…and now for something completely different…
Canoe bow waves are quickly lost
on the shoreside
But go on out of sight
on the lake side.
The constant swish-swish of skis
On a day long ski.
The constant swish-swish of wiper blades
On a day long drive.
My dog, trotting barefoot
Steps on a garden slug
Nothing of it.
Word spreads quickly
as I approach the pond.
All becomes quiet.
Hidden in the vines
a large warted cucumber
jumps out of reach.
of marshmallow snow
on a branch,
await the trigger of my hat
to melt their way down my back.
Deep in the tomato jungle
Fruits of yellow, purple and red
Tell of their readiness
To go to market.
Snowflakes hurry through my flashlight beam,
As my boots knead new snow with spring mud,
On my nightly Hajj to keep the boil alive,
For as long as possible until the dawn,
To match the power of the flowing sap,
With my meager evaporator and will.
The prize at the finish line are jars of syrup
(Click on pix to enlarge.)
The sign at the end of our driveway.
|Grafted in 1998, this Redfield apple blossoms in late May, 2005. Redfield is a cross between a crabapple and a Wolf River, and has red
|By late May wintered-over parsley (left) and Swiss chard (right) are going to seed
in the Sunroom attached to our home. We removed these soon after this photo and replaced
them with cherry tomatoes and cukes for the summer.
|Greenhouse One in late April. In the foreground are summer squashes soon ready to be
transplanted outdoors. On the right is the potting table where all the work gets done.
Growing in the raised beds are beet greens, lettuce, carrots and summer turnips.
Planting in the ground in the greenhouse starts in February for harvests starting in
early May when the farmers' markets open.
|In early May Tom inspects the fall planted garlic which is already a foot high.
Planted from garlic rounds instead of cloves, the bulbs will be harvested in early
August. In July the "scapes" (curly-cue tops of the garlic plants) are cut and
brought to market for an early taste of fresh real garlic.
|We grow three rows of lettuce on a bed (green in the foreground, red in backround).
On the right are radishes and beet greens, covered with floating row covers to protect
against the flea beetles. Beyond the row covers is the hayfield where we cut hay mulch for
tomatoes and celery.
In October and November residents of Pittsfield bring their leaves to our farm. We have become the official dropoff point for leaves for the town,
and people come here instead of going to the landfill. The Town estimates this results in a savings of over $3,000 annually to taxpayers. As the leaves
arrive, we sort out shredded leaves and pine needles, which go immediately into a separate pile to be used for mulch, and the rest are mixed with cow
manure and composted for a year. Any not used by midsummer are stored for a few years to produce leaf mold to be used in potting soil. See more about using
leaves for mulch at our Using Mulches page.
Angelica is one of several perennial herbs we grow in "side gardens". This one is about to bloom in late June, 2004, and almost obscures
Lois's daughter Lori.
Since angelica seed is short-lived, we gather seed every two or three years to sell at market and start some seedlings for sale in
pots. With a strong celery-anise flavor, spring shoots of angelica are used as a celery substitute. Later in the season, the red stalks are candied for use
in holiday cooking. The entire plant dies back to the ground each winter.