The Year Begins

It’s been 2015 for a while, but the farming year officially starts for us in February. The firewood and mushroom logs are in and the first seeds are sprouting in our sophisticated indoor germination chamber/kitchen. Bees and trees will be arriving next month and the days are getting longer. Before we take a picture tour of February on the farm, here’s what we’ve got coming up:

We are now selling shares in our 2015 harvest! Oak Shade Farm’s second year of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is shaping up to be very interesting. We will be putting into practice lots of new (to us) farming ideas, including raised beds, low-till agriculture, and many varieties of row-cover. We will be more than doubling the variety and nearly doubling the quantity of plants we grow this year. In addition to a revolving array of fresh fruits and vegetables, CSA members receive a dozen eggs per week and 3 to 8oz of shiitake whenever possible, along with the occasional pound of honey or half-pint of jam. The price is $490 and the CSA spans 20 Wednesdays, beginning June 3rd and running ’til October. Contact Stephen for more details: stephen.edward.day@gmail.com

The logs below represent half of our 2016 shiitake supply. In March we will use around 100lbs of sawdust spawn to inoculate them.

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Inside our germination closet. Bunching-onions and a variety of peppers in stage 1 of their relatively long residency at Oak Shade Farm.

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The biggest new addition to our farm this year is our greenhouse. It is 20×48 with a gravel floor and propane heating. We are looking forward to firing it up after this cold-snap.

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We like to raise some of our laying hens in the winter. A chick in January should be laying well by June–perfect timing for markets and CSAs. They spend their first few weeks on pine chips in an enclosed wooden trailer to protect them from the weather. We move them outside as soon as their big wing feathers develop and we take away all but one heat lamp.

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Our old oak, far less fazed by the wind and snow than we are. We wish you a restful hibernation and an early spring! Get in touch with us at oakshadefarm@gmail.com

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