This weekend has been filled with little amazing things.
Slivers of bright green onions pushing their way through the soil.
The call of frogs in the creek.
The voice of our resident pheasant.
Chicks venturing outside the coop, then scurrying back in.
Excitement in the eyes of little boys.
The smell of spring rain.
Life on the farm is a constant source of joy.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on March 23, 2009
We’ve been lucky to have a lot of interest in our upcoming CSA. There have been recent articles in The Reader and Jamie’s Recipes, and word of mouth has been strong. Kelly and I are excited to get it off the ground. It’s only about 60 days until pickup starts.
The initial registration period ends on March 31st, so if you want to consider membership, please use the form on the right of this page to request details.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on March 21, 2009
Since we started growing our flowers and veggies from seed a few years back, we have had a whole new world opened up to us. We had no idea there were so many varieties of tomatoes, zinnias, lettuces and more because we only shopped at our local garden center for transplants. I mean, until a few years ago, I didn’t know purple carrots existed! Once we started looking through catalogs, we just had to try some of the unusual plants that were out there. We found that many of these lesser-known varieties are even better than the commonly found varieties you see all over the place. When we decided to farm, we settled on “Black Sheep Farms” partially because we felt compelled to re-introduce people to the “black sheep” of the plant world.
So, it makes sense that as we are trying all these strange and wonderful new plants, there are a few that are my favorites. Last year, there were two, white wonder tomato and Chinese red noodle bean. The results are not always incredibly satisfying. I wasn’t enormously pleased with the production of the white wonder, and they did NOT sell at market, perhaps because people tend to shy away from freaky fruit. But the Chinese red noodle bean, oh! It was fantastic. It grew beautifully and vigorously and tasted great! At market, we hung them from the frame of the canopy and they attracted so much attention to our booth. It was great! Like everything else we grew last year, we did not grow nearly enough. So this year, I’m hoping we bought enough to hang all over the canopy.
Out of this year’s offerings, I have to say I am most excited about the pumpkin-on-a-stick. It’s an ornamental eggplant, though it looks nothing like traditional eggplant. I am skeptical that it will actually look like the picture, but that’s the whole fun of trying. Most seed packets are so cheap that it’s not too risky to just try.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on March 20, 2009
This week my grandfather died. He was a strong man, but he’d been sick for too long, and I am glad that he is not suffering anymore. The reason I write about it here is because he is an important part of my journey here. When Brian and I bought a house 10 years ago, the first thing my grandpa did was dig up salvia and daylilies from his garden for me to plant at my house. The garden magazines and compost books followed, along with all the advice I could handle. He and my grandmother ran a nursery before I was alive, and though I don’t remember the nursery, lots of my memories of being at my grandparents house involve the beautiful yard and gardens that he tended in his backyard.
Grandpa’s love of flowers was contagious. A couple of times when we came to visit, he would take me to someone’s garden that I just had to see. Some were gardens that he had helped develop and others were just gardens he had seen driving by and stopped to admire. (He lived in an extremely small town, so it wasn’t like we stopped at a stranger’s house to walk around in their yard.) I often came home from a visit full of excitement to get out to my own garden to work.
When we told Grandpa we were moving to a farm, the first thing he asked was if it had a greenhouse. When we described it to him, he decided that he needed to see it. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to come and visit. But I think of him often when I work in the greenhouse and wonder what led him to want to grow beautiful flowers. Many things led Brian and I here, and I know that Grandpa was one of them. I am so thankful to him for that.
I love you Grandpa!
Oh, I just checked and the salvia is already peeking through the soil. I’m sure it will be especially delightful this year.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on March 11, 2009