Our new intern

I'd like to introduce our new farm intern.   She may be small, but she's willing to work outside in inclement weather.  

I thought we were done with snow this winter, but turns out I was wrong.  Thankfully, we got the carrots weeded and covered up the day before the island turned into a winter wonderland.  Two new heated tables are helping keep the seedlings cozy in the greenhouse, and we are engaging in unanticipated indoor activities until the snow lets up.  Scrabble anyone?

Biodynamic planting

On the farm, we are interested in working with biodynamic practices.  For those unfamiliar with biodynamics, it is an alternative form of agriculture.  It could be said to fall into the "beyond organic" category.  Biodynamic farmers pay close attention to the timing of their activities, including when they sow seeds and harvest, to ensure the most favorable conditions for their plants and the farm as a whole.  For example, Wednesday was a leaf day on the biodynamic calendar, meaning conditions were most favorable to plant veggies that are characterized by leaf growth.  So as seen in the picture, Pablo planted cabbage seed that day.  Other days on the calendar are denoted as root (e.g. carrots or beets), fruit (e.g. peas or squash) or flower days.

Pablo planting cabbage seed into flats in the greenhouse.  You can see our lettuce seedlings and onion sets in the foreground.

Lettuce in winter?! Thanks hoophouse!

Last autumn some greens were transplanted into our hoophouse in hopes they would be able to overwinter.  I ventured into the hoophouse yesterday and was pleased to see the small lettuce, mustard greens and kale plants have grown, perhaps spurred on by the lengthening daylight hours.  I stocked our farmstand with a few precious bags of salad mix.  Maybe someone else is as excited about wintertime lettuce as I am?

Despite some pretty vicious cold-snaps this winter, some greens survived in our hoophouse.

Callie, one of our barn cats, can't stay out of the limelight as I photograph the salad mix harvested from the hoophouse.

Resident farm animals

We periodically move the chicken coop onto new ground so the ladies have access to fresh grass and all the bugs they can get their beaks on.  They have recently taken up residence behind the barn, where they like to take dust baths under parked tractor implements.  The roosters seem to like to have a perch from which to crow.

 Our egg-laying flock enjoying a winter sun break.  Note the "Now (P)laying" sign on the back of the coop, formerly located above the movie listings on the side of an old theater in Seattle.

At the farm, we think it is very important to make every effort to relate to our animals.  Below, Pablo is demonstrating one such effort with our Jersey milk cows.

Rose doesn't mind spending some downtime with Pablo, although Daphnie (standing) looks skeptical.