid month of unusually cold weather. We had 18 below zero over here in East Blue Hill one night.  And there were a couple of twelve below nights, and a few ten belows. But the shocker is that it never got above freezing for the whole month. No January thaw. And the snow! It was the softest, loveliest snow you could imagine and it was deep. And it stayed and stayed and stayed.

     The skiers and snowshoers were out in force. There's a cadre of cross-country skiers in Blue Hill who have a network of trails from their backdoors out into the great Maine woods. There are some vast stretches of woods in this area crossed by no tarred roads, just logging trails and foot paths. There are places no one ever visits in the summertime save the beavers, but in winter, when the snow is just right, they become accessible. You almost always run into other skiers out on the trail.  "Look, Maud! There are people gliding through the woods on skis. They must think they're in the Klondike!"     

     One of my favorite trails is an old cow path that goes from the village of East Blue Hill up to Alfred's Meadow, a twenty acre landlocked field about a mile up in the woods. Many years ago, when people kept cows in East Blue Hill, a young boy had the job of leading the cows up the trail to Alfred's Meadow every morning and leading them back down every night. Nowadays the grass goes ungrazed but the trail still remains.

     The late John McGraw on the Jay Carter Road knew all the trails. He was an interesting cuss, a bona fide Maine original. He spoke his mind and didn't care who heard it. No one could tell him what to do. He did what he thought was right and never mind the red tape. I visited him a few years ago when he was in his eighties and he was telling me how to get to an area he called the Golden Sickle.  It was a sickle shaped clearing about two miles up into the woods. He used to take a team of horses up there and pull logs out of the woods. He was describing a certain cross trail going east/west between two other trails and I thought I knew where he meant. "You mean where an old galvanized washtub marks the westerly end of the trail?" I asked.

     "Christ!" he said. "Is that washtub still there? That was the trail marker when I was a boy of twenty!"

     So the cold snap ended and the freezing rain fell and now there is a half an inch of icy crust over the whole countryside. The squirrels scamper about on the crust but it's not thick enough to support the weight of a man or a dog and when you break through, it's a long way down. Walking is almost impossible and even with snowshoes it's a hard go. The only thing that can fix it now, is more snow.    

 

by Phil Norris


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AVAILABLE LOCAL PRODUCE - Apples


Dear Friends and Neighbors,


Thanks to all who turned out to help us press cider on Saturday.  We all made about 70 gallons.  Deborah and I were left with too much cider at the end of the day and are trying to give it all away by the end of the week.  Please speak up if you would like a gallon.  It's delicious!


We have bushels and bushels of apples for sale.  We have some beautiful grade A Liberties, Snows, Kavanaghs, and others.  We also have vast quantities of utility apples for making applesauce and pies.  



Grade A apples    $10 half peck bag

Utility apples         $1.00/lb


As always, we will deliver anywhere in East Blue Hill on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Simply reply to this email to place an order.


Phil and Deborah

Clayfield Farm 

East Blue Hill ME 04629

374-2159

clayfieldfarm@wildblue.net





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