We're so excited to be hosting our friend Phil's honey bees. Pollinators are so important to what we do here at the farm and these creatures are proving to be equally fascinating and unbelievable. There are five hives located a safe distance from our market garden guarded by electric fencing to deter any curious bears (we hope anyhow!). We've gotten to meet our bees up close and personal, and we're happy to report that the queens have been accepted and our hives appear to be thriving. By the end of July, we think we'll be ready to harvest some honey!
A wet spring has left us a bit behind in the garden though this first harvest gives us hope! We made a garlic scape pesto to put on grilled fish and toasted bread. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the leek moth damage we're seeing on these alliums. This pest is relatively new to VT and loves to burrow into our garlic and onion bulbs, introducing disease and shortening the storage life of these pantry essentials. The leek moth flies by night and covering this crop with remay in the evening helps to deter the little bugger.
With memories of hauling 50lb bags of freshly milled flour from Elmore Mountain Bread down to NH to work with students from BB&N and their new pizza oven, I knew I wanted an outdoor oven at the Market Garden School. With help from Chris Chontos (on stones), and Simha Bode and Mark Krawczyk of Keyline Vermont (on natural plaster), our cob oven was born! It was amazing to watch these craftsmen mold age old traditions to realize this corner stone project of our farm school.
With snow still on the ground, Whole Systems Design is helping us to turn our attention to the coming of spring and our long term goals and visions. This process is proving invaluable as we consider how best to develop and manage this land for resilience and regeneration.
It may not look like much but that's a newly plowed field in the distance! I've been dreaming of this for many years and breaking ground on this property makes it all feel quite real. I'm grateful to UVM's Farmer Training Program for loaning me their moldboard plow, and to Sage Farm for entrusting me with their Kubota tractor for the day. A huge thanks to Ryan Percy as well for bringing over his disc harrow. Now it's time to get some lime and a rye/vetch cover crop on the field before winter arrives!
A huge thanks to all my farm friends at UVM for the building and raising of The Market Garden School's shed! And a shout out to Yestermorrow for their design and guidance, and to Andy Lang @bakingfarmer for being our fearless foreman.