Tuesday, October 30, 2012

High Tunnel Quick Hoops: More quick and inexpensive greenhouse solutions


Fall is in full flush and I can honestly say that I have never see such beauty and color in my life. Maine has lived up to its reputation as the epicenter of fall foliage.  The abundance of reds greens, orange and yellows mixed with everything in between are visible from every vantage point, whether it be a simple drive to work the winter farmers' market or all the way up north to Acadia national park for a hike.  Discussing my plan for a late summer and fall apprenticeship, I was often told how bitter and cold Maine is.  I've learned that winter is only stubborn and harsh on the way out, yet majestic and slow going in.  The ocean, only a light jog away from the farm, takes time to cool down from the summer warmth and equally as long to warm up during the spring or elongated winter as so many Mainers dreadfully refer to it.  Nevertheless, there is always work to be done on the farm and at Four Season Farm, always something new and interesting.  With my intro to farming being in a massive greenhouse, I have grown to love greenhouse technology and the concept behind season extension.  Today we are going to take a...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Low Tunnel Quick Hoops: Minimum expense, maximum efficiency


Before the farm became a part of our reality, before we learned that carrots didn't grow in the back of supermarkets, farming was always something we believed was done in the summer. Nevertheless, it was a cold, snow-filled November morning in 2009 that we decided to set out on a simple task...if we want to learn about food, why not ask some farmers?  Although we believed the growing season must have been nearing its end, we were surprised to learn that this was far from the case.  This curiosity shifted our perception, the earth came alive and so did food.  It became individualized and we began to understand that not all food was the same.  To our surprise and enjoyment, it turns out there is a huge amount of food that can be grown all year round and some that even surpasses its summer counterpart.  Looks can be deceiving and while winter carrots may look like summer carrots, when you taste them you might think they are completely different vegetables.  Today we are going to look at the simple innovation and advantage of...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dried Black Peppermint Tea: Saving a little summer


Curiosity and the desire to learn originally led Matt and I to the farm each weekend and since making the leap out of the corporate environment and into the agricultural industry these feelings continue to be my driving force.  Finishing the day and realizing that I've learned something new, something I find useful to living a good life is an incredible feeling.  It's not everyday, but it's a lot closer to it than I've ever felt before.  Sometimes the list of new projects I want to try exceeds the amount of time I think I have, but then surprisingly enough the motivation, the tools and the spark of energy come together and it's important to take advantage of those moments when possible.  I have been diving into a lot of different food related activities lately from preserving to fermenting.  What I keep learning is that most tasks are not that hard or at least not impossible, but require persistance.  Whether it's the passion to achieve something or the curiosity to try something new, the action of doing will offer an opportunity to learn and enhance with each attempt.  To generalize, doing things myself instead of simply purchasing them.  This requires the time to analyze, deconstruct and finally rebuild whether it be a product, a recipe or even a structure.  With the famous and colorful...