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Planting Clover and Native Pollinators

It was almost 100 degrees! We were very much appreciating the shade in places.

The areas disturbed by the skid steer were also areas that we wanted to improve the soil. We planted clover and native pollinators in those areas. The clover also has the benefit of improving the soil, prevent erosion and help control the water flow in those areas. The pollinators are good for the bees and other insects. The deer is a win with the deer. The pollinators and the clover add beautiful flowers. This was also a way that we could add vegetative matter (i.e. clover) under the oak trees control water flow and erosion, with minimum soil disruption under the oak trees. From a permaculture perspective, this is function stacking at work.

We placed hay on the disturbed ground to help hold the seeds in place and hide them from birds looking for an easy meal. We are supposed to get several days of rain this week so that should help give the plants a good start.

We hope to stay busy over the next few weeks preparing beds and planting cover crops.

Goji Berries – Elderberries

We harvested what should be the last of the elderberries. We had a first goji berries. We only picked a handful of goji berries, but it was nice to finally taste goji berries from our farm.

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Changes to the Farm

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.

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Pictures from the Farm – 2023-07-29

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.

Honey

We have honey from the farm available at https://www.montiegear.com/simply-us-farm/honey. We have 1/2 lb and 1 lb jars.

16 ounce jar of honey
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Growing, growing, growing

The fig trees are recovering nicely from the warm snap in February. We even have a few trees that are producing figs. Can’t wait to try them.

The goji berry plants are climbing the trellis and reaching for the sun. No signs of berries yet but we are optimistic

The comfrey we planted this year is loving the hot weather. We hope to use it around many of the trees and bushes as a living mulch and suppress weeds.

The mulberry trees are growing nicely.

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Elderberry Harvest Begins

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.

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Comfrey in the Food Forest

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.

Potatoes are growing, will be time to harvest soon
Sweet potatoes are growing

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

Peaches
Almost ready to pick
Nice to have a few peaches

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.

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Trellis for Goji Berry and Raspberry

The goji berry plants are really growing. Nice to trellis both goji berries plants and the raspberries. We actually sampled our first blueberries on the farm today. That was a nice treat and milestone. It was nice having a few blackberries as well.

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Onions! Lots of Onions!

The onion harvest was wonderful. The sweet potatoes are not planted and the drip irrigation for the potatoes. The irish potatoes are growing. It will be time to harvest them soon.

The black berries are blooming and growing. We’re looking forward to picking and eating black berries. The warm spell in February followed by a deep freeze really did a lot of damage to the fig trees, but those are coming back nicely.

The elderberries are growing and blooming. We are hoping for a nice elderberry crop this year. We had to replant some of the winter squash and pumpkins, but they ones that came up are finally starting to take off.

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Bees on the Farm

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to have bees and check to see if they are producing honey, then check out the video

The bees pollinate the fruit bearing plants and crops while they are producing honey. The honey actually takes on a different taste depending on which plants are blooming.

Good news – we will have honey soon


We partner with Blue Truck Honey to have bees on our farm. They are in Apex, NC