Wow, what nice weather. It was nice working on the farm with the temperatures in the mid 70s! We spent the day planting garlic, putting down cover crops (after terminating the cover crops in that area yesterday), and planting Paw Paw trees.
We’re excited to finally get the Paw Paw trees planted. The trees we planted are 6 months old. We are hoping to have fruit from the Paw Paws in 3-4 years from now, but it could take longer. The trees came from 2 different sources to help give genetic diversity. One set of trees were propagated from the seed from Paw Paw fruit. The rest were purchased as seedlings. We grew them from seedlings in the spring to trees that were ready to plant this fall.
The next step with the garlic is to put down hay for weed suppression and feather meal as a nitrogen supplement. We’ve had 2 rounds of cover crops since we harvest the garlic. Both rounds of cover crops used buckwheat.
Every year the bees make the trek up to the mountains where they spend a little over a month at Troublesome Gap. We have a campsite on Troublesome Gap. It is a remote area and the bees have access to sourwood and locust flowers. This gives the honey a unique flavor and color that varies each year depending on how soon or late the different trees and bushes bloom.
The honey has a crisp color and flavor. If you have camped on Troublesome Gap, adding a jar of honey to your pantry is a good way to bring home some of the uniqueness of Troublesome Gap and enjoy it all year.
The goji berries are here! It is amazing that we have a small crop of goji berries this year. The goji berries we planted this spring. Our test plantings of moringa are also doing well. We have been busy putting in cover crops and working hard to improve the soil. We work hard to have great soil to make the farming easier.
The clover we planted last week is really coming up strong. All that rain helped. We were worried the storm would wash away the clover seeds but the hay seemed to help hold the seeds in place.
A farm can be beautiful and functional. We have put a lot of emphasis on getting the orchard and food forest planted and growing crops for the past 2 years. This week we put the emphasis on improving the property and doing some cleanup.
Hargrove Lawn Care in Bear Creek, NC did a wonderful job helping to move brush and clear out areas so we can come back and plant pollinators. They also took out trees and bushes to make maintaining the property easier. They also opened up a spot for a fire circle and chairs. Its amazing what a trained operator with a skid steer can do in a day. Now we need to get planting clover and pollinators in these areas.
It will be nice to have a spot for a fire circle with room for a big group. The trees are out of the way so we can start bringing the rocks over and build the fire circle.
It is definitely warm out. We started the day out with a sprinkle or two and a nice breeze so it wasn’t too bad of a day to work on the farm. We picked tan cheese pumpkins and cushaw squash after weeding sweet potato beds. The first fig fruits are developing, but it is still going to be long time until they are ready to harvest. Most of the fig fruit is still at the small bud size right now. We are continuing to pick elderberries.
The moringa that we planted as a test is doing great! Getting the moringa plants to make it through the winter may be a challenge, but one step at a time.
We have honey ready to ship or for local pickup. We are so excited. This honey is raw and from our farm. This is the first time we’ve ever had honey for sale. Contact us for local pick up or visit here for honey shipped to your door.
We have started harvesting the first of the elderberries from the food forest area. I am excited to have them.
We also have sunflowers in bloom. We grow sunflowers every year. It wouldn’t seem like summer without have sunflowers to enjoy.
Our figs were decimated by the warm spell in February that was followed by typically cold weather (for Feb). However, they are coming back with zeal. We’re even seeing a few young figs starting to appear. It will be a race to see if the figs are ripe or if the frost gets them before they ripen
Our goji berry plants continue to grow. No hint of fruit yet, but very rapid growth. They are loving the warm weather and intermittent thunderstorms.
There is a plethora of crazy bugs and beetles on the farm. Having a diverse ecosystem is a win for everyone and all the plants.
We have been planting comfrey in the food forest area for the last few weeks. We planted comfrey root pieces and comfrey seeds around the fig and olive trees, between the blackberries and around some of the elderberries.
The cool weather has allowed the potatoes to keep growing so we are going to leave them in the ground as long as we can and let them grow. The sweet potatoes are growing as well.
The rain almost every day has keep us from mowing so the grass is starting to look like a jungle. Hopefully next Friday, the weather will be better so we can mow.
We have a few peaches, looking forward to future peach harvests
The fruit and nut trees are growing quickly while we are starting to pick blackberries. The blueberries will come later. The plants went in the ground this winter, so we will only get a few this year.