bertrandfarm

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Archive for the month “July, 2015”

The Diakon Radish

Displaying pastedImage.pngThis is the Diakon radish. It is the biggest radish I have ever seen! It is strong flavored and has lots of edible mass. Diakon radishes are a great cover crop(or companion planting) for future plantings because the root digs deep down in the soil to break it up and bring up nutrients for smaller rooted plants. Farmers will plant them as a cover crop in the field during the growing season and let them dye down over winter. Using diakon radishes in this way can eliminate or lesson the need for deep tilling.

Be sure to try one if you have a chance.

Ryan

Saving Gas on the Farm

An experienced “scyther” can harvest an acre of grain a day.

Saving Gas on the Farm

A scythe is a manual powered mower. Experienced scythe mowers can harvest an acre of grain in 8 hours. No gas required!

Green Beans are Here!

It’s green bean season here, and nothing beats eating the freshly picked vegetable for any meal. On my night to make dinner a week ago, I made a delicious dressing to go on them and wanted to share.

(recipe taken from Real Simple).

kosher salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions

  1. Boil a large pot of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the green beans and cook until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Rub the beans vigorously between your hands to break them in half lengthwise. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle over the green beans.
  4. Sprinkle with the almonds.

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-Colleen

Trellising Tomatoes with Branches

We have planted so many tomato plants this season that we have run out of t-posts to trellis with wire, string, and cages. Because of this, we have to get creative. On one patch of tomato plants, we decided to try propping the plants up off the ground with branches cut from the adjoining hedgerow of trees. This is an exciting experiment because it’s completely sustainable. We will watch this plot and see how it compares to the traditionally trellised tomatoes.

-Colleen

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Herb Spiral

This past week we built an herb spiral. It was a great, fun learning experience. Herb spirals are a vertical garden design that are very popular with permaculture. They’re highly productive, energy efficient, and maximize space. The middle is accessible from all sides. This spiral was created and will be planted right next to the kitchen door. It is very practical for cooking and energy efficient for the cook!

-Colleen

herb spiral

Chicken Tractors for Safety

This is a picture of our  new chickens. They grow  for a while in these  cage like structures called chicken tractors . They will stay in these until they get some size, then they will be introduced to the rest of the existing population of chickens already here at the farm in the big pastures. We keep them in here while they are young so that they do not get trampled on or beaten up by the other chickens or snatched up by predators. Their care is a great activity for the kids  during farm camp! We  move their cage every day, multiple times as they get bigger, so that they have fresh pasture. It requires two people to move the tractors so that when the cage is pulled the chicks do not get out or get crushed by it.

Ryan

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