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Share the Journey – Invest in your food, your farm, and your community

04 February

We invite you to join the Live Earth Farm Community on another “food and farming journey” with our upcoming Main Season to experience the thrills, mystery, and pleasures inherently associated with growing your food. Nature’s bounty is abundant but fleeting which means that in farming, timing is everything. Like with any dance, in farming one tries to anticipate the dynamic conditions Mother Nature has in her repertoire. Staying one step ahead is never easy.

With the unusually dry and warm weather this winter we are doing all we can to keep up with the orchard pruning as we are expecting the trees to bloom early. The plums and apricots are ready to flower, and the flower buds on the Braeburns – an apple variety that typically doesn’t bloom until March – are starting to swell.

We are also gearing up in the greenhouse, where Laura keeps a close eye on sowing and transplant schedules and the health and development of thousands of small and vulnerable baby plants. Now is the time to not fall behind, make sure we don’t have too many mishaps so that transplants are healthy and strong come time for Spring Planting. Late Winter and Early Spring, the gamble with the weather is probably the riskiest since rainfall and temperature swings are unpredictable, affecting germination and the healthy growth of crops.

With Pest and Diseases one always needs to keep a watchful eye.  While aphids are the most usual and challenging of the pests, lately we are trying to figure out what is nibbling on the young strawberry plants in one of our fields. This morning we found the culprit –cutworms. These earthen colored creatures have sharp enough mandibles and easily cut through the tender shoots of young plants. For us the challenge is that these creepy crawlies come out at night and hide underground during the day.  In addition, the plastic sheet “mulch” that covers the strawberry beds makes it even more difficult to detect and control them.

Aphids taking up residence in the leaves of winterbor kale.

The dreaded cutworm.

Cutworm damage on a strawberry plant. You can see where the worms have bitten off the stems near the base of the plant.

Strawberry plants that have been damaged by the cutworms leave vacancies in the plastic sheet mulch that covers the rows.

This is just a snapshot of some current field conditions, however like all things in nature they are far more complex. Your relationship to the farm is tied into this dynamic process, and you participation is intimately connected through the food you receive. By participating as a member of Live Earth Farm you have the opportunity to better understand the process involved behind every meal you make and every bite of food you ingest.  Join our CSA today – we look forward to another tasty and exciting season beginning in April.