Summer 2016 – Peak Season has arrived!

DSC_3705The tastes of summer are here, along with the heat!

Summer 2016 has brought with it plenty of heat and dry weather, however, we are producing some of the best hot weather crops we have ever seen.

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Our strawberry harvest was great this season along with the early summer vegetables. As the season has progressed our herb crops have flourished and the tomatoes are selling well at market. We have added a third hoop house this year, as a result we were able to add new tomato varieties that have been a hit at market.

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We were overrun by blueberries this season!
Our main planting of high bush blueberries has matured resulting in a massive harvest.
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We are also proud to announce an addition to our herd of Scottish Highland cattle.

Baby Agabus was born on the farm a few weeks ago and is settling in nicely.

He is the second calve that has been born on the farm.

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Heading into August the dry weather has been a bit of a concern but we are irrigating daily. This season we have added low pressure portable sprinklers to help speed up this watering process.
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We look forward to the remainder of the summer and all great tastes that it is sure to bring!

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Spring 2015 – Welcoming the new growing season!

Spring crops in our propagation barn.

Spring crops in our propagation barn.

The spring growing season is upon us once again here at Wildfire Fellowship Farm, the winter hoop house spinach crops have gone by and we are ready to start the new season!

Soil block seed starts in the barn.

Soil block seed starts in the barn.

Soon the propagation area of the barn will be full of trays containing hundreds of soil blocks, each is the starting medium for a seed. Some of the seeds are no larger than a fleck of pepper, they will soon be growing into vigorous plants ready for transplant.

Permanent raised beds in the hoop house growing area.

Permanent raised beds in the hoop house growing area.

Outside on the land our permanent raised beds stand ready for transplants. Our first outside plantings have started this week with the aid of fabric row covers to help control for the cool spring temperatures. We have introduced the permanent raised beds as a way to intensify soil health and reduce mechanical tillage.

The garlic crop for this season has awoken!

The garlic crop for this season has awoken!

As the days get longer and the soil warms our nearly 1000 cloves of garlic that were planted last fall begin to crest the surface. Their green whips remind us that some plants need the harshness of winter to grow into their full character.

Thyme, Leeks, and Onions transitioning to the outside weather in one of our hoop houses.

Thyme, Leeks, Onions and other seedlings transitioning to the outside weather in one of our hoop houses.

Now that the winter spinach crop has gone by we cover the beds with black landscape fabric to weaken the plants before they are cleared for the another crop. We also use the hoop houses to transition seedlings to outdoor weather before they are transplanted.

The spring fed watering point for our new cattle.

The spring fed watering point for our new cattle.

In addition to preparing for the new growing season we are getting ready for our new Scottish Highland cows Polly and Bronwen. We have established a spring fed water source and are in the process of setting up paddock fencing. We will be practicing intensive rotational grazing with our herd. Simply put we will be moving our cows around the property frequently, even daily! A combination of fixed and portable fencing will guide our small herd to their grazing location every day. This practice closely mimics the natural grazing pasterns of animals such as wild buffalo. This natural grazing method will help enrich and build our soil for years to come.

Polly, our four year old Scottish Highland cow who will be giving birth to a calve on our farm this spring.

Polly, our four year old Scottish Highland cow who will be giving birth to a calve on our farm this spring.

Bronwen our two year old Scottish Highland cow.

Bronwen our two year old Scottish Highland cow.

We expect the cows to be on the farm in early May, they will be coming to us from Stan Maynard’s Orchard Hill Farm located just outside Caribou Maine.

Spring on the farm wouldn’t be complete without picking a few rocks out of the growing beds. They say we grow great rocks here in Maine!

Always plenty of rock picking to do every spring!

Always plenty of rock picking to do every spring!

Our spring growing season is off to a great start here on the farm, we look forward to seeing new customers this year in our CSA and at market.

 

 

Adapted to the growing season in Maine

Wildfire Fellowship Farm operates year round using methods developed by Eliot Coleman ( no relation ) among others. On the farm we utilize tools such as unheated hoop houses and fabric row covers to extend our growing and harvest season.

Winter of 2012-2013 inside hoop house #2.

Winter of 2012-2013 inside hoop house #2.

The hoop house environment combined with row covers provides just enough protection for the hearty crops to thrive in the fall and be harvested over the winter. This approach is both sustainable and efficient, keeping us busy all year around.

Walking out to check on Hoop House # 2

Walking out to check on Hoop House # 2

During the spring the hoop house environment is used as a transition space for seedlings as they are moved out of the seed starting barn before they are planted in the fields. Soon after as spring becomes summer the hot weather crops take over inside the hoop house such a tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants.

Inside hoop house #1 during the summer of 2012.

Inside hoop house #1 during the summer of 2012.