Sunday, June 12, 2011

Late Spring Musings

The farm stand has syrup for sale and will so for the foreseeable future.  Garlic scapes are not far off and garlic will be for sale later this summer and fall.

The decision to scale back for the 2011 growing season was made in order to build Rachel and Stephen’s house across the street.  Before Peter’s death in July 2010, after a seven-month battle with cancer, he passed along this poignant piece of advice, “Don’t even think of trying to run a market garden and build a house at the same time.  You will not do either of them well.” 

After completing the 2010 growing season, last fall was spent milling a larger portion of the lumber needed to construct the home.  With the eager help of Dan Kusch, trees from not more than a few hundred feet from the house site were turned to lumber, stickered, and stacked. 

The 2011 logging season brought nearly perfect cold and sunny logging conditions during the month of January.  With the aide of Fred Lavigne and his skidder, Stephen and Fred pulled the remaining logs off the property needed to build the house as well as a substantial amount of firewood. 

The sugaring season this year was outstanding!  With Dan Kusch on board, we gathered daily record quantities of sap, which kept us boiling for more 12-hour stretches than we’d like to admit.  Our first boil was February 18 and our last was April 10.  In the end, we fell 10 gallons of the record 2005 season. 

Garden space was planted to full season forage crops last fall and this spring garden ground remaining was planted to cover crops of clover, rye and vetch, as well as oats.  Attempting to scale back also meant reducing the flock size to a manageable number.  With garden ground now growing pasture we could feed fewer animals, better feed, from right off the farm.  Of course, a few beds were planted to potatoes, carrots and onions and there were those 5 beds of garlic planted last fall that will be harvested in July… (right about the time Rachel is 38 weeks pregnant!!) 

Until then we will be across the street milling and building attempting to have a house built before the time the snow flies.  Please feel free to stop by anytime to say hello. 

Enjoy your summer,
stephen bartlett 
Booty Family Farm

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