Tuesday, August 2, 2011

update August 2011

"Our students LOVED the visit to your farm. They are all convinced that they have met a real life WIZARD!! Homer knocked their socks off!!

Thank you for making time for the students to visit your place and inspiring them on many levels!"  -Jenn Halpin, Farm Manager at Dickinson College Farm

Wizard Homer..he kinda likes how that sounds!

Homer has been having fun this year on the farm. Last year was hard work getting things established, cleared, planned and executed. Next on the list are solar panels for our electric use and a storage tank/electric golf cart system for moving things around. But for this year he has time to think, ponder, contemplate, dream, design and implement. Always the budget is zero, and then he determines what really truly needs to be spent. We are both continuously delighted with what he can think of when spending money is not an option. Of course we always end up spending some, but the exercise in just how cheap can this happen is a great test, and stretches our thought process everyday.

Gregg, the Saturday hoophouse manager at Samaritan Women's, came for a visit this month. So did Jean and her family, the students from Dickinson, Jerry was here, Alice and Emily from FutureHarvest/CASA, Jen & Bonnie from Slow Food Harrisburg, Michele from York County Ag Council, Mike from Cool Beans and Katie too. Homer and I traveled to Baltimore for the lovely wedding of Jerry and Felisha, and unfortunately for Andrea's funeral. Family visits this week in celebration of Claire's birthday..August 5 is in just a few days, and we will all be sweating at the farm for her day! Jenny from CA, Jane & Murray from NJ, Iza & Steve from Philadelphia, Art from WV..Jeff stays in CA but we sure wish he could join us!

We are observing the cow and the pigs for the right fertility time. We are learning lots about when to call the A/I guy out to do his job..more than you probably want to know, but learn we are. Next year we will discover how we did..

Cucumbers have been overrunning us so Claire and I made pickles. It barely made a dent, and we feel certain we will not need many more pickles than this for the next year and still the cucumbers keep coming. Thankfully we have identified the CSA members who want lots, and we load them up every week! I picked 50 pounds of blueberries at a local farm..and not quite as certain those will last until we have fresh blueberries again. Peaches and tomatoes get canned next, lots of empty jars ready for those well loved off season eats!

The bees continue to produce both honey and more bees like crazy. There is so much blooming all the time that we see bees everywhere on everything. And even Homer is getting used to them, and does not swat at them anymore. It is, at best, an uneasy truce.

By mid-August there will be a whole bunch of new seeds in the ground. Both inside and outside the hoophouse, and undercover as the fall season progresses, are all sorts of cool and cold crop plants. Peas again, lettuce, greens, carrots, beets..an entire wide selection of things will go in the ground, distributed to CSA members until November, and then consumed by us all winter long. This will be the first winter we intentionally grow for production through the winter: last year we had limited success and learned a lot, this year we have a better idea of what works.

Daily updates, including pictures and videos, on the farmer's wife blog: www.sunnysidedru.com.

We will be a stop on the York County Farmstand tour on August 13, 2011. There are a number of locations participating, and the final stop involves ice cream and peaches..that got my attention..http://www.buylocalpa.org/event/view/1336

And if you want to learn more about the mechanics of how we farm, if you are thinking about expanding what you do or are interested in seeing Homer's work first hand, join us at the Future Harvest-CASA field day here on the farm, Monday August 15. Seems like food will be a part of it as well..http://www.futureharvestcasa.org/events/calendar/view/440609

Here is our Facebook page link to the farm, join the Sunnyside Farm group! http://www.facebook.com/groups/51903696029/

We look forward to seeing you, here on the farm or at market, or at the few non-farm related activities we attend..

Dru & Homer
Sunnyside Farm
1865 York Road
Dover PA 17315

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