Life and thoughts from a small-scale organic farm . . . and its farmers

This is a blog that explores ideas around the growing of food and community at Glen Valley Organic Farm.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Images of the past week on the farm

The season got a kick-start this wee with some wonderful, warm weather. We were able to catch up on weeding, seeding and transplanting. Here are some of the things we noticed on the farm this week.

Above, the strawberries are in full flower. We anticipate tasting the first berries of the season next month.

Our neighbour, the Fraser River, has been rising over the past couple of weeks. A heavy snow pack in parts of the province means we anticipate a high river level this year, although we are unlikely to face any flood threats. Nonetheless, when the river is high, the ditches are unable to drain and we may see back-ups into our fields during heavy rainfall.

It's always a relief to see certain crops emerging from the earth. This tiny row of parsnips came up this past week, three weeks after seeding. This crop is grown from Harris Model variety seeds we saved on the farm two season ago.

Our new mason bee condos are seeing activity. A couple of holes are already filled by bees with their eggs, pollen and a mud plug.

Tricia's bees are doing very well. As soon as the day warms up, they're out collecting nectar on the farm.
If you've even used the term "it's a tough row to hoe", hopefully you've had the chance to hoe a tough roe. The above bed was planted in potatoes by mistake. The bed is lumpy and weedy, and a miscommunication saw it getting planted in too early. Our apprentices did a great job cleaning it up this week.

Viewing the farm early in the morning provides a stunning perspective of the beds again the valley slope and sometimes the mountains in the distance. This view reminds me why I enjoy farming (being outside in this beautiful space) and how much work we have to do to keep on top of the weeds!

This is a similar view, from the tractor, getting beds ready for seeding and transplanting.

These are some of our earlier plantings of lettuce and kale. They grew a lot this week. Lettuce generally doubles in size each week, so we might have some head lettuce for market in a few more weeks.

It's always satisfying to see the potatoes sending up their first leaves.

Our rhubarb is always the first big crop for the season. This week we sent rhubarb to an organic distributor in Vancouver, our restaurant distributor, Aphrodite's Pie Shop and, of course, the farmers market.

We seeded many beds this week, including spinach, dill, cilantro, beans, beets, sunflowers and wildflowers. Kate, above, is using the Earthway seeder on a future crop of spinach.

The goats are all doing well. The seven kids are growing fast and two more does will kid in the weeks ahead.

This coming week sees the start of the Langley Farmers Market, the White Rock Farmers Market, transplanting many new crops (strawberries, squash and fennel) and lots of weeding.

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