Tag Archives: harvest

Jumble of photos from Nook & Cranny Farm.

  
the past two Sunday’s I’ve been away – the Garlic Pull at Sara’s farm, then at a friend’s wedding.

  
I’ve been making up time on alternate days, but haven’t kept all the photos straight, so here’s a jumble of recent photos from the past couple of weeks from Nook & Cranny.

  
 
The usual first photo upon arrival…

  
Often followed by a friendly greeting by Other.

  
The onions have mostly been harvested & are now curing in various locations around the farm

  
It’s always an exciting moment for me, as they were seeded back in the bitter cold time of February & March…

  
Sometimes they grow a bit wild…

  
Yippee! Okra!!

  
Tomatoes coming in & the Barred Rocks from this year have begun laying their eggs

So cute!

  
Wise birds, they stay out of the high heat of the day…

  
A smaller hoop house with cucumbers, peppers, & tomatoes.

  
Here’s a tour of the large hoop house where most of the tomatoes are planted.

   
 I was struck by the, um, what I call “tomato dust” contrasting with the purple cherry tomato.

Feel free to educate me on the proper name for this aromatic stuff of the tomato plant.

  
Bob grows many varieties of peppers, but Serrano is my favorite.

  
Today’s arrival as harvest was underway…

  
Shallots!!!

  
Beginning the box…

   
   
Totes, baskets, & wheelbarrows filled with August goodness ready for distribution in the barn…

   
    
 Abundance & beauty

  
This wheelbarrow will be steadily filled as harvest unfolds with “thirds” & culled vegetables which will be fed to the pigs.

  
Plantlings are coming up well…

I’ll put up another post about the fall planting…

  
More onions curing in the greenhouse, & the allium tally written on the chalkboard.

I cut my workday short due to a migraine…

Feeling much better now – more to come.

  

 


Garlic pull – Little.

  
My little bed of garlic turned out to be quite productive this year.

& while I intentionally planted “doubles” in order to get smaller bulbs (they keep better), well, they weren’t exactly smaller.

  
I’m not complaining… Just surprised, is all.

I wasn’t in my own garden much this year.

Work, depression, fatigue…

My gratitude for the rain that came, for the weeds which provided moisture retention, & the owners of the land who took off the scapes.

  
The Ukrainian & Romainian varieties yielded the most bulbs. 

Above are 52 stalks of the Ukrainian variety.

  
Quack grass roots. Hrumph. This will go into the cull pile to be eaten right away.

  
I’m digging my garlic late, & this is one of the reasons why getting garlic out of the ground in time is important: the garlic begins to sort of “grow out” from  its skin.

  
And the skin on the stem can separate from the bulb… 

Ah well.

  
Fortunately, there were only about 8 culled bulbs out of about 150.

  
That means plenty for seed, sharing, & through Winter & Spring!

  
  
Clinging to a buckwheat leaf wrapped around a garlic stalk was this gorgeous snowy moth.

I asked an ornithologist friend who is also a, um, moth-person which type of moth this was…

Virginian Tiger Moth!

  
Thank you garlic!

Thank you earth & elements!

& much gratitude &  thanks to all you readers who for whatever reason, brings you to this blog.


Garlic Pull – Big.

Yet another tardy post from two Sunday’s ago…

Sara’s garlic pull.

There’s a bit of a walk to get to the field.

First there’s the path which crosses a dry/wet stream…

  
The sound of laughter leading through a canopy of hardwood trees

Up a hillside

  
Sunlight – a sign of being close to the field

  
Almost there, just out of the woods, laughter louder…

  
A faraway welcome greeting from friends

  
It’s good to be known & loved.

  
Okay, down to business.

There those who “pull” and those who “dig”

I dig. That means I’ve had years of experience wielding a digging fork so as to be less likely to stab the bulb of garlic.

  
I don’t have a photo of a stab, but if you can imagine gouging a 1/2 inch wide steel tine with the force of a human leg behind it pushing through soil & scraping into the tender flesh of a below ground vegetable, well, you get the picture.

  
Both jobs are important.

Those that dig, loosen the soil below & around each head of garlic with a 4-tine digging fork. Methodically moving down each row.

The ones who pull, grab low on the stem to unearth the garlic intact. 

The soil is brushed from the roots & bulb, then laying it (gently) in piles.

  
   
 
Bundles are made, & tied in such a way as to be strong enough to hold the weight of about 15 – 20 stalks in each bundle, which are then tied via square knot in pairs.

These will be hung over nails high in the barn to dry.

  
It was a beautiful day – and we dug the entire half-acre of garlic with the least amount of stabs EVER.

  

This is the river of bundled garlic awaiting Sara & two of her horses pulling the wagon.

  
A view from the field across the pasture where the horse barn lives.

  
A closer view as she harnesses the horses…

  
Here they come!

  
Connor on the left, & Larry on the right!

  
So handsome. Big beauties.

  
I mostly was taking many videos at this point of the day – but I didn’t ask everyone for their blessing to be posted on the blog, so my apologies for the choppy sequence.

Once the cart was loaded to capacity, Sara drives Connor & Larry down a lane then up the road to where the garlic is hung at the barn near the house.

  
Then they return with an empty cart, and once again the cart is loaded back up with the remaining garlic, & Sara drives the horses back to the barn by the house where the rest of the garlic is hung.

  
While I’m not afraid of heights, & used to be one of the people at the top of the ladders, it’s a heavy job so I bowed out this year of that final step.

  
And it was with Sara’s blessing that I stayed and simply sat in the field & enjoyed just being there, taking in the sounds.

  
Half-acre of garlic, hanging from the barn rafters.

I felt fatigued from the long day of physical work out in the sun, and I felt happy & proud & grateful to be a part of this yearly ritual & especially, with the awareness that this garlic allowed the horses to have hay in the winter & Sara’s daughter to go to college… Well, I felt content in a deep way.


Change

one of my closest friends is moving

to another state, about 6 hours away.

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(that’s her.  and yeah, those would be collards…)

that she’s moving is both a wonderful thing and a sad thing

i feel a big joy & happiness

and

i feel a great loss & deep sadness

she is a special creature

easy to talk with, kind, accepting, open, playful, thoughtful, allows herself and others the space for the wide range of feelings that blow through a human at any given time…

we’d encourage each other in our dreams, share our hopes, fears, & goings-on in any given day…

i respect the way she lives her life…

it’s a great choice, her moving to where she’s headed

…near her family, within community, and to a progressive state that seems to have its sh*t together.

together today we dug the last of the potatoes.

in 2009, along with 3 other women, we farmed together on this land.

had a small, organic CSA

she’s old enough to be my mom (her son & i are the same age) but we are similar creatures in many ways.

it was a really nice day today for digging potatoes.

cool and overcast

soil not too cold

easy digging

lots of juicy earthworms.

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(this big boogie came up with my first dig.

base of palm to middle finger tip is 6 and 1/4 inches, folks.

ho-lee whopper.  it proceeded to crawl into my sleeve as i walked it back to the potato bed.)

today we dug up over 89 pounds of potatoes.

(not including green ones and stabs).

add this to the already dug up, boxed, & shrouded in old sheets and towels – in all it makes nearly 500 pounds of potatoes.

i love growing potatoes.

like digging for buried treasure.

driving home i was reflecting on the day we planted them in May…

she and i and the woman who owns the land…

our ages in May were 67, 41, and 71, respectively.

my friend and i did most of the heavier work, but we all pitched in.

when mrs. landowner was tired, she sat in a lawn chair that we dragged into the garden and tell us stories about times in her life… that day sharing stories from her experience as a Freedom Rider in the 60’s.

rich tales straight from history

we were floored.

she kept apologizing for not doing more work…

“no no no!”  we’d say  “this is GREAT thank you for sharing your stories!!”

moved by this repetition of apology, i shared about images i once saw many years ago while working at an art & paper supply store in NYC

it looked like it was from an old magazine.  written in French (which i don’t speak) but from the photos it was clear that in this hand-made-paper-making town, the entire community was involved.  young and old.

the stronger people pulled the paper.

(link to an image of a burly dude pulling paper.  whoa that frame is HEAVY)  http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4492/1787/1600/duchene.jpg

the elders sat around a table together, removing petals from flowers to be used as inclusions in the paper pulp.

(i’ll try to see if i can find the image somehow…)

the photos from this old French town, a community working together and honoring the bodies & skills of each person, really struck me.

this, to me, was a sort of cohesion & honoring & connection i feel there is a lot of room for in our culture…

the potato planting day reflected this sort of mini-community…

each of us working together

contributing skills at our level of ability

we took our time

(read: slow)

talking, resting, drinking plenty of water, snacks as needed, listening to stories, and acknowledging each other for the good work we were doing…

o i love my friend.

(sigh)

it’s a big change for her

a literal grand movement towards something she’s been wanting for a long, long time…

i look forward to visiting her in her new home

i am happy knowing she’s settling in a great place

i will miss her deeply.

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