Monday, May 7, 2012

A brief tour of Habitat Farm, spring 2012.

We left 8ft. each of upland cress and arugula to go to flower, to attract beneficial insects.  The yellow cress flowers and white arugula flowers are not only doing good; they make us feel good!

We recently completed a long-planned project to expand our rainwater harvesting capacity by adding additional barrels.  We've had five more barrels for some time; we just added spigots to each and found them homes in reach of our disconnected downspouts.  Now, as of the past month or two, we've expanded our rainwater storage capacity from just 60 gallons to 360 gallons.  Here are two of the barrels next to some logs inoculated with shiitake mushroom; the overflow from full barrels keeps the logs pretty moist.

Here are three of our five compost piles, and the cans that we use to steep batches of compost tea.  We compost weeds, straw and chicken manure, vegetable material discarded during harvest, kitchen scraps from our home, and sod removed in the course of making vegetable beds.  We also have one experimental pile (at the the left of this shot, in the background) of blackberry vine and chicken manure.

For our entire first year at our Raymond St. home, the back border of our yard was covered with invasive himalayan blackberry--an area roughly 17ft by 60ft, or about a thousand square feet altogether.  Today, that section of our yard is home to four beds of onions with room for another four beds to be planted this weekend.  It didn't come easily; it took time, effort, and good friends.  Big hugs to Maureen, Laura, Emily, Matt, Chris, and Jay for all their help at our work party!

Here are some shots of what it looked like that day:

And here's what it looks like today.  The same compost pile in the shot above appears in almost the same position in the photo below.  Now, it's just had it's covering of leaves removed to become mulch elsewhere on the farm, and the pile is going to be divided in the coming days to build up some new beds.

And here's a shot from the opposite corner.  At the top of the frame are two beds of Dakota Tears fall storage onions, and in the foreground are two beds of Rossa Lunga di Tropea onions.

If you're having a tough time seeing onion transplants in these photos, consider how quickly the spring weather draws the greenery up out of the earth; already things are looking different out here.  Come on by to check it out in person!

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