Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wwoofer Week

So the Rayven flew away and a Wwoofer by the name of Colleen landed on Tuesday.
For those of you who don't remember, Wwoof is a program for people who want to learn about farming without buying a farm or taking a class. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is what the acronym means. Colleen is going to school in St. Louis and volunteers for Campus Kitchen, a program that teaches kids and others how to cook creatively by using food that might be donated or go by the wayside otherwise. She is very interested in food, hence the interest in farming and also eager to help. Tuesday we spent the day tying up tomatoes and weeding-okay, mostly weeding, but we tied them as we went down the rows. After we worked on that for a few hours, I took her to the lake and she realized why she really came to our farm.

Today we pulled garlic. Almost all of the garlic came from Slow Foods Garlic giveaway as a opportunity not to let Heirloom varieties fade out. We planted them in raised beds using our barn compost. From this picture, you can see how great the dirt is and how helpful Colleen. As we cleaned the beds of weeds and garlic, I planted celery and lettuce in the now mostly bare beds.

Here is another example of how great the soil is here.
No, that is not another snake, that's what we in the country call a nightcrawler. We decided this was just too good of a photo op to pass up. The garlic was not as great as I expected, a long wet period this Spring followed by the punishing heat caused early maturation. It was hard to tell if the garlic was ready or that the stalks were just drying out from the early dry summer. We did get a good amount of German Extra Hardy Round and the Russian Giant had amazingly large heads. One  varieties fell apart in the rain and cold nights that we had last week. Still usable and plant-able but not perfect.

Because of the cold and wet weekend, it's even more important to get the garlic dry before it molds.
This morning, we bundled it and hung it on racks to dry with a fan on it. From the picture below, you can see how wet and dirty it is.
It's important that you don't wash the dirt off as it will remove the protective skin. Instead, hang it to air dry and then brush the dirt off.

So Wwoofer William (Yuanhang Lu) from China is arriving on Friday as Colleen is finishing up. While we are at Market he and Billy will be working on more projects and she will be with us for a bit on Saturday. Rayven will be back at the beginning of August. So much always to do and extra hands are a real blessing.
We'll see you on Saturday. Ninety degrees so come and see us for the best deal at the Market; St. Louis' Best Lemonade for only 2.00 a cup. We haven't raised our prices in 10 years because we so love being a part of your market tradition. Don't forget our Organic Green Tea with Jasmine and Robin's local honey.

God's Blessings on you and yours,


Sam, Bill and Colleen

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