Nice spring weather this week, helping out the growth of our lovely vegetables.
Monday was a bright sunny day, and having heard it was going to rain, we put lots of vegetable seeds, vegetable transplants, fruit trees, and cover crop seed into the ground.
Sure enough, a nice heavy rain came in the evening to settle in all of our plants.
After a couple of cool days that came along with the rain, the temperature picked up and we had a few really intense days of heat. That combination of plants and seeds in the ground (and greenhouse), lots of rain, then lots of sun, make it so that the plants take off. Really though, you could probably sit and literally watch plants grow.
Speaking of being grateful for rain, I’m really excited about the rain water catchment system on the barn house. Because the house we live in is a big old renovated potato barn, it has a nice long, regular roof, which provides ample surface area for rain to fall on. Taking note of this early on, Ben designed a rain catchment system where rain runs off of the roof into a gutter and gets directed into a long pipe that runs over into a large water cistern. From here, with the help of a small pump (which I believe is solar powered), the rain water gets pumped over to another water cistern that is closer to one of our farm fields and sits about fifteen feet high on a platform. The water then can be set up as a gravity-fed drip irrigation system for that field.
Pretty neat, if you ask me.
Taking advantage of available resources. Just another element of what makes this farm an urban homestead, more than just a farm and home.
This weekend had some other lovely farm and food adventures.
On Saturday, Danya and I headed up to a farm I used to live at for small gathering. This farm, called Porcupine Hill Farm, is about two hundred acres of land up in one of the hill towns that surrounds this here valley. Most of the land is in woods, although a good fifteen to twenty acres are in hay production and horse pasture. There’s also a huge, raised bed vegetable garden.
We ate a beautiful meal of fresh garden spinach salad and last years pesto on pasta out in the hay barn.
We even had some entertainment that included people in costumes emerging from the woods.
Yes. It is a magical place.
I also had a great adventure on Sunday harvesting ramps (wild onions), out in the woods. There were so many of them! I picked a bunch so that I could share them with friends.
I looked for fiddle head ferns as well, but having no luck that day, I ended up buying some from one of our local grocery stores.
These wild foods are integral to springtime in this valley for me.
As much as I love growing food, I even moreso love collecting food from the forest. It feels like such a timeless human experience.
Rain, barn picnics, ramps… must be spring.