Friday, May 27, 2011

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet

We are in full swing here at Sol Flower Farm. We survived the copious amounts of rain and are ecstatic to be back in the fields. The crew is actually out in the fields on this glorious day harvesting our first bounty of 2011!! Lettuces, kale, chard, broccoli raab… yum! We will have our first bounty available today at the Amenia Farmer’s Market between 3 and 7pm. Hopefully you can stop by and say hello to the friendly Sol Flower face of Tracey! She will be our Friday market woman and is looking forward to selling and chatting about our first harvest of the year. We will also be at the Millbrook Farmer's Market on Saturdays throughout the season.


CSA Members and CSA member wanna be’s…. our first pickup will be next Saturday, June 4th. Tuesday pickup people will start their shares on June 7th. Anyone who hasn’t paid his or her remaining balance, please do so as soon as possible in order to receive your share. I bet you can’t wait!!! The fields look amazing and plentiful! I know my mouth is watering.

Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed our kick-off season
Plant Sale and BBQ!

The weather cooperated with us right until the last minutes of the day. We did get a little wet cleaning up… well maybe more like drenched, but I think the plants and ourselves needed it! It was great to see some familiar faces again and definitely got our crew excited for this season to begin. And of course a big thanks to Herondale! The burgers and hot dogs from Herondale were delicious, especially when washed down with an iced cold beer and accompanied with a fresh pasta salad with our very own broccoli raab. It was a fabulous, successful day.

We are continuing to sell some plant starts, but they are going fast! If you weren’t able to make it to our kick-ass season opening last Saturday, make sure to stop by this weekend and check out what’s available. Maybe you’ll even want to sign up for a CSA share?! Everybody’s doing it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh Weather, How Mysterious You Are

Hello Farm Friends,

This spring at Sol Flower Farm has certainly been interesting. Battling with wet fields one week and having to irrigate the next made this spring full of surprises and forced the flexible farmer to bend even further. We started off the spring with rain, rain and more rain. As with many farmers across North America we had issues entering our fields to plow, disc and plant. If you weren't aware, working the fields when the soil is to saturated can cause major soil compaction and disturbances in the natural biomechanics of the earth. With that in mind, the moisture in the earth at the beginning of the season caused some issues with timing of plow dates, bed preparation and planting. However, as all farmers must, we overcame these issues with some cooperation from Old Man Weather by taking advantage of every possible opportunity to get into the fields and get down and dirty.

Last week we were graced with sun and dry weather for 7 days in a row. Taking advantage of this glorious weather and the break in the spring dampness we got to planting, and in a hurry! Zinnias, sunflowers, status, asters, salvia and millet all went into our flower field by our lovely greenhouse so we can offer the earliest summer color to brighten up the days and your homes. We were able to plant four beds of onions of all different varieties, as well as, a bed of three varieties of lettuce and beds of fennel, chard, radicchio, beets and carrots.

In addition to planting during the much needed break in rain we had an opportunity to fire up our new plastic mulch layer. Trevor, Jay and Andy were hard at work for a full day inspecting and figuring out the dynamics behind the layer and formatting it perfectly for our specific needs here at Sol Flower. Laying the plastic was a challenge at first but after a few attempts we got it down to a science and laid out 15 rows of plastic! The advantages of planting in plastic are countless but to mention a few are: a reduction in cultivation due to a decreased exposure in growing area and therefore a decrease in the amount of weeds, the ability to trap moisture underneath the plastic to decrease the need for irrigation, and lastly the increase in heat at the root level so that plants can put on a bigger fruit set. Some of the crops that we'll be planting in the plastic layer are cucumbers, watermelon, peppers and eggplants. So be prepared for some big, luscious, healthy vegetables.

This week the weather has turned back to its spring ways and has graced us with a whole lot more rain. Decreasing our need for irrigation (good) but postponing access to our land (bad) we have busied ourselves with greenhouse work and preparation for the busy weekend ahead. Our first market is on Friday in Amenia (3pm-7pm) so we are actively gathering the necessary market supplies and preparing to reacquaint ourselves with our wonderful customers. In addition to our first market of the year we will be holding our annual plant sale on Saturday (May 21st) from 9am-4pm. Andy, Hayley, and Jay are busy creating inventory lists of all the available plants for sale, creating labels and designing and putting up signs all over the area. Stop by and say hello.

The Sol Flower Farm Crew

Monday, May 16, 2011

Season Opening

What would the season be like without a kick-off BBQ and Plant Sale?? I can't even imagine! Come join us this Saturday, May 21st and see what's going on at Sol Flower and Herondale Farms!

We will have plenty of starter plants for your gardens at home. Tomatoes, Peppers, Kale, Lettuces, Herbs, Eggplant, Cosmos, Zinnias, and more! No time to dig in the dirt? Sign up for our CSA! Reap the delicious benefits of our fields with weekly shares of vegetables and herbs. Sign up now! We will start harvesting in the next couple of weeks and won't stop until late fall.
Check out our website for more information We will be happy to answer any questions you may have this Saturday! Did we mention we're excited for our opening Saturday? Hope to see you this Saturday!

Friday (the day before Saturday) marks the date of our first Amenia Farmer's Market! We will be there May 20th from 3-7pm. Come help support your favorite, local farmers!

These two events are both great opportunities to meet the new crew at Sol Flower. Please be sure to stop and introduce yourselves.
Be sure to check back for more updates... coming soon!