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We chose our team name in honor of Pokemon, which my nephews enjoy. Seen here with my dad and our first harvest of potatoes this season.

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The Carlton County Farmers Market in Cloquet, that is. I’m planning to be there most Saturdays from 9 am – noon, if the weather’s decent. We set up in the parking lot near Premiere Theatres, which is off of Highway 33, so you can’t miss us. This week I’m bringing broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, a little spinach, some beet greens, salad turnips, radishes, kale, head lettuce, and scallions. Come early for the best selection, but don’t hesitate to stop by later, either!

The other vendors have a lot of goodies I can’t resist, like homemade bread, cookies, jam, and fresh eggs, plus meat if you don’t already have a freezer full like I do. This Saturday there’s some sort of kids’ activity planned during market hours, and kids can always hunt for the Market Mouse (a great idea if I ever heard one!). Next Saturday, July 15th, stop by for a delicious demonstration in memory of Emma Olson, The Bread Lady. It’ll feature Emma’s Finnish cardamom bread as well as bread from bakers Elizabeth Naglak and Terry Sharkey, plus jams and jellies made by farmers market members. Hope to see you there!

 

Flying by

Time is flying, as usual during our short summer. Also flying the last few days were thousands of dragonflies. Elden (my resident expert on dragons) caught and released a few and identified them as Common Baskettails, which he said must be migrating (yup, dragonflies do that). Look up: dragonflies everywhere. Look down: dragonfly shadows everywhere. I rescued a few that flew into the hoophouse and couldn’t find their way out, also a giant bumblebee (I just rolled up the side of the greenhouse a bit so it could be on its way).

The veggies are growing and so are the chicks! They seem to be enjoying their movable outside pen (chicken tractor). I started them out on the grass between the greenhouse and house so I could keep an eye on them. Eventually I’ll probably get them into a vegetable field somewhere so they can fertilize for us.

The dandelions are about done blooming and other wildflowers just getting started, or about to start blooming. The first batch of tomatoes in the hoophouse are blooming and tomatoes starting to form here and there. Lots of promise!

I hate to say it because it’ll probably make it rain from now until the end of time, but I’m actually pretty much on schedule for seeding and transplanting in the field right now. I don’t know when that has ever happened–usually either the weather doesn’t cooperate or I don’t have my poop in a group for whatever reason. So, there’s that.

I got a dozen chicks just for fun and to try out the whole laying hen thing. The newly-hatched chicks were super cute–little puffballs. I got them on the 4th and 5th and they’ve already doubled in size at least. Elden has been building two chicken tractors and has them just about finished, so I’ll be able to get the girls out on grass in a few weeks, as soon as they’ve got all their feathers for warmth.

My parents showed up this weekend and it’s great to have them around again, though they’ve got commitments back in Iowa periodically. Britt has come out a couple times and we were able to transplant a whole bunch of stuff each of those days. There’s nothing like good help to make a farmer happy.

Earth and Snow

This morning we’ve been experiencing light snow in Wrenshall, and a visitor might find it hard to believe that Earth Day was a sunny 60 degrees here. The locals are not at all surprised, of course.

20170422_PlasticInProgressElden and I decided use this weekend to replace the plastic on our oldest hoophouse, which started out fine yesterday morning but became more challenging when the wind came up mid-morning. We managed to get two layers over the top and one layer on each end of the hoophouse, opting to save the second end layer for a calm day. It’s kind of ironic that we spent Earth Day introducing plastic into the waste stream, but of course I save and reuse as much of it as possible around the farm.20170422_NewPlastic

The past rainy week definitely resulted in more green in our landscape, and after our couple of nice days Friday and Saturday, we’re expecting more rain this week. I’m hoping things will clear up again by next weekend, but one never knows.

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Digging in

We’re getting things going for the 2017 season, and still have 2 1/2 CSA shares available….

It’s CSA Day!

Every day is CSA day in my world, but … Small Farm Central organizes a more official CSA Day each year to promote CSA sign ups, and today’s the day.

Our local twist on CSA Sign Up Day is the CSA Guild’s Local CSA Farm Open House on Sunday, March 19, 2017, 2-5 pm at Clyde Iron. If you’d like to meet the people who will be growing your food for this season, this is your opportunity to interview the contestants — er, farmers– face to face. Or, you can quietly gather business cards and then order a beer. It’s up to you.

One more date to make note of if you’re considering Stone’s Throw Farm CSA: March 15 is the deadline for our wildly popular Early Bird Discount. Sign up or just check out the details here.