Category Archives: pitch fork

Hanging Garlic

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After we pulled the garlic out of the ground, the next step was to bunch it together and hang it to let it cure.  Once garlic is pulled, it is not dry like the kind you buy from the grocery store, it’s moist, still usable, but for any kind of storing purposes you must cure it.  In order to cure garlic, you need to hang it in a shady spot, where it won’t be rained on and that gets plenty of air flow.  Proper cure time is two to three weeks.  We had a couple of places to consider, one being a tool storage area in the goat barn, the other being under the front porch of the office.  We chose to hang it under the porch because it would get more airflow.  Mckenna, Marine, Annie and David were the WWOOF team dedicated to getting this task done.

 

Garlic all tied together on the ground, and the team trying to figure out the logistics of it all.

 

 

 

This task looks easy, but it was definitely a learning curve.  Last summer, I hung the garlic by myself up in the attic of my house, near the opening with fresh air hitting it.  It worked, but I think it was too hot up there for it.  Garlic has to be kept somewhat cool…as cool as it can get in the summer heat.

Since these pictures were taken a few days ago, Mckenna has left the farm.  She was needed in Arizona a few days ahead of schedule then she had planned for, so like the wind poof.  It wasn’t a sad goodbye, they can be sometimes, but we seem to have a pretty good “swing back through rate”.  So, like others before, McKenna will be coming back through at the end of July.  She plans on taking David and Marine to her native Kentucky, Louisville, to visit and see the sights.  She’s even going to bring them back that crazy girl…but I’m glad somebody is, they have a two month commitment here.

Shiori and Keyohei have also taken leave of us after six weeks of service.  However, as old friends leave, new friends arrive, to swing a mattock in the heat of the day, all with smiles on their faces.

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Car Accident

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Today we were supposed to welcome two WWOOF’ers coming from Little Rock area, originally from Japan, Shiori and her friend Kyohei.  Unfortunately someone hit her car as they were preparing to leave town.  So, we will welcome them on monday instead.  In other news, Farmer’s Market take two tomorrow.  Paul, the kids and I will b e standing out in GORGEOUS weather hustling.  I’m so glad the weather will be nice.  Last week, if you read, rained and only a few people showed up.  Hopefully the crowds manifest themselves tomorrow.  Also, to all of the Mother’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day!  I can’t forget to call mine tomorrow, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t even mail a card…I feel bad Mom.  I LOVE YOU.  It’s because of her that I have a green thumb.  What a true inspiration she has been in my life.  Shiori, Kyohei, we will see you Monday afternoon.  To all of my other WWOOF’ers past, I hope your journeys are going well.  Thanks for the post cards ; )

New WWOOF’er, Old WWOOF’er and all of the Inbetween

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We welcomed another WWOOF’er into the fray on Saturday, his name is Jason, he’s from Brooklyn.  He has WWOOF’ed abroad, but this is his first tour in the US and we are glad to have him.

This is Eric, he’s from Chicago.  He’s been here for a few weeks already.  You’re a hard worker Eric!  We like you!

The rows still left to dig.

Raspberries!!!

The man, the myth, the legend.

Onions and leeks.

Basil.

Tomatoes.

Hoop at large.

Jason.  New WWOOF’er.  Brooklyn represent!

Eric’s Skylark.  It’s not blue, if fact some might call that color black.  I have a special place in my heart for Buick Skylarks.

A Photo Essay

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There has been so much tat has happened, so, I’m posting pictures…Come visit! I need more volunteers!

January-ish, possibly early February, greenhouse and gorilla(s).

Snow and freezing temps outside, almost 70 inside AND it’s not even insulated yet!

Inside Hoop house, snow on the ground outside.

See.

Lettuce on the inside.

A team of tree cutters came through and cut down a bunch of trees lining the driveway because they interfered with the power lines.  This is a group of neighbors helping to clean up the mess that the tree guys left.

Back side of the greenhouse.

Paul and intern Johnathon putting up a gutter on the hen house to catch water for them to drink.

Rose, the first place volunteer in our ever-expanding group of volunteers and Grace, one of our latest WWOOFers getting rid of the lettuce in the hoop.

Courtney, WWOOFer #2, keeping it real, building potato beds in Carharts.  And to all of my Humboldt homies, she’s wearing a “Drive thru Tree” hat from Leggett California.

Johnathon, Grace, Courtney, Amanda making potato beds.

Courtney and Grace stayed for a month volunteering for us.

Stuccoing the Greenhouse was part of the agenda.

Ike took this picture.

 

Lettuce out, potatoes in.

Plantin’ ain’t easy.

MORE POTATOES!!!!

John and another guy, I don’t know his name.  But, he came for a day to volunteer.

Tractor came to plow it up.

MORE POTATOES!

Zack.  Says he’s “WWOOFing”, but I’m not so sure.  He has a strong back, but if he could only get up before 2.

More tractor action.

This is Courtney and I getting ready for 26 high school students to come and volunteer.  We’re straight up bustin’.

These students were from all of the area high schools.  They are a part of a program called “Upward Bound”.  Their supervisors found our farm through a volunteer list serve via the University of Arkansas.  I was worried that these kids wouldn’t be into it, but was pleasantly surprised at how into it they were.

So we are turning over the dirt that the tractor plowed, to get rid of the grass and roots.

I gave them a greenhouse tour.  See the girl in the blue?  She was the only one who was not into this farming thing.  She picked at the same clump of roots for two hours.  It’s cool girl, that’s why you’re in that program…you’re a somebody who has options.  Farming isn’t for everybody.

We had them plant potatoes too.  We have about 2000 sq. ft. planted.

The girl with the sunglasses on told us her sister was “impregnated”.  It was random, and funny, but that’s Arkansas for you.

This patch was tilled up to eventually plant sweet potatoes but for now, it will be an irish potato patch…because the theme of this photo essay is POTATO.

This is Alyssa, she visited us from Ohio for her spring break.

Here’s a better picture of Alyssa.  Thanks for your help girl, it was fun having you.

Here’s some community garden action happening.  The group dug a trench and is laying pipe for water spigots throughout the garden.

GO TEAM!

And this was this morning, when Grace and Courtney were leaving.  They are off to Texas, continuing their farm tour of America, and we are keeping on here on the farm.  Best of luck Ladies, you were an awesome help!

 

It felt good

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Synergy, in general, may be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently.

We had an unbelievable day today.  Well, I cannot speak for Beth and Franchy, but to me it felt good.  We finished what we started yesterday.  We were widening a row by a few feet.  That’s how Franchy had his accident : )  We pitch-forked the Bremuda grass up and then shook the soil from the roots.  This morning we finished that chore.  Franchy continued to work up the grass the next row over and finished it.  Bet raked the first row to even it and we started planting more cilantro seed.  It felt great getting dirt jammed under my fingernails.  As Beth and I were scratching dirt over the holes we drilled with our fingers, Beth said “Scratching Mother Nature’s back”.  How apt.  It felt really good to have my hands massaging the warm soil.  You should try it sometime.  Then we watered in all the seeds.  Good work team!  We broke about 1:00pm for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a salad.  Never had a meal tasted so good.  I felt so exhausted and dehydrated.  I had to sit still for a while because I had too much sun.  I don’t know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but in my yard it’s in the high 80’s/low 90’s…it’s brutal out there come 12:30 pm.  We took the rest of the day off.  Still ore to do, but tomorrow is another day.

As of this morning

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As I sit here, drinking my morning cup of coffee, letting my interns get their last ten minutes of sleep, I’m just realizing all of the work we still have to do before we can plant any seeds.  Trying to write it down on paper, to have some sort of game plan, so we’re more efficient out there.  Today, I think Franchy will wear shoes.  He learned a lesson yesterday and I didn’t have to talk to him like his mama…I can come off that way a lot, (right Monica).  But, I just thought I’d drop my readership a line to let you all know there is hard work to be done today, so please come over and show your face, pitch in if you wish!  TTFN.

And so it begins

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Today Paul took Franchy to the farmer’s market to meet with Patrice Gros about the hoop house building that will be commencing here in November.  Patrice, a fellow Frenchman was excited to know about our new French help.  Pleasantries, pleasantries.  When Franchy and Paul arrived back on the farm, Beth and I were in the north rows weeding and attempting to make them larger.  Franchy stepped in and began pitch forking the ground, while Beth shook the soil from the grass roots.  I was a row over returning mulch to the row.  Franchy turns to me, and with his French-English says, “Uh, I need, how do you say, uh…” and he lifts his foot which is covered in blood and dirt.  “A Band-Aid” I say, “Yes!  A Band-Aid, yes.”  He replies.  “What did you do?” I ask him.  He motions that he stuck himself with the pitch fork.  “Okay, go back to my house and show your foot to Paul, and he’ll take care of it.” I tell him.  After he walked away Beth and I giggled.  His first day on the job and he stabs his foot.  I think it’s noble of Franchy to travel with the WWOOF program, however, bless his little French heart, I don’t think he has ever worked on a farm before.  I sat tonight down at the home with Mrs. Barbara, doing some care giving and told all of the old ladies at dinner about this episode.  They all had a good laugh.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring less injuries.