Saturday, July 21, 2012

Somebody Please Send Us Some Rain!

So it has been nearly three weeks since we got a decent amount of rain in the run of a day. Andrea lent us a sprinkler from facilities a few weeks back which gives us range of about 5-6 rows which is nice, but we've got three very large fields to keep watered, and only one hose which we have to lug between the them. We're just watching the forecast, and like farms across the continent, we're hoping every day for some rain.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tomato Transplants From Anderson's Greenhouse

 Today, Sydney and I picked up the mail truck to drive to Anderson's Greenhouse in Sackville, who kindly gave us 54 dozen tomato transplants for the farm. There is a huge variety, but they weren't going to be sold and are getting too big for their trays so we were happy to take them off their hands. We'll be planting these in Mozambique throughout the week, so hopefully the sun and their size won't effect the transplanting. We've included a photo of the tomatoes outside our shed (at least 15 varieties) and another of some of them that are already fruiting. The basil we ordered from them has turned out fantastic so we have really high hopes for these tomatoes.

Thanks Anderson's!

First Harvest!

Hooray! We have our first sale! We harvested 3 lbs of basil today and brought it to Chef Tom who's going to be making it into some pesto that he'll be freezing for mealhall. We've picked off all of the flowers from the basil so they keep growing and the watering we're doing is just enough so it keeps coming back. It's looking like we're going to be able to profit from the basil transplants we bought back in May. We'll most likely be harvesting the same amount (or more) every week until the summer is over.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lettuce, lettuce, and more lettuce! (and pak choi)

Through deductive reasoning, we've realized through the slow maturity of our lettuce plants that there is some nutrient deficiency in our soil, but have no fear, we're still going to have a healthy variety of lettuce (just maybe a bit later than we expected). We've got 4 varieties in total, including a mesclun mix, some romaine, some pak choi, and  tango. The mesclun and tango were some of our first planted varieties, and the pak choi we weren't able to get the germination success rate we wanted. The romaine's we've done in two waves in transplants, which should be ready to plant the weeks of the 16th and the 23rd. Aside from our radish planting, transplanting our romaine heads will be the last planting we have. 

Harvesting of lettuce should be just around the corner as well. The mesclun mix can be cut and will continue to grow, while the pakchoi, romaine and the tango will have to be harvested entirely. The tango and mesclun mixes we have are just small ones designed to supply meal hall for conferences, and we have a bigger planting of each scheduled for later this month which should be ready in time for the students to be back.

Our first wave of romaine transplants, well on their way! 

The mesclun mix looks like it is about to take off! 

The tango is a bit behind schedule but should be reaching maturity in a few weeks! 

although we didn't have the best seed success rates with the pak choi, the ones we did manage to grow look healthy and hearty

Remember, we are always looking for visitors to come to the farm! If you'd like to visit and have a tour or lend a hand, e-mail

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Do you recognize these bugs?

So we have some unexpected visitors in Iran where our squash, cucumber and pumpkins are growing. The two bugs above are eating the leaves of our seedlings (along with flea beetles) and their larvae are devouring the root systems of the seedlings and feeding off the manure. We dug out a lot of the maggots and rotted manure before replanting and are spraying the seedlings with an organic soap insect repellent, but any advice anyone has on how to deal with these two, or if you even know what they are, we'd love to hear from you in the comment section! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Flame-weeder and Cucumber Seedlings!

Michelle came to spend the day at the farm and we were overwhelmed with excitement to see how many weeds had grown in Mozambique since Friday....only kidding of course. We had four beds to prep for the peas which were going to be planted along with the final planting of our pak choi! After a good hoe, it was time to whip out our trusted flame-weeder which, as we've said before, is a mini flame-thrower that toasts anything in sight. Aside from the handful of ladybug casualties, it is the most fun activity we get to do at the farm! Here's a photo of Sydney starting to roast as Michelle hoes the other beds

 Here is a a before photo of the beds we did yesterday and next to them are the four that we planned on doing today (Notice all those weeds!)
 And here's the after photo of those four rows. Although its taken from a couple beds down from the last photo, you can see how the flame-weeder leaves us with a fresh bed for the seeds that helps to give them a head start against the weeds.
 On another exciting note, our tomato transplants are finally mature enough to go into the ground, so we'll be planting them on Wednesday when Michelle comes to visit again for the day. The photo shows two of the three varieties we have (Scotia and tiny tim) We also checked up on our cucumber see if the seeds had been eaten by those blasted crows and we were excited to see that some of them had started to sprout! It hasn't even been a week and already they are starting to crack the surface! Hooray!
And here is a staged photo of me that we took after we'd planted the first 1.5 rows of peas today. Boy do I look excited. We've still got another 1.5 beds of bush peas to do tomorrow along with the last planting of the pak choi.

If you're reading this and around Sackville and bored during this week, send us an e-mail at We'll be planting romaine, pumpkin, beets, pak choi, peas and tomatoes this week and would love to have you visit us!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weeds, weeds and more weeds!

This is what we're up against! The second half of Mozambique has started to get a bit out of control when it comes to weeds. Today we planted the second planting of romaine lettuce directly, and the rest of the day was spent hoeing our grassiest section. The flame weeder ran out of fuel so all we could use was our own bodies for this one. It is going to be a lot of work prepping these beds now that the grass and other weeds have started to grow, but we've got a handle on it thus far. Michelle is going to be joining us on Monday, so we'll be sure to put her to work helping us weed!

As we were leaving we noticed the crows were eating our cucumber seed. If they didn't get washed away in this rain, we're worried that the birds are going to be eating them. For those of you reading this post, what has been your most effective tactic for dealing with crows and other birds? we'd love to hear your ideas in the comment section!