Today was a cool day for the farm. We bought our employee's bus for use at markets... and it's fabulous. AND, thanks to the help from Dylan's dad, we got a great deal on a glass front cooler for the farm store! This will allow us to be open 7 days a week (self serve every day... but we will also have a live person there on Saturdays!!!)... and offer items like local milk, along with our vegetables. We will also be stocking local bread and coffee. Very exciting. More on this to come soon!
To get the glass front here was no easy task. I found a GREAT deal on a 3 door glass front. The only problem was... it was located an hour south of Boston. Lucky for us (not so much for Dylan's dad, Wilson) we had a contact in Boston that was able and willing to put his life at risk to deliver it to our farm.
On a very windy day, in a very tiny truck, Wilson drove this glass front cooler a very long way to help us out. The fun didn't stop once it arrived at the farm. We had to load the cooler onto the forks of the tractor (in the wind) then drive it around to the BACK of the farm store (because it wouldn't fit in the front door, by inches). The road that Dylan created to the back door was bumpy, snowy and partially muddy. This relocation consisted of Dylan on the tractor with Wilson and Alan on either side "guiding" the cooler, and Dylan, to make sure we didn't drop it. At one point, I literally had to go in the house because I was a nervous wreck.
Once the cooler was delivered to the back door of the farm store safely, they then had to get it in. This took some time because we literally had INCHES to play with. There were lots of directions being yelled to Dylan by several sources. "Up!", "No, go down!", "To the right just a bit!", "TOO MUCH"..... this went on for almost an hour. Or maybe more. I seriously lost count.
We finally got the cooler safely in the farm store... and Wilson took charge of making sure it was working properly. And no one was injured. I'd say it was a pretty good day.
First stab at this whole day in the life idea. Woke up and ate breakfast with the family. Just an ordinary morning. After breakfast went to the barn to find out if there was enough scrap 2x4s to finish up the root cellar! It was the first winter project I got to help out with. It was almost done this morning and I wanted to cross it off the to do list. All we had to do was put the vent pipe in and finish the two more shelves.
After the trip to Home Depot and the gas station for diesel I asked Dylan for some help.We needed to tip the shelf down to slide the 5 ft piece of PVC pipe in through the shelf. What we did not take in account was the space to move around in order to tip it. We played a game of tetris with fully finished shelves in order to get enough room. Not thinking it through we let Oreo stay in the room. He was all worked up with all the commotion.
The three of us took our turn getting stuck in between the shelves. Finally we got just enough room to tip it and TRY to slide the pipe in. This was a difficult task in itself. The combo between a short ceiling, a room just barely big enough for the shelves and our selves, and a pipe that needs to go in added up to a bit of frustration to say the least.
When Basil came down to give us our smoothies, a much appreciated winter treat, we had to tell him it wasn’t a good time. The door would not budge when he pushed being blocked by the shelves. Oreo (my dog) got squished a few times. Dylan and I both had to jump through the shelves because we trapped ourselves a bunch until we finally learned how to wiggle around. Putting the room back together I thought would be easy. We would just have to do it the way we moved it. We struggled with that part too. It was a comical time to say the least after we achieved our goal and let go of the frustration
Root Cellar gets scratched off the list. YAY!!
Today started like most other days during the winter. Breakfast, kids on the bus, morning chores, wishing the snow would melt, etc. This morning, however, we had the added task of harvesting, weighing and packaging microgreens for the Viles Arboretum Farmers Market. This task takes quite a bit longer than you’d think. Dylan did the actual harvesting and brought them in to wash. Then we weighed and packaged them, and labeled them. That took several hours, but they looked good. I didn’t have to go to market until around 1, so Dylan went back out to the greenhouse and started more seeds for planting, and more microgreens. This time of year, it seems never ending with the greenhouse work.
After lunch with Basil, we started to pack up for the market. It is much different packing for a winter market than it is a regular season market. The load is lessened SO MUCH! It is kind of nice. Packing, set up and take down for the winter market is amazing.
We also found out today that we have been accepted into the Bucksport Bay market. This is quite a ways for us to travel, but we are very excited to be able to broaden our market base. That makes 3 for sure this year, and we still have several applications out. Fingers crossed! We’d like to get one more.
We are so excited for spring. We’ve got lots of changes coming this year with the farm store and can’t wait to announce it! We have to finalize a few plans beforehand, though.
Stay tuned! Do a rain dance (at least then it’d be to warm to snow!!).
What the heck are microgreens and why should you add them to your diet? This is the question a lot of folks are asking us lately and it is a good one. So let us try to explain why these petite greens should definitely be thrown into your daily life!
Microgreens are immature plants, harvested approximately 10 days after sowing. Unlike sprouts, microgreens are grown in soils. They are harvested as soon as the first true leaves are fully expanded. Microgreens are much more flavorful than sprouts in that their growing environment is very different. Don’t get me wrong, I love sprouts……..but after I’ve tried microgreens I will never go back to sprouts.
So what’s all the hype? While microgreens are still in their infancy, research is now showing that they are packed with nutrition. In 2014 the USDA Agricultural research service conducted a study to determine if indeed the nutrition in microgreens was higher than that of their mature vegetable counter parts. What did they find? Microgreens have considerably higher (about five times greater) vitamins (C, K and E) and carotenoids than mature veggies. Other studies out of the University of Maryland have shown that microgreens have up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than mature veggies!! All of the nutrients which researchers tested are vitally important for skin, eyes and fighting cancer along with all sorts of other health benefits!
So, if you aren’t convinced yet……come on over to Viles Arboretum Farmers Market this Friday between 2 and 5 and see Harmony. She’ll have several different varieties of microgreens on hand. Try them all!!!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )