Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vegetable of the Week

Garlic flowers, or scapes, are a mild flower bud that our hardneck garlic produces as Summer approaches. A mild, less pungent version of our favorite garlic, it lends itself beautifully to stir fries, sauteing, and general cooking. We harvest the buds as soon as they appear. For those of us who need garlic in our lives year-round, this mild Spring garlic fits the bill nicely.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No,'s still raining?

To give you an idea of my latest obsession, I get up in the morning and turn on the computer. Within twenty minutes, even if I'm trying not to, I have checked no less than three different 10-day forecasts online. Then I listen to KPLU with an ear for the weather. I get cranky when people talk over the top of the weather forecast. It doesn't really matter what it says, because it has consistently changed before the glorious row of sunballs arrives at our doorstep. Sure, two days of sun is lovely. Three is even better. But it's the middle of June here, and we're staring down yet another week of partly cloudy and showers. They just keep taunting us with those sunballs.

Your neurotic, sun-starved farmers are anxious to get more seeds in the ground!

Not to mention that we're so used to this gloomy weather, that whenever the sun does come out, we are in a panic to get everything done, and we're so darn hot. 75 degrees? I don't know if we can bear it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Simpson Elementary returns for a Farm Tour

Two 4th grade classes from Simpson Elementary School in Montesano arrived yesterday for a farm tour. They were here at the farm last Autumn, planting trees for our riparian restoration project. Dawn Gedenberg, from ESD 113, forwarded some of the students responses to their post tour question sheet.
They were an amazing group, and I wanted to share their words with you:

1.) How do the greenhouses help the plants?

- They keep them warm and protect them from the weather.
- It helps by keeping the same temperature and to keep the bugs and animals away.
- To prepare the plants for the outdoors.

2.) What is a cover crop and how does it help the soil?

- Plants like clover, for erosion control, put nutrients back in the soil.

3.) Why is it good to plant lots of different kinds of plants?

- Because say an animals eats a certain plant. If you have the same plants, he will eat all of them. But if you have different plants, he will eat only some.
- That creates biodiversity.
- The more plants there is there will be more animals.
- It keeps some alive when others die.

4.) How do the trees you planted help Boistfort Valley Farm?

- They help Boistfort Valley Farm give homes to animals who need homes.
- It provides habitat.
- It keeps the mud from flooding in.

5.) What are some ways that organic farmers keep harmful bugs away?

- They get owls, lady bugs, grasshoppers, and more…
- They make habitats for birds so they can kill the bad bugs.
- They attract birds and insects that eat harmful insects.

I am excited to have students here on the farm, and impressed by the organizations who are working to make these programs available. Dawn mentioned that the students also "participate in water quality testing in the Chehalis Basin and attended the Student Congress in March to do fun watershed-related activities like build birdboxes and discuss water quality data and make recommendations for improving the basin."