A Line in the Sod

While Jemima Puddle Duck has been busy rearing Snø, Snell and Isobar, Ramona Quimby and Amelia Bedilia, our other two sows, have been renovating the northeast pasture. Prior to the nor’easter we expanded them through the inner perimeter fence that is usually our crop insurance from their incredible snout-plows. We told them of our intent to expand the orchard and its intentional understory of flowers, herbs and selected plants. Often while our animals on pasture do great work spreading fertility and keeping growth at bay they don’t read our memos and do exactly as we wish. This time it was like the sows were taking their assignment with special focus. Now there is a line in the sod, where the northwestern slope at the corner of what we call the “main” garden is turned and ready to be amended for orchard expansion!sows on orchard understory prep

It is hard to believe that 6 and ½ years ago we made our first cut in sod very close by, establishing that “main” garden, using lime and Karl Hammar’s compost to make the otherwise spectacular sandy loam soil meet its potential. Year by year we’ve done the same in every flat area around the farm. Most of these are performing well, well over 1000 pounds of carrots and beets were hauled out of the upper terrace in recent days. But some areas remain compacted and troublesome, including the area where we grew squash this year. Sadly that crop failed.

But as luck serves us all, we were right next to Chip Natvig of Pebble Brook Farm last week at the festive Randolph Elementry School Harvest Festival who had a banner squash harvest, so we will be buying some in from him and have them available next week. The supper was fantastic, local food contributed by many farms and money was raised to purchase local beef for school lunches. Kristin Gage and the teachers tie it all together spectacularly. The art classes had made terracotta bowls, augmented with a hot pepper in relief!

We were excited to meet some new folks and see old friends. We hope all who we see and engage with help us further learn how we can make our farm more relevant to our community as we want to serve and we need more customers! Luckily one of the kids has a laser focus on how we fit into his life. He listed a farm visit with goat kids as second on (an early) letter to Santa, right behind an MP3 player with new headphones and ahead of “orange tic tacs”!