Friday, May 29, 2009

A beautiful Market Day Saturday!

We are predicted to have another GORGEOUS day tomorrow so we hope to see you all at the Bayview and Coupeville markets! It's a wee bit windy on the prairie at the moment (blowing I would guess, a steady 20 mph with higher gusts...) but we got all the food picked and out before the little gale picked up late this afternoon.
And exciting news for those of you attending the Coupeville market - Wilbur Purdue (who partners with Willowood Farm in the market booth with produce from his farm, Prairie Bottom), is starting tomorrow at the Coupeville market with his new tractor and wagon market booth set-up! We will be loading up our produce from the packing shed at Willowood early tomorrow morn and Wilbur will drive the trailer to market with his 1950s era cultivator tractor (a slightly newer model than mine)! How cool is that? Let us know what you think but we are pretty excited (and I can't wait til I can finally get a team of drafthorses and then pull a wagon to market with them! A farmer has to dream...).
Anyways, fresh produce coming to market tomorrow -
- LOADS OF LETTUCE! Plan a salad. We have leaf lettuce mix and a HUGE selection of gorgeous head lettuce.
- Kohlrabi! Finally, I've been promising it for 2 weeks! Beautiful and tasty!
- Radishes - multiple colors!
- Kale
- Collards
- Spinach
- Walking Onions
- Shallot thinnings
- Pea vines
- Mountain spinach bunches (a cool new green, I'll bring recipes)
- Baby, loose leaf swiss chard
- Baby arugula (that was unfortunately, hit hard by flea beetles. Still darn tasty and we'll be doing half-off!
- Garlic scapes
- Herbs
And much more I'm forgetting! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hello! Coming to the Bayview and Coupeville Farmer's Market TODAY with a wonderful selection of fresh, naturally grown goodies for your Memorial Day weekend festivities!
Bringing today -

- GLORIOUS head lettuce - multiple kinds, colors, tastes...
- Collards and Kale bunches. Tender and tasty!
- Beautiful baby Walla Walla onion bunches
- Red-veined spinach - pretty and tasty!
- Semi-savoy spinach - also pretty and tasty!
- Radishes - A colorful new crop of French Breakfast and Cherry Belle!
- Garlic Scapes - the first of the crop! The tender "seed" scape of a hard-neck garlic. Amazing!
- Baby lettuce mix!
- Mixed beet green bunches
- Braising greens
- Egyptian Walking Onions
- French Grey Shallot thinnings
And more stuff I'm not thinking of...
Hope to see you there!
Georgie Smith, Farmer
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Lots of weeds, planting like crazy and tractor blow-up!

Photos - The Garlic Fields, Goose Parade, and Planting Lettuce....

So I think I mentioned this blog would chronicle the "trials and tribulations" of Willowood Farm. This past week has definitely been one of those! This time of year, Farmer Georgie (yeah, that's me, cheesy I know but it fits), has been getting a little "frantic" about #1 the HUGE amount of weeds that are threatening to take over our hard fought for plantings and #2 the HUGE amount of planting still left to do!
Started with great plants to tackle all issues and the first thing that happened - TRACTOR BLOW-UP! This almost always tends to happen when my number one employee and mechanic (my father) leaves on his sailboat (to get away from me, I think, and my endless amount of chores for him!). I was able to figure out how to get off the broken part - hydraulic hose, "blew a gasket" - literally - and determine I will have to go on some convoluted tractor part search in the greater Mount Vernon area to have it replaced...And that's as far as I got. Ended up "punting" and using my other tractor rigged a bit unusually with some field prep tools and, viola, was able to get the field ready for planting after all! Meanwhile, the upside of this, since I couldn't get my team busy planting I put them to weeding! (Always SOMETHING to do on the farm)...
And, because they are in this for the long haul, they agreed to humor me on my "late-night" planting push and we spent Thursday evening (6 to 8:30), getting in the lettuce starts.
End of week tally? 4,250 row feet planted including nearly 2000 lettuce starts and about 3000 row feet weeded plus food picked and delivered.
So, not so bad in the end afterall. Now just have to keep it up - until December!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Off to Market!

Hello All! I'm going to try posting my "market fresh" listing on my new blog and then emailing it to the Willowood Farm newsletter recipients. Let me know how this works (or doesn't)...
Coming TOMORROW to the Coupeville and Bayview farmer's markets:

* Head Lettuce - 8 varieties tomorrow! Bronze Mignonette and Amish Speckled, both heirloom baby butterheads; Antares, Flashy Butter Oak, Blushed Butter Oak and Royal Oakleaf - all great base for a wicked good salad; Cardinale, one of my favorites crunchy with a bite!; and Petite Rouge, the ever beautiful rumply, glossy red romaine.
* Mesclun Mix - spicy and beautiful
* Arugula!!!! Come quick it goes fast...
* Spinach - 2 kinds both from Prairie Bottom Farm. Green semi-savoy and the ever cool Red Bordeaux.
* Mustard Green bunches - Red Giant (watch out, it's hot!), Yukina Savoy Tatsoi and Pink Lettucey
* Kale - Tuscan and White Russian
* Collards
* Pea Vines
* Radishes - several flavors!
* Baby Leeks - who doesn't like them?
* Baby Walla Walla Salad Onions - EVERYBODY likes them!
* Egyptian Walking Onions and Shallot thinnings from Prairie Bottom Farm

We can't wait to see you there! Farmer Georgie will be holding down the fort (tent) at the Bayview Farmer's Market. Wilbur, Julianna (of Prairie Bottom Farm) and Willowood Farm intern Elizabeth will be taking care of business in Coupeville. Also, don't forget, tomorrow is the always cool Coupeville Water Festival so check out all the fun activities and great canoe racing!

Happy eating!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ode to a Hoe (the kind with an "e" - jeez...)

A farmer loves their hoe. And every farmer has their favorite. My favorite I found by the dirt road behind our farm one day. Must have been left their by one of the migrant crews working in the seed cabbage field. A perfect, collinear type hoe. Sharp edge, smooth, comfy handle. I LOVED this hoe. Sadly, however, one day last spring as I was planting spring onion transplants I set the hoe down and it DISAPPEARED! I looked, and looked, to no avail. I was sure it would show up in the wintertime when the tall grasses had died back. Nothing. Now, a whole year has passed, and I'm starting to think it must have decided it had sliced and diced all the weeds it needed to at Willowood Farm and was time to move on...Somewhere, perhaps, another farmer was in need - looking for that perfect hoe!
I would also just like to add that the collinear hoe - which is referenced as being "invented by Elliot Coleman" and sold for lots of $$$ by Johnny's Seeds - is as far as I know just the regular old hoe that has always been known to those that spend many hours with it. Skinny rectangular design. "Slices" the soil, best used on small weeds in good tilth soil. It is designed so you can stand straight while hoeing. In fact, this is one of my first lessons to all interns. Stand straight and tall while you hoe! Elizabeth, in this picture, is doing pretty good, a bit of flex in the lower back, but overall not bad for a newbie (notice the row to the left that is complete!).
And to all farmers and aspiring farmers - forward hence and hoe!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Potato Planting Par-Tee!!!

What's better than planting 1000+ lbs of gourmet, naturally grown potato seed? HARVESTING 10,000+ lbs of gourmet, naturally grown potatoes! But, we have a few months to wait for that...
It was a great day planting potatoes however. Thanks to Tony and Susan, Suzy, Kimberly (of Mile Post 19 Farm - watch for her raspberries this summer!), Node (who took the great photos) and of course, Kevin, Elizabeth and Willow the Fab 3 Willowood Farm interns. And my very, very dirty daughter Knight.