Here at Two Spruce, we've been busy with pea trellising, travelling to Massachusetts for a workshop on horse powered CSAs, and putting lots of plants in the ground with the help of friends.
This week, we've been hard at work first cutting stakes, then pounding them, and trellising with tomato twine. Two lines of stakes run parallel to the two rows of peas per bed and the first string goes on about 12" from the ground. See the pictures below:
Scott, our friend Kat, and I also traveled to Massachusetts this past Sunday for a horse-powered workshop. My friend Julian's parents, were nice enough to let us stay at their house in Shelburne Falls and the workshop was in Conway at Natural Roots Farm, a 190-member, all horse powered CSA farm. It was inspiring to see the farm, which David Fisher started in 1997 as a one person, small acreage operation that has grown into one of the most well-respected horse powered vegetable farms in the Northeast. David shared an incredible amount of knowledge in the four hours of the workshop, talking about his crop rotations, cover cropping, bed system (everything on 32" rows), pig composting, custom built tools, and the mysterious two horse cultivator which he found in the hedgerow when he started the farm (it has no markings on it and he's never seen another one like it). What impressed me most was the way that David linked the smallest details of the ecosystems on his farm to the big picture of his operation. He seemed to have a carefully considered, intentional, and detailed understanding of his whole system, from nutrient management for encouraging fungal and bacterial growth in his soil, to the way he manages his apprentices. Photos below.
Natural Roots' chicken coop, automatic roll out egg boxes to gutters on the outside, and rain water catchment from the roof to large diameter PVC pipes underneath the coop.
Custom built horse pulled waterwheel transplanter (I really want to build one of these this fall)
David Fisher demonstrating the spring tooth harrow with three abreast.
David and his cultivator getting ready to demonstrate bed shaping. Custom built center shank, custom built board drag to even and firm the seed bed.
Custom built horse drawn boom sprayer.
We were also lucky enough to have some friends over yesterday for a transplarty (coined by Scott Hoffman, official Two Spruce Neologist). We got 200 tomato plants in the ground plus a bunch of lettuce, chard, squash, and fennel. Thank you so much Mary Kate, Kat, and Jess! Afterwards, we had a really fun meal with Donn and Maryrose and the Kingbird crew, Karma, Michael, and Rosie. Not only did Jess help us plant, she also did an awesome job of documenting the day on her blog, taking the pressure off us :). Thanks Jess!
Milking begins tomorrow which means lots of noisy, weened lambs and a big transition into the main part of the season, milking twice a day and making hay. Here we go!