Farm Tours and Garden Update

A couple of weeks ago, our local farms joined together in providing tours of their properties and products. I believe there were about 40 farms, but with only 2 days to visit them we only managed to see 5.

We have CSA meat and veggie shares with one local farm, so we made that our first stop. They had one day old baby pigs (11 of them!), and another pig that was laboring. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen pigs that were quite this big! This picture doesn’t give a good perspective, but these girls must have been 300-400 lbs!

pig in laborday old baby pigswatching the baby pigs

They had a couple of large greenhouses covering the winter crops, more pigs, several sheep, dozens of chickens, and some large fields of greens and root crops. In addition to the CSA and farmers markets, they also provide food for an upscale restaurant that they own in the city.csa farm crops

The 2nd farm we visited that day had large fields of produce and sold their products at local farmers markets. I think I missed taking pictures there.

The next day we stopped at the only vineyard on the tour—the only one in the state, in fact. Grapes aren’t in season yet so there wasn’t much growing, but we did get a nice hayride around the property, admired their beautiful landscaping, and visited their goats. We also took a quick peek in their processing area and shop.local vineyard local vineyard

Then it started raining.

We made one quick stop where the children were able to pet some goats. A couple of them were sure they wanted to touch the goats, until they got too close. I think 3 of the children ended up running out the gate…thanks to our overly aggressive rooster who made them all frightened of farm animals.big milking goat

The rain kept us from getting out of the van at the last stop, but we were curious about their food truck so we explored their farm from the van. While the food sounded great, it wasn’t very kid-friendly (even for kids who eat salad and lentils by choice). So we headed home for dinner.

We are hoping to continue visiting more of the local farms this summer in order to learn as much as we can about sustainable living. Strawberry picking is next on the list!!

Meanwhile, God is teaching us patience while we wait for our own garden to start producing something edible.

I’ve been hesitant to go out there since the boys found a small snake living in the cold frame last week. No more flip-flops in the garden for me—rubber boots only—even if its 90 degrees!

Most of the seeds we planted and put in the cold frame sprouted and grew well. Now that they have been transplanted into the soil, the growth seems to have slowed down. We planted some potatoes in the empty cold frame setup, and I started some more seeds in pots on the deck this week, and I can already see that some of them are sprouting. It’s all just one big experiment.cold frame spinach seedlings cold frame spinach seedlings cucumber and calendula potsstarting seeds in pots And we have some large containers where I planted some of the extra starts. We have some rainbow chard, kale, and collards.kale close-up rainbow chard startsThe children helped me plant some sunflower seeds last week and we are beginning to see some of their leaves as well.sunflower seedlingsFinally, these are our tomato starts and the trellis we ended up building.  It has four fence stakes with three rows of wire running horizontally, and nylon string woven up and down through the wire.
tomato trellis
And a little spider living in the garden.spider web close-up

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