We have had a nice stretch of sunny weather these past few days, making up for the high winds (always stressful on a farm) earlier this week.
I wanted to take a moment to update you on spring happenings at Slip Away. As many of you already know, it is a bit of a different season for us this year. Ian and I are welcoming a second baby at the very end of May and I had some difficulty finding the help I needed for the busy season, particularly with me taking some time for the baby. In January, I had to make the difficult decision to not offer our vegetable CSA shares this summer.
But, thanks to the return of my wonderful Flower Manager, Anna Swanson, we are still able to offer our Flower (both mixed shares and single variety shares) and Bread Shares to members this year. Still a few spots available in our Saturday Flower Shares if anyone is interested!
While we will be scaling back our vegetable production, we are growing some of the summer dinner table essentials : eggplant, peppers, summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers. We plan on opening the roadside stand (which will be getting an update thanks to Collins) as soon as possible with early summer blooms and then we are planning on opening the farmstand on Friday and Saturdays as usual in July and August.
Anna has jumped right in over the past few weeks, seeding, repairing the hoophouse, doing a bit of spring cleaning, and prepping the beds in the field for the first plantings.
I feel pretty excited about our bed prep this year. In the fall, thanks to a trade with Working Earth, we were able to move a huge amount of our compost out to the Wasque field. These past few weeks, we have essentially been building raised beds with that compost, using the tractor to pile it on thickly on top of a section of the field that had a winter-killed cover crop of oats and peas.
Then we pull black landscape fabric over the top for a few weeks, letting it both warm the soil and kill any weeds wanting to come up into the bed. This method will allow us to grow entirely without tillage, a detrimental practice to the health of the soils.
Other news: lambs at the farm! Collins' and Lucy's small flock of Icelandic sheep welcomed a ram in the fall and now there are the cutest little bundles hopping around, including three born on Easter morning. One of the Easter lambs was not much bigger than a rabbit himself.
This summer, after a smaller trial last year, Collins is raising 300 meat birds to sell. I am really looking forward to having meat available in the farmstand again -- I had to stop offering it because it became so difficult to source in the months that we needed it; in recent years, most Island farmers move their stock on their own stands and do not have enough to wholesale to others. Very thankful that Collins is taking this new project on. I'll need to purchase a new chest freezer for the farmstand: stay tuned for a fun raffle to help us do this!
That's all the news from the farm this sunny Friday morning. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
All the best,