Farm Update, May 12, 2017

This week we began picking the first strawberries from our farm in Woodbine and they are good.  We just taste tested them at our Friday CSA Pickup and although the strawberries we have been getting from the eastern shore are fresh, beautiful, good tasting and red all the way through, it was unanimous that the smaller strawberries from Norman’s Farm really pack a punch.  They are sweeter, more flavorful, and juicier. Hurray for us.  This is perfect timing for our first farm event of the season, S’mores & Tours, May 20, 3pm-5pm where we are hoping to offer strawberry picking, a farm tour, and marshmallow roasting by the fire.  Plan on bringing a cooler, chair and blanket, a frisbee or ball, maybe a musical instrument if you’d like.  Should be a good time.

In other news on the farm, if you didn’t get your mesclun mix or braising greens at your CSA this week, which nobody did, that is because the deer got to them first.  It’s as if our perfect rows of lettuces, arugula, beets, and mustards are posted with a sign, “All you can eat salad bar for deer. Come and get it.” The only good news about this I can offer is that judging by the amount eaten they must have been delicious and the deer seem quite happy and healthy. We realize we need to place more emphasis on finding a remedy for our deer population.  I am no hunter and can accept that about myself.  At home I never minded when the deer ate our hostas because personally I’d rather look out the window and see deer than hostas.  But this is business. Personally I definitely lean towards better fencing than hunting, but good deer fencing is expensive, labor intensive, and not in our budget for the time being. Temporary solar powered electric fencing has worked pretty well protecting the strawberries.  I’m thinking there needs to be a balance of hunting and fencing even if this means permitting a small group of licensed, and responsible bow hunters to thin the herd.  Or maybe wolves.

In the past week we planted our first transplants of cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, squash, heirloom and cherry tomatoes.  We’ve continued planting lettuce and bok choy as well. In plug trays we have planted lavender, cosmos, zinnias, dianthus, and purple coneflower from seed.  These we plan on transplanting in a couple weeks and should complement our sunflower field.  We are hoping to offer garden bouquets in the CSA and at the stands this summer. Everything is coming along nicely and we are excited to show everyone the farm next weekend, May 20.  Speaking of flowers, don’t forget to wish mom a Happy Mother’s Day. Have a great week.
Farmer John