Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
not a joke.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Back on the farm we just started seeds for squash and cucumbers and zucchini. I'm working on plowing up more field space to plant a cover crop of clover and rye grass. The plan is to let it all grow tall, then mow it and gather up the clippings. These are super sources of nitrogen that we can let compost over the year and next year will be awesome decayed organic matter to put back into our soil. We are also busy strewing straw atop the paths between vegetable rows. This straw will help keep weeds down, as well as help keep the soil cool and protected from the drying sun and wind. Our soil is pretty sandy, so we need some way to keep moisture in the soil. A little straw blanket is just the trick.
Friday, May 22, 2009
All in all, things are looking very good. Jess has a concert as part of the Northport Chior on Memorial Day at the cemetary. Brix and Susie are coming up late tonight for the weekend.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
We are going to move the ducks and geese out of the bathtub today and into their coop. They'll have a heat light for the next couple of weeks though to fend off the cold. And it has been cold. We had a hard freeze the last two nights. Killed a lot of our radish seedlings and arugula. But we have plenty of time to replant. Not so lucky for all the cherry farmers in the area - many of the cherries are in full bloom right now -- the stage where they are most vulnerable to frost.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Now it it back home to Northport where Jess has Knitting club.
Yesterday we planted 2000 onions and 500 tomato seeds.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Our chickens and ducks and geese have been delayed for a week, which is disappointing, as we are a little lonesome up here. Still, the community is wonderful. It has been a huge treat to meet all the people here. I don't like to generalize (well actually, I love to generalize) but the helpfulness of little towns certainly surpasses my high expectations.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
"But what if it's still stuck tomorrow and you can't get back in time for work?" I protested.
"Well, then I guess I'll be late for work, no big deal."
Brix's calm reassurance won the day and I enjoyed the rest of the day, but was still worried in the back of my mind.
The next morning we got up and went to try the truck. Over the night the ground had frozen up and on the first try the truck backed right up and out the driveway.
Lessons: Sometimes it pays to just wait. Some problems really do solve themselves. Don't get too stressed out about things I can't change right now.
All good things to remember on the farm.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
That's great and all. But that's half a billion dollars for an industry that doesn't even exist yet and might not end up staying in Michigan. Do we want a repeat of the last 100 years where Michigan led the nation in auto innovation, but then saw those jobs leave the state, and ultimately the country, leaving behind decidedly un-green rotting factories, industrial pollution and laid off workers?
I'm not looking for a state handout, but a bigger acknowledgment and awareness that farming is a green job. We are doing more to help the local economy and the local environment that any battery factory. We are keeping farmland fertile and beautiful. We are feeding our neighbors healthful delicious food. We are living in a small community and keeping our dollars here -- none of our profit goes to shareholders across the Atlantic. And best of all, our job can't leave. We are rooted in place. A strong investment in long-term sustainable farming will continue to help the state in perpetuity. People always need to eat.
Friday, March 6, 2009
friends over and after lulling them into relaxation with wine and
cheese, put them to work drawing and painting signs for our
vegetables. You can see some of their handiwork on our website, under
the What we Grow link. Last night people created more than 40 signs.
There's still 40 more to go, but we made a ton of progress.
I just heard that the average American watches 5 hours of television
PER DAY! Sign making parties are a far cry more fun, productive and
interesting. Seeing everyone's unique artistic style has been really
fun. As our economy worsens and people start contemplating where to
cut back, my vote is for everyone to cancel their cable bill and start
re-engaging with their community.
Thanks Andrew, Matt, Anna, Susie, Sara, Sarah, Corinna, Vanessa,
Katie, Laura, Anya, and Jess.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Northport for at least another month and we are still living in Ann
Arbor. But we've already started growing things. Jess and I seeded a
tray of leeks last week. We made little pots out of rolled up
newspaper, about the size of toilet paper rolls, and planted four leek
seeds in each. They started poking their heads up in search of light
a couple of days ago. Eliot Coleman, whose organic farming books
are indispensable, suggests just plopping each little tube of four
leeks in the ground, one every foot or so. The leeks grow in little
clumps, already bunched for harvesting, and it is really easy to weed
Now they are living in our bedroom under a couple of fluorescent
lights. Last night I sang them to sleep with the aid of my banjo.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
"Why don't you dream that anymore?"
"I didn't know you could still be a farmer."
Most people aren't farmers. Not anymore. It's not a career that anyone is encouraged to pursue. But we are going to try. I believe that many people have a deep desire to be closer to the land, to grow their food and work outside. At Bare Knuckle Farm we are trying to create one small example. Young people want to farm, can farm, and will be the people who feed our friends and neighbors.
But since the average age of farmers in America is approaching 60 years old, there are fewer role-models out there. The farmers that are left are too often not so much farmers, but tractor drivers piloting their $100,000 machines across their 2,000 acres. This is our first year. We've read and studied and interned as much as we can, but we've never done this before. Not for ourselves. So this is our experiment. Here on our blog we'll keep you updated about what we've done; what is working and what's not.
We are going to grow good, honest vegetables. Come by and see us.