April showers bring May flowers, and weeds, and more weeds.
Organic gardening is our goal, but oh dear, the weeds. It is a continuing battle. There are good weeds, and then there are bad weeds. It is a long story about land and weeds.
Organic farming is expensive. Expensive is labor costs, and achieving our organic license. But sustainability and land stewardship are central to our goal.
Organic compost helps the land. Our focus this month, really in truth all year, is the organic compost we make to help the trees and give back to the land. Our property was never farmed, and lay fallow for years and years. We began with a D-9 CAT “ripping” to 9 feet to till the land properly before we planted any trees. This process allowed us to inspect the land, make sure there were no sinkholes, or garbage dumps. It allowed the land to really show itself: soil composition, water flow, and drainage. It allowed us to do soil samples from various parts of the property. It allowed us to understand and help set the tenor of the land, the earth, that was to hold our new trees and our vision.
I am very glad that we were able to do this to begin to properly understand this parcel of land. We saw the high areas, the water flow, and the low spots. I got the tractor stuck halfway out in the grove in an unexpected low spot. Embarrassing, but I learned where we had to move dirt to support our planting. But mud is mud, and during heavy rains, I have proven that we can get stuck even now.
Our plan for the grove was to plant trees in a more natural spacing. Our grove is 12 by 18 to allow growth of the roots, and have room for harvesting and good land management. We are much more interested in quality of our oil, not necessarily quantity. This gives the trees room to grow, the roots to spread, and allow birds to more naturally nest. It is a gift to find many nests in the grove during harvest, knowing that the birds enjoy and thrive on our farm.
We are also considering sheep, goats, and geese, to weed and keep the farm clean. This becomes truly a labor of love to support our biodiverse organic farm.
April means Eggs, Eggs and more Eggs, Easter Sunday, and our Egg Class in the Kitchen in the Grove on April 27th. The chickens are so happy when we weed as they get great juicy greens. It is hilarious to hear them “talk” to each other when we bring weeds. Our big rooster, Foghorn Leghorn (he is an olive egger) climbs up the box near the entrance door and peeks out when anyone comes near. He is the sentinel, the “alert bird”. Then the flock comes running. Have you ever seen a chicken run? Pretty funny.
Green eggs, white eggs, brown eggs, speckled eggs, little ones, big ones, all fresh and delicious.
In the Kitchen in the Grove, we are planning the class, “It’s All About Eggs”. Everyone can fry an egg, but what about gently poaching an egg in olive oil? You will be able to taste this treat at our class.
We invite you to come to our Farm. Enjoy a tour, view our garden, talk to the chicken girls, and enjoy the bounty of an organic farm. From dirt, and seeds, to delicious vegetables, perfectly prepared in our Kitchen in the Grove.