Seasons at Procter Farm

  (London, Ohio)
Procter Farm
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Flower Power!

Check out the beautiful sunflowers growing in the field! I can't believe they are staying in bloom for so long. Also, the zinnias and marigolds are going strong, providing a nice habitat for a variety of insects.

zinnias

sunflowers

With all this hot weather and supplemental water via irrigation the eggplant have been growing very well and were for sale this weekend at the farm stand and farmer's market. Also ready are potatoes and beans - so many beans in fact, that Susie, the kitchen manager, is currently blanching and freezing them for preservation and future use!

 
 

Firsts

I have been reading a book called The Four Season Harvest by Elliot Coleman in which he talks about plant health and pest control. The idea being that healthy plants will have less pests because their actual physical make-up is less desirable to eat than that of a stressed plant. It is so interesting that just because the plant produces the desired crop does not mean that that crop is as healthy and full of nutrients as a similar plant grown in a better environment. I think this is partially where the idea of brix (a measure of the sugar content of a plant) comes from.  If you ever have the chance to read through this book, or even the chapter about pests, it is well worth the time! I find myself now looking around at my plants and seeing ways to lower stress and increase nutrient availability.

On the farm currently many of the heat-loving crops are starting to mature. The other day I ate the first cherry tomato off the vine and the first planting of beans are nearly ready for a first pick. Small peppers are on all the first planting pepper plants and the eggplants have flowers. Also, last week the first harvest of corn took place. I believe Senior High camp got to taste those corn first-fruits with one of their dinners! Speaking of camp, I have had the wonderful opportunity to welcome a handful of camp-goers and counselors throughout each camp week to the farm. For one of their activity times during the afternoon campers are able to come out to the farm and work on a project with me. This past week we spent a couple of nice hours chatting about anything and everything as we picked weeds from a variety of crops.

 
 

Photos from the Field

June 18, 2012

Over the last 24 hours the farm has been inundated with rain and thunderstorms. Irrigation from the sky is always my favorite form, not only because I was a passive observer but becasue the veggies always look brighter, bigger, and happier after a shower. The mid-summer storm also afforded me some time to relax and reflect, leading to time for this blog entry. Enjoy the photos and info!

pepper

The first planting of pepper plants are coming along quite nicely. Their early growth was a bit rocky but there are even little flower buds appearing. We'll soon have more tasty peppers than we know what to do with!

chardSwiss Chard is one of those vegetables that I really didn't think much about or know much about, for that matter, until I began to farm. I would always see these wonderfully-colored greens in the store but becasue we never bought them I never really thought of them in relation to food I could eat. Now I can't get enough of these greens. Their vibrant rainbow stems are just the thing to make any meal stand out at a potluck and with all the vitamins and minerals housed in the greens they are always a tasty and healthy option!

chickens

The chickens love napa cabbage!

 

chickenshey have grown so much over the past couple of months too! The roosters now are attempting thier "rooster calls", though they mostly sound like broken car horns. They'll learn!

 

chickens

 

toms

In the nightshade field the tomatoes are growing like crazy! They have already been trellised once and are in need of their second line. To the left of them in the photo are marigolds. I have always heard that marigolds are good to grow near tomatoes and we are using the flowers in salads at the center. They taste amazing!

winter squash

All of the winter squash are in! We will be growing spagetti squash, butternut, pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins to name a few. Also the cantaloupe and watermelon are in this field. I am trying to grow a variety of water melon called Savor, which is a small musk melon. We'll see how it turns out!

flower

Throughout the farm fields I have planted various flowers such as the zinnia's to the left. There are sunflowers and marigolds (previously mentioned) as well. They add a burst of color as well as a source of food for insects. Stop by sometime and have a look!

 
 
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