Week 8: Melons!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Ground Cherries (aka husk cherries)
Watermelons and green beans for RI
Okra, honeyblonde honeydews, and duck eggs for Quincy
Honeyblonde honeydews and yard long beans for Dorchester
Diplomat cantelopes and green beans for JP
Savor cantelopes and green beans for farm pick-ups
MELONS! Click to see the variety.
Dust Bowl 2016
The drought is just as bad, if not worse. The recent heavy brief rainfall only soaked the first half inch of soil, none of it seeping into where the plant’s roots are located. I am using the little water I have left – my wells are about 2 feet deep – to barely keep things alive. While I still feel blessed with our harvest and while production is good, we are probably getting about 50 – 75% less production in terms of weight. And in this game, weight generally equals money! So bare with our small melons, but they should taste just as delicious. Sweet, organic New England drought-surviving melons!
So what am I going to do? Well I can’t get water delivered unless I have a holding tank, which would cost over 3 – 5 grand and then I’d have to pay for several or constant deliveries throughout the rest of the summer and fall. I do not want to invest in digging a deeper well ($20,000 – 30,000) because this is not my property.
So I hired my friend to come dig a waterhole at one of the lowest point of my property. The idea is that if we can hit the ground water, shove a massive PVC pipe down there, surround the pipe with rocks so that the hole doesn’t cave in, and so that water can be held between the spaces between the rocks, then I can throw a pump down into the PVC pipe and suck water out. And hopefully the ground water will refill the hole faster than the pump is sucking.
Pasture- Raised Meat Chickens
Also exciting news on the farm is that we are raising broilers, or chickens for meat! We are raising 190 Freedom Ranger chickens. They are a moderate growing broiler… not as fast as commercial chickens that often grow so fast that they can’t even walk or often die of heart attacks. They are pasture-raised in mobile chicken tractors.
Every morning and every afternoon we slowly move the tractors over onto a fresh pasture. The chickens quickly eat up the tips of grasses and small plants, and fight over crickets and grasshoppers. Using two dollies on each side, we’re able to slowly move the without too many chickens escaping. Okay it’s a little bit tedious. But at the same time we are fertilizing the fields for next year.
Here you can see what they do to the pasture in just 8 hours. So, fed only organic grain, raised outdoors on pasture, with no antibiotics or hormones, these LOCAL chickens will be available to you on the DAY THEY ARE PROCESSED, meaning I hope you enjoy the freshest chicken you have ever experienced. They will be ready around the second or third week of September, so stay tuned!