5/14/08 Vol. 5 #9

I know it’s a bit of a late notice but if you didn’t already know we are hosting a Slow Food Triangle chapter potluck this Sunday afternoon here at the farm.  I have talked in the past about our involvement with Slow Food most notably our attendance at the world conference of farmers in Italy, Terra Madre.  They are also the group most visibly responsible for the resurrection/popularity of the heritage turkeys, like the Bourbon Reds that we raise.  Their emphasis is on food that is “good, clean and fair”.   Everyone is invited, you don’t have to be a member, just bring a dish that serves eight (preferably made with local ingredients), the beverage of your choice and something to sit on.  It looks to be a beautiful late spring day and the farm is at the peak of spring vegetable production.  For more information and to RSVP here is the link We hope to see you here.

The last of the big spring jobs begins today, pepper planting.  The heavy rains over the weekend has put us behind a few days but I managed to get the beds tilled last night, nothing like a raised bed on a slope to help things dry out fast!  I have already pushed the planting date back a week to better accommodate the flowering of the cover crop, partly to let them make more nitrogen to feed the peppers and it makes it easier to kill them so they don’t become a weed in the peppers later.  I also want to get the little transplants into the ground this week as they are at the perfect size and growing rapidly.  I believe in timing the transplants so that they are growing well and hit the ground running and continue growing fast.  If we hold them too long, say because it is too wet to plant, then they slow down their growth and can become stunted waiting in the small containers.  So I start to get nervous around this time of year if something holds us up, the peppers must go in!

Big day yesterday for the turkeys, their first foray outdoors.  You may remember two years ago when we first let them out and they went wild, flying all over the farm.  We had to chase them through the woods and all around.  I know that was probably caused by having to keep them in longer than I like because it was so wet and I didn’t want them out on wet ground at first.  So we were a bit apprehensive when we opened the door yesterday even though it was at the three week old stage I usually first expose them to the outdoors.  They were very timid, and just stood massed at the opening. blinking in the sun.  It took hours before a few were bold enough to make it down the ramp and another few hours before the scouts went another few feet into the field shelter.  Relieved that we didn’t have to chase turkeys we left them on their own to explore the new green world.

Picture of the Week
This has got to be a trick, why would he let us out?
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