Eco Farm
Cindy Econopouly and John Dennis Soehner
2501 Butler Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Food for Living
Food for Thought


Eco Farm Photos 2013
(Check out our photos on Eco Farm's facebook page as well. Look for "Eco Farm NC, Farming, Agriculture".)

Please scroll down to see images of who we are and what we do on Eco Farm, and check back weekly as we add more photos.
On Christmas eve day John discovered a holiday gift of oyster mushrooms growing on a downed tree behind our shed. He harvested them to present to our visiting friends. (12/24/13) While Cindy prepared lunch in the kitchen, Willie, Nichole, and John sat on the back porch cleaning Brussels sprouts beyond the window screen. (12/19/13) The moon shone in a magenta-streaked sky on Friday morning at seven. (12/20/13) Nichole cleans Brussels sprouts late Thursday afternoon, getting them ready for the farmers' market on Saturday and our patrons' holiday dinners. (12/19/13)
John chainsaws tree trunks into smaller pieces so that Nichole can split them. (12/18/13) Nichole splits the logs and then tosses them onto the pickup truck. (12/18/13) Cindy takes the five dogs for a walk, but then Rocky (leading dog in photo) decides to attack O'Neal (dog #2). Rocky begins his poor habit of barking loudly at all of the other dogs to prove him dominance. (12/18/13) Cindy puts Rocky on a leash to subdue his dominant actions, and Rocky begins acting more sociable. (12/18/13)
Willie chainsaws tree trunks into smaller pieces. (12/17/13) Willie cuts the pieces in half, and then into quarters so that they can fit into the log splitter. (12/17/13) When Willie went running on Friday afternoon he discovered why our dogs had been barking nearly hysterically about a half-hour previously. (12/13/13) Somebody was hiding up in the treetops. (12/13/13)
This was not a very happy somebody. We brought the dogs into the house so that the young raccoon could scamper on home. (12/13/13) On Friday afternoon we uncovered the remay on rows we'll harvest. Grass is growing in with the lettuce, which means we'll spend time plucking out weeds before washing and packing the mixed lettuce. We'll sell it at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday morning between 9AM and noon. (12/13/13) We'll also uncover, wash, and bag this arugula. (12/13/13) The arugula in the foreground had not been covered by remay so the frost damaged it. (12/13/13)
For lunch on Monday, Cindy experimented with making a pinelli (pronounced pea ne LEE), which is a pizza-like dish she'd neither seen nor tasted since the 1970's in Greece. She believes it's made with pizza dough filled with a cheese mix, and traditionally shaped like a canoe. Not having any canoe pans or a recipe, she created a large round pinelli and filled it with sauteed onions and kale, feta cheese, and a cream sauce. (12/9/13) On Wednesday, John bush hogs the broccoli and cauliflower over at Maple View. (12/11/13) Then Nichole removes the plastic row covers. (12/11/13) By working together they get the job done much more quickly. (12/11/13)
Before work on Friday, John enjoys a morning cup of coffee with two little dogs on his lap. (12/6/13) Nichole harvested a bushell of Brussels sprouts on Friday. She and Cindy cleaned a lot of them before dinner, and after dinner, John, Willie, and Cindy cleaned the rest. (12/6/13) Before the farmers' market gets going full force, Dan Graham and John chat for a few minutes. Our tables were loaded with cauliflower, broccoli, curly kale, lacinato kale, red Russian kale, Brussels sprouts, mixed lettuce, arugula, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, butternut squash, kohlrabi, collards, hot Chocolate chai, and of course our knitted hats, scarves, headbands, fingerless mittens, and slippers. (12/7/13) In winter we have no produce growing near the chicken coop, so Cindy wanted to free the poultry for awhile; but she agonized over what to do about the turkey since he terrorizes our dogs at his every opportunity. Today she set up a turkey-blockade at the poultry yard gateway so the chickens can ease themselves through, but the larger turkey can not. (12/7/13)
Nichole soaks the potting soil trays with water before planting seeds in them. (12/3/13) Hungry mice will nibble up the sweet leaves of our beet seedlings so if we want to successfully grow beets and other vegetables then we must plant mouse traps throughout our greenhouse. (12/3/13) Nichole and John carry in the upgraded seedling tray racks. (12/3/13)
John sells another one of his freezers, and transfers it onto Alena's pickup truck for delivery. (12/2/13) In his spare time, John upgrades and repairs the seedling racks from our greenhouse. (12/3/13) Rocky sits outside the greenhouse, guarding it. That must mean that Nichole is inside. (12/3/13) Nichole is planting beets in the greenhouse. First she fills the trays with potting soil. (12/3/13)
The flames of our Thanksgiving bonfire are mesmerizing. (11/28/13) We watch Cindy's old rocking chair at the top of the bonfire until it burns and collapses. (11/28/13) Johns sets up a small campfire with chairs around it near the house. (11/28/13) Hank expresses his thankfulness to Willie. (11/28/13)
Did we say we were expecting a crowd of 18 kinfolk? We just got a message from one of them and he's bringing an additional 10 relatives that we hadn't expected. We have 10 chairs on hand, so Willie and Nichole head off to town to round up another 18. (11/28/13) We have a nice crowd of folks for our Thanksgiving dinner. (11/28/13) People bring an abundance of delicious foods, from hors d'oeuvres to desserts. And we have enough chairs for everybody to sit on. (11/28/13) Then we light the bonfire. (11/28/13)
We're expecting a crowd of cousins, aunts, uncles, and Granny for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of doing farm work on the day before, we calculate how we'll be able to fit 18 people at a table in our small kitchen. John decides he needs to remove a countertop and the shelves beneath it, so he gets right to it with a skill saw. (11/27/13) Then Willie removes the moldings and cleans up the stained wooden floor. (11/27/13) Now we can fit a long table full of family members in our kitchen! (11/27/13) Nichole has lots of boxes of vegetables to unload when she gets to her stand at the Children's Hospital. On the tables she's already got collards, Brussels sprouts, garlic, arugula, mixed lettuce and sweet potatoes, and she's working on balancing a mountain of butternut squash. When she finishes that, she has several more boxes of produce to unload. (11/26/13)
In the late afternoon, David and Jin come out to the farm to split their firewood. David splits the logs and Jin loads them back into his pickup truck. (11/25/13) After dinner Willie, Cindy, and John clean more Brussels sprouts. (11/25/13) Nichole heads back into the woods where she harvests shiitake mushrooms. (11/25/13) Nichole washes mixed lettuce in two separate bins of water, and then spins them dry before packing them into our cooler. (11/25/13)
After harvesting on Monday morning, John and Nichole wash Romaine lettuce and then pack it into cartons to put in the cooler. On Tuesday we're selling at three different farmers' markets: The Children's Hospital Farmers' Market from 10AM until 2, The Carrboro Farmers' Market from 3 to 6PM, and The Fearington Market from 4 until 6. We don't have an overabundant amount of produce, so make sure you get to these markets early if you want our food for your Thanksgiving feasts! (11/25/13) Willie is packing cauliflower to put in the cooler. (11/25/13) In the afternoon Nichole uncovers the remay from the arugula. (11/25/13) Then she and Cindy begin harvesting. (11/25/13)
John loads boxes and baskets of produce into Cindy's car. She'll drive the vegetables back home while he and Nichole continue harvesting. (11/22/13) Chicorangus falls fast asleep in the car. (11/22/13) The produce waits on a table underneath a tree for John and Nichole to wash, pack, and store in the cooler. (11/22/13) Eco farm's little goats grew up, and so did little Amarandi. Happy 21st birthday, Amarandi! (11/22/13)
While Nichole is harvesting curly kale, she points out to Cindy that loads of tatsoy plants have been accidentally planted in the same row. So Cindy harvests tatsoy, while Chicorangus stands guard. Tatsoy is an Asian spinach, and can be cooked like spinach, or eaten raw in salads. (11/22/13)John harvests cauliflower. (11/22/13) Nichole harvests the pac choi that we've accidentally planted between the strawberry rows. (11/22/13) We're profiting from our many accidental plantings: Both tatsoy and pac choi between the strawberry rows. (11/22/13)
Early Friday morning, we go to Maple View to harvest our Brussel sprouts. Our farmworker, Cole, usually accompanies Nichole with harvesting, but he has gone to visit his family in Oregon for the holiday season so Cindy takes his place. Nichole has to teach Cindy how to harvest Brussels sprouts. (11/22/13) Pull back the leaves of the plant, and then pick the largest of the Brussels sprouts. Pick them by pressing them away from the stem and then twisting them off. (11/22/13) Nichole sets up for the Carrboro Farmers' Market beginning at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon. She's selling broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, butternut squash, green kale, red Russian kale, lacinato kale, collards, tatsoi, sweet potatoes, and Swiss chard. (11/19/13) Twenty-one years ago on November 18th, our family was hit in a head-on automobile accident on Highway 54. This aged photograph of us standing in front of our demolished chevy station wagon was displayed one year later in 1993 in "The Chapel Hill Herald". (11/18/13)
Nichole harvested a bushell of arugula on Monday morning. (11/18/13) The she rinsed the arugula, first in one bin and then in a second. (11/18/13) Then she put it into the farm salad spinner to spin dry. (11/18/13) Then Nichole weighed and bagged the arugula to be brought to Weaver Street Market and sold on Monday. (If don't see any on their produce shelves, ask a clerk and they'll bring out some more.) (11/18/13)
Late Thursday afternoon Nichole and Cole sit on the back porch cleaning the Brussels sprouts that we'll be bringing to market on Saturday morning. (11/14/13) Late afternoon on Saturday, Fermin splits firewood for us to sell. (11/16/13) Due to the higher price of feed, John is now finished with raising pigs so he sells one of his last freezers to Eliza and the two of them load it onto her pickup truck. (11/16/13) We're relieved to see our freezer driving away down the driveway. (11/16/13)
In the late afternoon John and Cole plan to cover the Maple View crops with remay, but after they've covered the Romaine lettuce, green kale, and red Russian kale, they run out of cinder blocks. They drive back home and return to Maple View again with some more cinder blocks to finish the job. (11/9/13) We load our vegetables into cardboard cartons and pile them up next to the pickup truck to be loaded and then transported home. We'll be storing our produce in a cooler on the farm until the next farmers' market. (11/9/13) Cole gathers Brussels sprouts. (11/9/13) Nichole snaps off broccoli shoots and drops them into her basket. (11/9/13)
A cold wind has picked up, and the temperature is supposed to drop into the twenties so we headed out to Maple View to harvest what we could and then cover the rest with remay. (11/9/13) John harvests collards leaves, wraps a rubber band around them, slices off the ends, and drops the collards bunches into a cardboard carton. (11/9/13) As the sun rises, Cole and John are tossing firewood into the pickup truck. (11/11/13) When our friends Sharon & Phil came down to visit us from New York, John took them on a tour of his crops over at Maple View Farm. Sharon is a technician for the soil and water conservation district on Long Island, and she works on converting farms from traditional to organic. (11/9/13)
Cole is using the stick technique for poking holes in the plastic. (11/4/13) Nichole is using the thumb technique for poking holes in the plastic. (11/4/13) They've poked a lot of holes and planted a lot of cloves of garlic. (11/4/13) After planting all the cloves, they go back to the porch to separate more cloves from the heads of garlic. We'll have to till another bed and lay down more plastic to plant them. (11/4/13)
On Sunday night, John, Cindy and Nichole went to the Cat's Cradle to see the amazing David Bromberg. (11/3/13) John had bought the tickets that morning, but by showing up early we were able to get seats in the second row before the place filled up. And for the David Bromberg Quintet, the place filled up! (11/3/13) All of the music was incredible. (11/3/13) Cole and Nichole are planting garlic in the late afternoon on Monday. (11/4/13)
After market Cindy heads over to Maple View Farm to weed carrots and she needs to find some more cauliflower since that morning at market we'd sold all we'd harvested. Dinner will be cauliflower baked in cheddar sauce. (11/2/13) John discovers that his firewood splitter is broken so he gathers the necessary tools, spends some time working on it, and repairs it. (11/2/13) On a beautiful clear Saturday morning, Nichole and John put together a greens order for Kevin of Acme Food and Beverage Company, while another patron selects a choice head of cauliflower. (11/2/13) Cindy completed weeding two of the five rows of carrots. After she begins weeding a third row, Chicorangus decides to run laps on top of the lengthy carrot row. Cindy had spent the morning training him to walk on a leash, but she now realizes the necessity of training him to understand farm principles. (11/1/13)
Our Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest! (11/1/13) Cole goes down every row and separates the leaves from each plant to harvest. We'll have them at the farmers' market on Saturday. (11/1/13) We've got Romaine lettuce, collards, curly green kale... (11/1/13) ...and beautiful cauliflower! (11/1/13)
Cole and John harvest romaine lettuce from our field at Maple View Farm on Tuesday. (10/29/13) Nichole arrives at the hospital market at around 10AM and moves quickly to display all the vegetables for arriving patrons. (10/29/13) Cindy and John on Halloween several years ago. John on another Halloween.
On Monday 'Cole and Cole plant broccoli seedlings into the empty spaces where past seedlings hadn't survived. (10/26/13) After a long hard day of work on Saturday, and before dinner, John removes the hose and the shiitake logs from the water tanks. He's hoping for a new fruiting of shiitakes since he heard that we may get some warmer weather in the coming weeks. (10/26/13) John and Nichole are washing the tatsoy that we'll be bringing to market in the morning. Tatsoy is an Asian spinach, and can be used in salads or cooked in soups or with other vegetables. (10/25/13) After washing our salad greens, John uses the farm salad spinner to remove the excess water. (10/25/13)
Cole sits on the back porch where he cleans elephant garlic and cuts off the stems. (10/25/13) On a cold Friday afternoon when Cindy planned to drive to Maple View to weed carrots, she purposely didn't invite Chicorangus since he tends to trample the crops; but when Chicorangus leaped into the car uninvited (he loves cars), she decided that she'd weed and he could nap in the warm car. (10/25/13) Adorned in his variegated blue doggie sweater, Chico eyes the cow while the cow eyes Chico. (10/25/13) Late Wednesday afternoon Cindy stopped into the chicken coop to feed the birds, and she first checked the floor to avoid stepping on a black snake. She looked up and was startled when her face was nearly brushed by a six-foot-long hanging snakeskin. (10/23/13)
Cindy likes to bring Chicorangus to Maple View with her when she weeds carrots, and she attempted to teach him how to be a good farm dog and not step on the seedlings in the rows. Chicorangus has not proven to be a top-quality student. (10/22/13) Once Cole has tilled each row, John tosses down feather meal as a fertilizer. We notice now that Hank waits in anticipation to roll in that feather meal, which would later compel Willie to bathe Hank before allowing him into the house. (10/21/13) On Monday, Cole turned over last season's arugula, which is in the rows next to the carrots that Cindy is weeding. (10/21/13) We brought beautiful heads of cauliflower to the market on Saturday. (10/19/13)
With a pick-up load of harvested vegetables to clean and pack, John, Cole, and Hank drive back to Eco Farm. (10/18/13) Cole tells Hank to hop into the cab so they can head back home with their harvest. (10/18/13) John carries a bushell full of cauliflower up to the truck. To protect the edible portion, he doesn't remove it's leaves until he gets to the farmers' market and is ready to put the cauliflower on our table. (10/18/13) Cole harvests Romaine lettuce from our field at Maple View Farm. (10/18/13)
"I'd like to have that hot dog off the grill." (10/18/13) Nichole brings seedling trays down to the garden to plant. In the background, Cole and John are planting elephant garlic. (10/14/13) Nichole transplants Sweet William seedlings from trays into the garden. (10/14/13) As evening falls, John transports wet shiitake logs from soaking bins onto log piles. (10/11/13)
Bill and John split logs for firewood sales. (10/11/13) We sold bushels of vegetables at the farmers' market on Saturday, from our remaining summer crops like sweet green and red peppers, zephyr squash, and arugula to our fall greens like kale, broccoli, collards, Swiss chard, and cauliflower. (10/12/13) To keep away the deer freebooters, Willie latches the gate. (10/11/13) John lets Isadora sample his ice cream cone when he and the gang go to the ice cream store for an after-work treat. (10/11/13)
The farmworkers and dogs head into the field to harvest. (10/11/13) Willie gathers Swiss chard. (10/11/13) John and Willie harvest beets to bring to market on Saturday. They notice the empty bed next to the beets, which had been a bed of lettuce, but the deer had gotten in and devoured it. (10/11/13) The day's harvesting done, the farmworkers and dogs head back for the trucks. (10/11/13)
John rinses the arugula and spins it dry. (10/11/13) Willie weighs the arugula into quarter-pound bags to sell at market. (10/11/13)
We harvested bushels of arugula on Friday. (10/11/13) On Wednesday morning Cole unloads the broccoli that he and John just harvested from our field at Maple View. And we have a lot of broccoli! (10/9/13) Our cauliflower is looking beautiful. (10/9/13) Tuesday was a cold night, so Chicorangus wore his sweater when he went to bed on the laundry pile. (10/8/13)
At sunset on Friday, John gives a splash of water to each of the new strawberry plants as Willie finishes the day's planting. (10/4/13) On Friday morning over at Maple View, Cole tilled under some of our summer plants while Cindy harvested cartons of that beautiful Swiss chard to sell at the Saturday market. Then John and Cole harvested broccoli. (10/4/13) Cole and John rinse off all the broccoli they just harvested from Maple View. (10/4/13) Nichole harvested shiitake mushrooms. (10/4/13)
As Nichole was packing up to leave the hospital market, she still had customers wanting to buy broccoli and Swiss chard. (10/2/13) Nichole left the hospital market and moved on to the Carrboro market, where Cole met her with more produce and they quickly set up the table. (10/2/13) Cole and John plant strawberry plants at Maple View. (10/2/13) John demonstrates two crucial components of this strawberry planting procedure: His water-less wheel-less planter and his "AND1" socks. (10/2/13)
John made his annual trip to Virginia with his pick-up truck and trailer to pick up the strawberry plants that he and other farmers had ordered. George was one of those farmers, and George accompanied John on the trip. John and Cole unloaded the plants when he returned home, and set upon calling the farmers to pick up their plants. (10/2/13) John had to pick up so many strawberry plants that they filled his trailer and the inside of his pick-up. (10/2/13) For the 2013 Carrboro Music Festival, John and Cindy started off at 2PM at the Century Center where they'd promised to hear their friend Hal play bass. They listen to the "jewgrass" dancing music of Freylach Old Time Jamboree, a fusion of klezmer & old time country. (9/29/13) They went to Fifth Season next to see their friend Kirk in the American rock band Lud. (9/29/13)
John and Cindy had to check out The Bucket Brothers again at Fitch parking lot. Elementary-aged Logan and Casey Valleroy play several different instruments and their parents are regulars at the Carrboro Farmers' Market. (9/29/13) Erin enjoyed The Bucket Brothers with John and Cindy. They'd become aware of the brothers' talents when they heard them play in the gazebo at the Carrboro Farmers' Market. (9/29/13) John and Cindy headed back to Weaver Street Market at 5:15 where their friend Robert plays drums with the Pagan Hellcats. (9/29/13) They returned to Fifth Season by 6 to see their friend Miles in Big Fat Gap. (9/29/13)
John and Cindy headed over to Tyler's parking lot to see Too Much Fun, and they chatted with Flora and Bob of Carrboro Tropicals while the sun set. (9/29/13) As the sun sets, John continues soaking new shiitake logs and discarding the old and disintegrating ones. Our four dogs accompany him. (9/28/13) Our table was so full of produce today that Carmella, our next-door pasta-making neighbor, wanted to photograph it. We had bushels and boxes of beautiful broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, collards, squash, and several types of kale. (And Cindy sold four shoulder bags.) (9/28/13) With the summer's end, our Mexican Sunflowers are showing signs of decline, and the hummingbirds are in a frenzy. (9/27/13)
Just as we're running out of firewood, we get a delivery from Arnold Smith Excavating, Inc. (9/27/13) Actually, we get two deliveries! (9/27/13) John gives Hank a hug while Cindy photographs the broccoli. (9/27/13) Little Chicorangus, having hopped into the truck through an open door, gets a bird's-eye view of the scene from a window. (9/27/13)
The Swiss chard and dinosaur kale stand ready for harvest. John carries a carton of collards over to the car. (9/27/13) John harvests arugula. (9/27/13) Just past the Swiss chard, Cole is harvesting collards. (9/27/13)
On Friday, John, Cole, and Cindy drove over to Maple View to harvest for Saturday's market. In this photo, Cole is picking Swiss chard and Cindy is picking dinosaur kale (also called lacinato, tuscan or black kale). Nichole didn't help because she went rafting in a West Virginia river. (9/27/13) John is harvesting curly kale, or green kale. Hank is guarding the farmer. (9/27/13) On Thursday afternoon when Cindy returns home from her job at Weaver Street Market, she and the line of cars behind her, is trapped behind a slow-moving tractor on the highway. Cole is driving that tractor on his way back from Maple View Farm, where he and John were laying plastic on our fields. (9/26/13) After Nichole finishes the hospital market, she sells at the Carrboro market in the stall next to Periwinkle Farm. Today she has Fitita on the other side with her delicious chocolate truffles. (9/25/13)
Cindy helps Nichole at the hospital market by loading the produce from the truck onto a cart and wheeling it inside the hospital. (9/25/13) Nichole unpacks the produce and then begins to sell. Karen McAdams has the stall next to her. (9/25/13) On Tuesday Nichole sells broccoli, kale, shiitake mushrooms, and lots more at the Fearington Farmers' market. (9/24/13) Back beyond the leaf-eaten morning glories, Cole is preparing for our autumn crops by sprung-tooth harrowing the summer's strawberry field. (9/24/13)
Cole is splitting firewood on Tuesday, tossing each log on top of the pile for a future delivery. Wood has been harder to come by, so we're careful to save enough logs for our steady pizza-restaurant buyers. (9/24/13) At dusk on Wednesday, John lifts some of his shiitake logs out of their water tanks. He'll stack them in piles and wait about a week for new mushrooms to sprout. (9/18/13) Nichole sells at the Fearington Market on Tuesdays from 4 to 6PM. (9/17/13) Surrounded by massive tree trunks, Willie chainsaws logs into a size that will fit onto the log-splitter. (9/17/13)
As if fire ants weren't enough, Cindy has discovered poison ivy in the blueberry plants. She puts plastic bags over her gloves, rips out the poison ivy, folds the ivy into the plastic bag and dumps it into the trash can. (9/17/13) When Cindy continues weeding the blueberry plants on Tuesday morning, she notices that the fire ants have built several more nests. She'll sprinkle diatomaceous earth on top of them before she leaves. The geese accompany Cindy during the weeding process so that they can watch out for and eat any recently revealed bugs. (9/17/13) On Monday morning Willie transports the hunks of wood that he plans to split while Hank supervises. (9/16/13) Willie splits the wood and tosses the logs onto the woodpile. (9/16/13)
On Friday afternoon Big John is practically engulfed by the fig tree when he harvests figs. (9/13/13) Nichole is engulfed by the fig tree. (9/13/13) This is a view from inside the fig tree. Luckily John had already left the area when we got this view! (John is not a snake lover.) (9/13/13) Three Dog Fight. Hank, Clapton, and Chicorangus have a playfight in the cedar shavings on the porch. (9/13/13)
Nichole, John, and Cindy harvested three bushels of dinosaur kale on Friday morning. (9/13/13) Then they each harvested a bushel of collard greens. (9/13/13) They loaded the bushels into the pickup truck. (9/13/13) Then they all load into the pickup and head home for lunch. (9/13/13)
John gives the arugula and carrot seedlings a good watering over at Maple View on Friday morning. (9/13/13) With the meat turkeys gone, the poultry house returns to calm with four hens, two roosters, one turkey, two geese, and one rouen duck. (9/13/13) The meat turkeys, too, are chillin'. At least, until Thanksgiving. (9/13/13) Willie's morning had a rough beginning on Wednesday, but by late afternoon he was floating sweetly with Kelsey. (9/11/13)
At sunrise on Wednesday, the men line up our trailer behind the Dodge pickup truck. (9/11/13) John and William hook up the trailer. (9/11/13) Willie begins loading the turkeys while John manages the gate. (9/11/13) Cole helps with the loading job. We've got nine turkeys all together. (9/11/13)
The turkeys aren't thrilled with their new surroundings. (9/11/13) Turken bids farewell to his less fortunate turkey companions. (9/11/13) Willie leaves the farm to drive the turkeys down the long highway. (9/11/13) While weeding the blueberry plants on Tuesday, Cindy comes across thousands of fire ants. She gets stung about six times before she can wipe them all off her gloves. She'd been told to pour diatomaceous earth over the ants to disable them, but the ants are so far just trudging along through it. (9/10/13)
The turkeys gobble as John gives them fresh water. (9/9/13) Anastasia watches gobbling turkeys. She learns that if we gobble (or cluck) the turkeys gobble LOUDER. (9/9/13) On Tuesday, the turkeys are given their last supper of compost before the next day's slaughter. (9/10/13) They're also given their choice of white or whole wheat bread. (9/10/13)
Nichole is harvesting figs. Our fig tree, and our ripe figs, are taller and higher than Nichole is so John must use the tractor to harvest before we can sell them at markets on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. (9/9/13) Nichole harvests big beautiful shiitake mushrooms. (9/9/13) As the sun rises on Monday morning, Cole, Willie, and John toss logs into the pickup for an early morning firewood delivery to Durham. (9/9/13) Three logs in the air at once, the job gets done a lot more quickly with three men working. (9/9/13)
At the farmers' market on Saturday John, Willie, and Cindy were selling butternut squash, elephant garlic, arugula, turnip green mix, okra, zinnia bouquets, figs, a small amount of pork, baby sweaters, and shoulder bags. (9/7/13) Just before dinnertime, John rode over to Maple View with Rocky and Cindy. John needed to pick up his tractor and his lawnmower. (9/6/13) John drove the lawnmower into the pickup truck for Cindy and Rocky to bring home with them, and then John drove home in the tractor. (9/6/13) On Friday we had harvested plenty of okra for all the okra lovers like Farmer John. (9/6/13)
The climate didn't get cold enough over the winter for our regular garlic to develop, but we've been selling (and eating) lots of elephant garlic, which is larger and milder. We also have butternut squash. (9/6/13) On Friday morning, John mows the grass around the blueberry bushes. (9/6/13) Nichole harvested ambrosia melons, watermelons, and cucumbers. (9/6/13) Early risers will find our figs at the farmers' market on Saturday. (9/6/13)
In the shade of the hackberry tree, Cole and Nichole wash the arugula greens we'll be selling on Saturday morning at the Carrboro Farmers' Market. (9/6/13) We've filled the poultry pool with fresh drinking water that the geese and duck will eagerly fowl up. (9/6/13) On Wednesday afternoon Willie splits firewood. (9/4/13) Lacking his customary comfort of a high pile of clean laundry upon which lay, Chicorangus is resigned to curling up upon a single pillow on the couch. (9/4/13)
On Wednesday morning, Nichole is setting up our produce at Memorial Hospital. She'll be selling okra, butternut squash, arugula, turnip greens, sungold tomatoes, figs, and elephant garlic. Nichole will stay there for four hours until the market is closed. (9/4/13) When the hospital market ends at 2PM, Nichole loads her remaining vegetables onto a cart and wheels it outside to the pickup truck. (9/4/13) After closing down one market stand, Nichole opens up another; she needs to get her tables set up and ready to sell by 3:30PM. (9/4/13) Nichole is set up and smilingly ready to go. She'll be at the Carrboro Farmers' Market until 6:30PM. (9/4/13)
Due to the weather extremes this summer, we haven't had our usual vegetables to sell; the wet weather washed out our salad greens and our tomatoes (except sungolds). But we were fortunate enough this Saturday to have a good proportion of butternut squash and shiitake mushrooms to sell, and we also had some peppers and a few types of sausage. (8/31/13) At Jefferson's on Monday, Cindy weeded the sungold tomatoes (left center row) and the butternut squash (right row). (9/2/13) John uses the tractor to lift Willie up high enough where he can pick the ripe figs. Nichole will be bringing these figs with her to the Fearington Farmers' Market which runs from 4 to 6PM on Tuesdays. (9/3/13) Surrounded by rambunctious toms, this turkey hen is taking refuge inside the swimming pool. (9/4/13)
Nichole harvests sungolds on the homefront. (8/30/13) John walks down the row and sprinkles organic fertilizer on each bed. (8/30/13) Then John forms each bed pulling the plastic layer with his tractor. (8/30/13) By the time the sun is setting, John has formed and fertilized five new beds for our fall plantings. (8/30/13)
On Friday morning, John unlocks the gate at Maple View Farm so that he and Nichole can get some work done there. (8/30/13) John spreads out some of the watering hoses for his turnip greens, kale, Swiss chard, and other winter greens. (8/30/13) Nichole forages for sweet peppers in our exceedingly weed-filled pepper patch. (8/30/13) Done with the morning's work at Maple View, John and Nichole head back to the pick-up truck. They have to drive to Jefferson's and then the homestead, two more locations where they have a lot more farm-work to do. (8/30/13)
We've got lots of butterflies on our Mexican sunflowers. (8/30/13) On Wednesdays after Nichole has finished the hospital market at 2PM, she races over to greet our regular customers at the Carrboro market from 3:30 to 6:30PM. (8/28/13) George O'Neal is one of our favorite farmer friends at the market. Years ago, George trained by working for farmer John, and now George is an ace farmer. "I learned from the best!" George exclaims. With some careful scrutinizing and analyzing, John and his friend Pete make the necessary adjustments to get our broken tractor running again. (8/29/13)
On Wednesday, the Memorial Hospital Farmers' Market was temporarily moved to a different location, just inside the front door. Nichole's stand was set up in the back on a stage. (8/28/13) Nichole was immediately approached by customers after she set up her shiitake mushrooms, sungolds, butternut squash, elephant garlic, and our delicious figs! (8/28/13) After John, Cole, and Nichole load the pickup truck, Nichole hops inside, adjusts the mirror, and heads off to the Fearington Farmers' Market. She's bringing our sungold tomatoes, elephant garlic, butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, and mild breakfast sausage. (8/27/13) Willie transports huge sections of tree trunks, sorting them for firewood splitting. (8/23/13)
Alaskan Bill and Farmer John split firewood on Sunday. (8/25/13) By working together they get twice the work done in half the time. (8/25/13) And we're pleased to have twice the manpower. (8/25/13) Nichole and Cole are picking sungold tomatoes to sell at market on Saturday. When they're done, they'll move on to picking okra. (8/23/13)
While we were eating lunch on the porch, Chicorangus found a potato and began to play with it, but to Chicorangus' anguish, Clapton stole the potato. (8/23/13) Chicorangus tried to retrieve his toy potato, but he was unsuccessful and Clapton ate it. (We ate our potatoes also; check out the recipe section for "Potato Salad by Papoo".) (8/23/13) With so many machines on the farm, John has to spend a lot of time repairing them. His lawnmower has broken down again, so along with harvesting vegetables on Friday, he's also figuring out what's wrong with his lawnmower and then fixing it. (8/23/13) It looks like we'll be selling lots of shiitake mushrooms at the farmers' market this Saturday! (8/22/13)
After the heavy rains in the week, John had a wave of mushrooms to quickly harvest and sell before they are drenched by future thunderstorms. (8/21/13) Willie had a tsunami of mushrooms to harvest, salvaging them from past and future thunderstorms. (8/21/13) As potential buyers look on, Nichole unloads shiitake mushrooms and sungold tomatoes at her stand at Memorial Hospital's farmers' market. (8/21/13) We take so much produce to the hospital farmers' market that we have to carry in a cartload full of vegetables twice. We've got garlic, okra, and sungold tomatoes in this load. (8/21/13)
After the hospital markets shuts at 2PM, Nichole heads over to Carrboro for the 3:30 opening of that farmers' market. (8/21/13) On a drizzly Monday, Cole and John head over to our fields at Fergerson's to learn that the cucumbers need harvesting and the carrot seedlings need weeding. (8/19/13) On Tuesday, Cindy weeds these tiny carrot seedlings that are being overpowered by weeds. (8/20/13) Half of one row has been weeded. If it's not raining hard on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, Cindy will weed the other one-and-a-half rows of carrots. (8/20/13)
Our friend Debbie dropped by the farm spontaneously because she thought she'd like to collect some tomatoes. Debbie then learned that the severe rain has killed all of our tomato plants (except the sungolds). So instead, Debbie spent five hours with Nichole harvesting sungolds and then cleaning garlic and onions. We sent Debbie home with a basketful of fresh produce. (8/16/13) Cole harvests shiitake mushrooms in the woods. (8/14/13) Nichole sets up her stand at the Memorial Hospital Farmers' Market at 10AM on Wednesdays. (8/14/13) Nichole is one of many other farmers at the market, including Bob the orchid specialist and Howard McAdams of McAdams Family Farm. (8/14/13)
This puny-looking pepper plant, which had been completely overrun by weeds from weed jungle behind it, has managed to powerfully produce one beautiful orange pepper, ready to eat. (8/13/13) On a cloudy day, these butterflies seek sunflowers. (8/13/13) John is tossing split firewood into the pickup truck, and Hank will have to get up before it's time to deliver it. (8/11/13) We've got buckets of butterflies, bees, and flowers on Tuesday. (8/13/13)
Monday lunch for our lovely turkeys...(8/11/13) In scorching weather on Monday afternoon, Nichole braves the heat to find sungolds. Sungolds are our only tomatoes since the abundant rain killed all of the larger varieties. (Farmers have been hit hard by global climate changes.) (8/11/13) We'll be selling lots of sweet delicious Sungolds at the farmers' markets this week! (8/11/13) Willie splits logs for firewood sales. (8/11/13)
Late Sunday afternoon John invited Pablo to come fishing in one of the ponds on the farm. Clapton entertained Pablo while John strung the line on the fishing pole that Pablo brought. (8/11/13) John, Pablo, and David went down to the pond where they met Shane and Cameron, who were already fishing. (8/11/13) Pablo got a few bites but no catches yet. He will certainly catch one next time! On Monday at 7AM just after the sunrise, John and Cole load some seedlings into the pickup truck and head off to Maple View to do some planting. (8/11/13)
On a steaming hot Sunday, Willie's roen steps into the pond to cool off and then shakes out his wings. (8/11/13) The pressure is on for fall planting while thousands of seedlings in flats wait for the preparation of garden rows. Behind the seedlings, a pile of split firewood is ready for sale and delivery. (8/8/13) The winter vegetables in the background were first to be planted while the cauliflower in the foreground is still in flats and must wait another day. (8/8/13) It's just about sunset at Maple View, and sixteen more rows, covered with plastic, will have to wait until tomorrow for John to fill them with seedlings. (8/8/13)
By Thursday afternoon, John had planted seven more rows of winter vegetables at Maple View. (8/8/13) With chainsaws in hands, and water bottle and dog in cab, Willie heads off for his tree climbing job. Willie's Tree Company removes dead or unwanted tree limbs and trees, and is "Above All in Service". His business can be contacted at 919/998-9000. (8/6/13) On early Monday evening, John sprinkles organic fertilizer onto the earth before he lays down the plastic. (8/5/13) He begins the job with the plastic layer, then stops to shovel some earth onto the end of the plastic to hold it down. (8/5/13)
Using the shovel to keep the hose in place, John drives his tractor down the row to lay the plastic. (8/5/13) The plastic layer covers the sides of the plastic with earth. (8//5) Then John covers up the top of the row with earth. (8/5/13) John pulls the plastic through and cuts off the end. (8/5/13)
John walks down to the bottom of the row to retrieve the shovel. (8/5/13) He completely covers with earth both ends and sides, and these six more rows are ready for planting. (8/5/13) Cole is soaking inoculated shiitake logs, and weighing them down with cinder blocks. (8/5/13) Nichole is harvesting shiitake mushrooms for the five markets we'll be attending this week. (8/5'13)
Overcome by weeds, this plant is unrecognizable except for the hidden pepper. (8/5/13) The pepper plants in the foreground have been weeded. The pepper plants in the background (four or five rows of them) are in dire need. (8/5/13) On Sunday evening John soaks inoculated shiitake logs at sunset. (8/4/13) It's a lot of hard work, and he never has trouble falling asleep at night. (8/4/13)
After John extended the turkey fence and we opened their gate to let them out into further space, they were unsure about how to proceed. (8/4/13) Ahhhh, release from the chicken coop....turkey heaven! (8/4/13) This Mexican sunflower is glistening with dew first thing in the morning. (8/2/13) Later a swallowtail alights on it. (8/2/13)
We've placed seedlings on racks on top of cinder blocks in the field in the sunshine. Among other seedlings, we have zephyr squash, kohlrabi, cucumbers, and melons. (8/2/13) Two butterflies, one of them raggedy looking, share a tall sunflower. (8/2/13) Nichole and Sidney harvested blueberries. (8/2/13) John collected a bushell of sweet green peppers to sell at market on Saturday. (8/2/13)
Cindy finally took the time she needed to weed and mulch the strawflowers and a small section of the zinnias. (7/31/13) She also weeded one side of the cleome and cosmos row; she'll weed the other side in a day or two. (7/31/13) Sidney is putting together the best of our vegetables for our CSA's, which we hand out to our patrons on Wednesdays. (7/31/13) On Wednesday, one of our lunch dishes was a Greek specialty: Saganaki, or fried cheese. Slice the cheese into cubes and then dip each cube first into iced water and then into whole wheat flour (combined with oregano, garlic powder, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper). In a cast iron pan, fry it on both sides in medium hot oil until browned. Sprinkle fresh lemon juice on it and enjoy! (7/31/13)
Nichole and Cindy load the produce from the back of the pickup onto a cart and then into the hospital, which holds its market on Wednesdays from 11am until 2pm. The hospital has two carts, which the farmers share as they set up their stands. Nichole usually has so much produce that she needs to fill the cart twice. (7/31/13) Nichole is setting up her stand, which has tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, onions, garlic, squash, and flowers. Doctors, nurses, staff, visitors, and patients are grateful for this easy access to fresh local produce. (7/31/13) To get the job done more quickly, Cole begins throwing the firewood he's split two logs at a time into John's empty pickup truck. (Cindy photographs from inside the pickup, where the back window is gone and she can fully capture the scene. That back window was smashed several weeks ago by a similar flying log being loaded into the truck.) (7/30/13) The truck is just about loaded, level with the sides, as Cole throws in a few last logs. (Cindy takes these last shots from a safer distance, not wanting to have her camera, or her head, smashed by a flying log. (7/30/13)
While weeding in the flower garden on Tuesday morning, Cindy found a mystery flower amidst the weeds. (7/30/13) She discovered that the flower was one of many, so Cindy will be doing a lot more weeding on Tuesday afternoon. (7/30/13) These strawflowers will look good in bouquets with other flowers. (7/30/13) Our turkeys feast on a breakfast of some of Weaver Street Market's leftover lunches and breads. (7/30/13)
Nichole finds a handful of cucumbers on Tuesday, and Shane will bring them to the Fearington market from 4 to 6PM. The corn in the next row over is as high as an elephant's eye, but we're not selling it yet because it still needs more time to ripen. (7/30/13) Just after the sun rises on Monday, John and Cole move soaked logs to a shaded area in the woods where they stack them for future shiitake mushroom growth. (7/29/13) Then John piles another batch of inoculated logs into the bins he's just emptied. (7/29/13) Our turkey "chicks" are beginning to look a lot like our dominant turkey male (forward left), so the other poultry (roosters included) are giving them a wide berth. (7/26/13)
Cindy went out into the garden to cut flowers for market. The garden is full of weeds. And of butterflies. (7/26/13) This is one of the weeds that thrives in our garden: Morning Glory. (7/26/13) This is one of the butterflies that thrives in our garden. (7/26/13) This swallowtail is sampling lots of different flowers. (7/26/13)
This butterfly enjoys a tall sunflower on a sunny day. (7/26/13) Daniel, Cole, and Sidney are harvesting tomatoes for us to sell at the Saturday farmers' market in Carrboro. (7/26/13) Willie cuts firewood. (7/24/13) John bushhogs the east field getting it ready for our fall plantings. (7/24/13)
Shane packages the tomatoes that his customer is purchasing at Fearington Farmers' Market. (7/23/13) O'Neal sits happily waiting for Cindy to fill up the buckets with flowers. (7/23/13) Bees and butterflies buzz around the flower bouquets that Cindy has just put together and placed into buckets before Shane brings them to the Fearington market. (7/23/13) Some vegetable and flower seeds need cool weather to germinate so, like the days before we'd built our greenhouse, we're raising some of our seeds in front of the window in our livingroom. (7/23/13)
As we're packing up our produce to sell at the Fearington Farmers' Market, Shane notices a black snake peering at us from underneath a cooler on the porch. With the aid of a mop, Shane captures the 6-foot reptile. (7/23/13) Black snakes are said to keep copperheads away, so Shane releases the snake near our pond. (7/23/13) Using tailgate for a table, Nichole and Cole plant beet seeds into flats. (7/23/13) Nichole and Cole are doing one our most hated (but most crucial) jobs on the farm: Sorting through harvested tomatoes to discard the few that have gone bad. We are currently storing fresh tomatoes inside our air-conditioned home but the smell of one bad tomato can spoil the whole house. (7/22/13)
When evening falls on Sunday after a busy day working, John relaxes on the couch and Clapton relaxes on John. (7/21/13) Willie's little chihuahua, Chicorangus, is guarding our back porch from enemies. (7/19/13) On a steaming hot Friday, Nichole is in the field picking all the ripe blueberries she can find. (7/19/13) We've harvested loads of big beautiful figs to sell at market on Saturday. (7/19/13)
We harvested beautiful red sunflowers. (7/19/13) The bees are loving our flowers. (7/19/13) These sweet yellow onions help make a delicious tomato sandwich. (7/19/13) We'll be selling lots of elephant garlic and onions at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday. (7/19/13)
On Friday morning, Daniel and Cole each dump their first of many bushels of butternut squash for the day. (7/19/13) We stack the butternuts in the barn. (7/19/13) Since poultry feed has become so expensive, Cindy brings home some of the unsold bread from Weaver Street Market and uses it to feed the birds. (7/17/13) Nichole sorts and organizes tomatoes into various stages of ripeness and perfection. (7/17/13)
We had a family get-together on Tuesday night to celebrate Farmer John's birthday. (7/16/13) On Tuesday morning, an abundance of butterflies visit the flowers that Cindy will be cutting and Shane will be selling at the Fearington Farmers' Market that afternoon. (7/16/13) This butterfly tries to outshine the purple zinnia beneath it. (7/16/13) Another beautiful butterfly: Zebra-striped with a touch of red. (7/16/13)
After a happy day with her master, Chicorangus collapses into blissful sleep in Willie's lap. (7/15/13) After a month away, Willie returns to the homefront where Eco Farm normalcy reigns. (7/15/13) John supervises another dumping of logs on Monday. (7/15/13) The cleome and zinnias are growing beautifully in our flower garden. So are the weeds. (7/12/13)
Chicorangus cuddles up with a box of tomatoes in his favorite chair on our porch. These tomatoes will be going to TOMATO DAY at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday, along with thousands of other tomatoes of many varieties and sizes from numerous local farms. (7/12/13) We're harvesting blueberries to bring to market on Saturday. (7/12/13) A dumptruck load of logs arrives for us to cut, split, and sell as firewood. (7/8/13) The logs are dumped. (7/8/13)
We heard a meowing from up high and found that poor Sungold had once again bitten off more than he could chew: He'd climbed up onto the roof and could not get back down again. We rescued him. (7/12/13) Cindy weeded our pepper plants over at Maple View Farm on Monday . She threw the weeds, which were taller than the pepper plants, into the middle of the rows where the sun will dry them out and they'll become mulch. (7/8/13) Weeding can be a muddy job. . . (7/8/13) . . . but rain puddles dave the day. (7/8/13)
At the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday we had loads of onions, garlic, kale, flowers, and tomatoes. (7/6/13) Cole and Bengie plant the sweet potatoes. (7/3/13) The sweet potatoes will grow in these tanks briefly, and then we'll put them into the earth. (7/3/13) Ankle-deep in mud, Sidney harvests sungold tomatoes at Maple View. (7/3/13)
As evening falls, John gives a watering to his new tomato plants. (5/10/13) Many folks spent Sunday at our Pick-Your-Own strawberry patch picking strawberries for Mothers' Day. We'll be open most days of the week, Sunday through Friday, from 8am to 4pm. Unlike last year, this year our strawberries are at our homestead in front of our house. (5/10/13) At 10AM Cole, Anna, Nichole, and John are picking and packing strawberries. (5/13/13) Clapton is carefully guarding the harvested strawberries. (5/13/13)
Our strawberries are finally ready so Anna, Cole, and John harvest and pack them to bring to the farmers' market on Saturday morning. We'll have a Pick-Your-Own Strawberries this Sunday from 8AM to 4PM. (5/10/13) The piglets come running for a bushel full of corn chips. (5/8/13) After the farmers' market closed Wednesday evening, a bunch of farmers and friends revitalized outside Weaver Street Market with food and drinks. (5/8/13) It happened to be Moe's birthday, for which Bengie had baked a moist and delicious surprise birthday apple cake. (5/8/13)
Sungold accompanies Cindy while she harvests bachelor buttons. (5/7/13) Buster waits patiently for his owner while Nichole, Cole, and Ella pick strawberries. (5/7/13) Nichole, Ella, Cindy, and John weed carrots. (5/7/13) Nichole started off weeding carrots and ended up with armloads of harvested radishes. (5/7/13)
Aware of our financial struggle to afford the increased price of pig feed, our friend George told us that a delivery truck on highway 54 had accidentally dumped a load of packaged bread. We immediately hopped into the pick-up truck, headed over to 54, and scooped up all the bread to feed the pigs. John loaded the bread into the grain feeder for storage so that nighttime animals wouldn't steal it. (5/6/13) For the next few days, turning the hatch on the grain feeder will now deliver us a loaf of free bread instead of the expensive ground corn. (5/6/13) John also picked up two bushels of out-dated corn chips and tortillas, compliments of our friend Jesus Bravo, of Fiesta Grill Mexican Restaurant. (5/6/13) For our spotted piglets, the white bread seems to be winning out over the corn chips. (5/6/13)
Willie and Cole set up a dog kennel so that the turkey chicks will have more space. (5/7/13) Willie helped move the turklets into their new home, and Hank looked on longingly. (5/7/13) The weather at our first May farmers' market had returned to wintertime, so we sold lots of pork...and almost all of the flowering greens bouquets, composed of variations of bok choy, red Russian kale, dinosaur kale, collards, Swiss chard, and water irises. (5/4/13) On the late afternoon of Saturday May 4th, John and Cindy enjoyed celebrating with friends at the wedding of their friends Mark and Meghan. (5/4/13)
Cindy put on her boots and stepped into the pond edge to harvest flowers to sell as water iris/bachelor button bouquets at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday. (5/3/13) Thinking about mint julups for the Kentucky Derby, Cindy brought rubber bands, her snippers, and a bucket down to the lower pond to cut spearmint to sell at the farmers' market. In the background, Sungold is happily pouncing on twigs. (5/3/13) The bees are loving our flowering greens. (5/3/13) Along with the other bouquets we'll be selling at the farmers' market, we'll also be selling flowering greens. (5/3/13)
Part of Tuesday's harvest is curly kale, dinosaur kale, flowering kohlrabi, and Swiss chard. (4/30/13) When Cindy came home from working at Weaver Street Market, she brought the pigs a bucket of old vegetables and fruits. They liked the bananas and tomatoes, but not the rhubarb. (4/29/13) This lucky piglet scored a pear. (4/29/13) Another score: A roma tomato! (4/29/13)
The roen and geese have come to pay a visit on the turkey chicks. (4/28/13) "Only badasses like me can sit in Farmer John's chair." (4/28/13) John demonstrates how he inoculates shiitake mushroom logs to some of our visitors at the 28th annual Piedmont Farm Tour. The tour is run by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association this Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5pm and showcases 39 farms. (4/27/13) Cindy spent several hours weeding onions. The three rows on the right are finished, and she'll try to finish the one on the left before the day is through. (4/26/13)
Our strawberry plants are green and full of pretty white flowers. The cold weather delayed the flowers from becoming early strawberries, so we'll have to wait for the right combination of warm weather, sunshine, and rain. (4/26/13) Shane lights up the pig-house bonfire. We're cleaning up the property since hundreds of visitors will be here this weekend for the Piedmont Farm Tour. (4/26/13) Cole splits firewood while the bonfire burns behind him. (4/26/13) Shane weed-eats around the property. (4/26/13)
In the late afternoon, John dumps buckets of food into containers for his spotted piglets. (4/25/13) While he's there, he uses his hand to measure them to see if they're big enough for slaughter. (4/25/13) Before he calls it a night, John loads his pickup truck with the firewood he'll be delivering in the morning. (4/25/13) Shiitake the kitten brought a bird into the house, released the bird, and then stalked it until the bird found a hiding spot. Cindy found the terrorized bird in it's hiding spot, and realized that Shiitake had been using that same hiding spot for a dead vole. Cindy encouraged the bird to fly out an opened door and shoveled the vole out into the garden. (4/26/13)
Clapton was lured by the pigs into a traumatic shock. Our smallest dog backs frantically out of his misfortune after he'd attempted to meet a piglet nose-to-nose and met instead the electric fence. Clapton learned quickly. This happy piglet enjoys a solo mudbath. (4/24/13) John collected another batch of steaming hot whiskey grain water to feed to the pigs and poultry. (4/24/13) When film-makers visited the farm to shoot photos of faux illegal farm-workers, John demonstrated knife-safe harvest techniques so that the actors wouldn't slice their fingers. (4/24/13)
In the morning hours before the farm-hands arrive, John and Cindy begin harvesting kale, beets, garlic greens, and Swiss chard for Wednesday's farmers' market and CSA. (4/24/13) They come away with bushels of fresh produce. (4/24/13) This may look like a handful of garbage, but Farmer John has a plan. In order to re-use the old drip line, John lays it out against the cold frame to measure it into 96-foot lengths. (4/23/13)
John moved the turkey chicks so that in the daylight hours they'll have green grass beneath their feet and sunshine warming their bodies. (4/22/13) Our orange hen is showing interest in the turkey chicks. (4/22/13) Our orange kitten is also showing interest in the turkey chicks. Beware, turkey chicks! (4/22/13) Willie's Roen duck followed the Grey Toulouse geese up to visit to the turkey chicks. (Farm animals are always so interested in other farm animals.) (4/23/13)
Shiitake cornered and captured another mouse, with Clapton close behind. Then Clapton stole the mouse... and ate it. (4/21/13) Cindy takes a walk next door with the two dogs and Sungold the kitten decides to accompany them. (4/21/13) Cindy brought home a bucketload of old apples for the piglets to share. (4/21/13) Our dogs are happy with John's decision to raise some turkey chicks. (4/20/13)
Our friends Sara and Eric gave John a dozen abandoned turkey chicks they'd learned of. John agreed that he would raise them until Thanksgiving time. (4/20/13) A sad sight for those that love locally raised pork, this pig house has been delegated to the bonfire pile. The price of pig feed has doubled in the last few weeks, and John has decided that once these last ten pigs are gone he will not raise any more since we are losing money raising pigs. (4/20/13) Nichole is looking to find some tatsoy to bring to market, but most of it in the foreground is already flowering. Cole has a bushell full of pac choy. (4/19/13) Willie washes and bands beets to bring to market. (4/18/13)
Our poultry are about to indulge in a bucketload of leftover lunch that Cindy brought them from Weaver Street Market. The white rooster took a quick taste test before allowing his hens and the turkey tom to follow suit. (4/18/13) Pigs love food and mud. In order to eat every green morsel, our piglets munch perilously close to their electric wire fence, and we often hear an agonized squeal when a pig has accidentally munched too closely. (4/17/13) Pigs love standing in puddles, drinking in puddles, and peeing in puddles; so don't ever take a bath with a pig and don't ever share a drink with one either. (4/17/13)
Piglets are cute, but they're definately pigs. Pigs don't have sweat glands, so they cool off in mud puddles. Our spotted piglets are living a fortunate life where they romp free in their field beneath the pine trees. This piglet sees a human (the photographer) and humans means food and company, so it is running for a quick greeting. (4/17/13) Nichole goes weekly to the Wednesday Carrboro Farmers' Market from 3:30 to 6:30pm. This week she was selling garlic greens, kale, Swiss chard, lettuces, boc choy, tatsoy, tulip bouquets, and pork. (4/17/13) Willie and Hank head back from the field. (4/16/13)
Willie drives over to our land next door and comes back with a truck-bed full of green vegetables. (4/16/13) Bobby gets a laugh when Türker insists on being close to him by the porch. (4/14/13) Cole works with Ella distributing straw as a mulch between the rows of tomatoes and eggplant at Maple View. (4/15/13) Shane hooks up our irrigation system. (4/15/13)
On Sunday night at Eco Farm we celebrated Nichole's 27th birthday with family and friends, barbecued pork and seafood, and lots of vegetables. (4/14/13) The potluck dinner, complete with cake and ice cream and cookies, was a smash hit. (4/14/13) It's Monday and the party's over. John is splitting firewood. (4/15/13) Cindy harvests more red tulips from our field at Maple View. (4/15/13)
We went to the farmers' market on Saturday with Bobby (John's fisherman buddy from NY) and we sold tulips, kale, pork, collards, Swiss chard, lettuce, sock dolls, a baby sweater, and Nichole's tomato seedlings. (4/13/13) John discovered that the Swiss chard at Maple View had been overcome by the white plastic during the previous night's storm, so he and Cindy braved the mud and pulled the little seedling's leaves out into the light. (4/12/13) The mud was significant, but the seedlings were appreciative. (4/12/13) John solved the mud problem by removing his shoes while working and washing his shoes and feet in a puddle before getting back into the car. (4/12/13)
These are some of the tulips we'll bring to the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday to be sold as singles and in bouquets. (4/12/13) Shane clears the brush around the lower pond, and then burns the brush to give us more room. (4/09/13) Shane chainsaws these gum trees into logs for inoculating with shiitake spores. (4/09/13) Cole plows the fields around the cold frame so that we'll have a place to plant the growing seedlings. (4/09/13)
To give us more room inside the greenhouse, Nichole transfers some of the flats with older seedlings from inside the greenhouse to the sunshine out front. (4/09/13) Willie was tilling the back field when he saw, and then caught, a wild rat. Willie's careful not to let the rat bite him. (4/09/13) We've got new rows of pac choy, tatsoy, and lettuce growing green at Maple View. (4/09/13) On Tuesday morning Cole, John, and Ella spread down straw as a mulch to keep the spiny amaranth and other weeds from growing between the tomato rows; Shane sprung-tooth harrows the back field, and Cindy harvests more yellow tulips. (4/09/13)
On Monday afternoon, John's friend Sue Coppola, an occupational therapy professor at UNC, made her annual visit to Eco Farm with twenty of her students. Sue believes that her students will become better OTs after witnessing our family's perseverance and prosperity despite the disabilities we each suffer from our 1992 automobile wreck. (4/08/13) John, Cole, and Ella go over to Maple View to plant our tomato seedlings, and Cindy harvests the tulips. (4/08/13) Ella waters the seedlings immediately after they're planted. (4/08/13) On Sunday afternoon, Brooke and Laura took a three-hour sewing workshop with Cindy. (4/07/13)
Willie bands garlic greens on Friday for Saturday's market. (4/05/13) Shiitake finally did what Cindy adopted a kitten to do: Shiitake caught a mouse, carried it into the bathroom, and, while Cindy photographed, completely ate the mouse. Shiitake even licked up every scrap on the floor. (This is one of the G-rated photos, while others are colorfully gory.) (4/04/13) On Monday afternoon, Türker did something that he hadn't done since we'd gotten him a mate: After work when John sat on the porch to relax, Türken approached John and let John pet him. Lately, Türken's mate, Türkgirlistan, is often absent; so perhaps she's sitting on a hidden nest of turkey eggs and Türken is missing her. (4/04/13) We brought our kittens in to be neutered yesterday, so today they are taking it easy. (4/03/13)
Cindy is weeding the garlic in the foreground, and Nichole is weed-eating around the beds in the background. (4/03/13) John waters the dry earth with a hose. (4/03/13) With the springtime coming, Nichole gathers up the remay that we've used to protect our plants over the winter months. (4/03/13) Shane helps clear up the property by chainsawing and removing gum trees and brush. (4/03/13)
John tills in another cover crop to give us more room for planting. (4/03/13) Nichole and Cindy harvest carrots and band them to sell at the farmers' market on Saturday. (4/03/13) This carrot has wrapped itself around the root of a weed. (4/03/13) With the carrots harvested, John tills another bed for more room. A few carrots, unseen and unpicked, lay tumbled in the earth. (4/03/13)
John tills the field over on Brightside. (4/03/13) Nichole weed-eats between the rows of garlic, and Rocky briefly tags along. (4/02/13) Willie weeds elephant garlic. (4/02/13) John mows the lawn surrounding the garden beds. (4/02/13)
After cleaning the black plastic row cover with bleach, John and Willie prepare to bring it down to the cold frame. (3/29/13) First they drag it into the cold frame. (3/29/13) Then they line up the plastic, spreading it down flat and placing bricks on it to weigh it down. Our early tomato plants will do well with the increased heat. (3/29/13) Hank, now almost kitten-safe, savored the relaxation angle. (3/29/13)
Rocky's location gives us a clear sign that Nichole is in the greenhouse. (3/29/13) In the late afternoon, Nichole is watering the greenhouse tomato seedlings. (3/29/13) We've got red Russian kale, collards, and many other greens for early arriving customers at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. (3/29/13) Nichole cuts lettuce, and Willie cuts boc choi. (3/29/13)
On Friday morning John, Willie, and Nichole head out to the garden with buckets to harvest. Rocky and Hank accompany them. (3/29/13) John harvests beautiful heads of lettuce for bringing to market on Saturday. (3/29/13) Wednesday night John and Cindy retired by ten since she had to arise at 5 for her WSM job. They heard the persistent howling of coyotes, and then suddenly the screeching of their Gray Toulouse geese. To ease Cindy's concern, John went outside to frighten the intruder. After he returned, a high-pitched squeaking arose in the living room and Shiitake bolted into the bathroom with a rodent in her mouth. Clapton was in hot pursuit. Cindy quickly shut the bathroom door on the trio. (3/28/13) Determined to ease the commotion and get some sleep, Cindy opened the bathroom door and the rodent was now in Clapton's mouth. Cindy put Clapton-with-rodent out the back door, took a few blind photos, and was in bed by 11:15. (This savage farm nightlife can be draining.) Examining the photos the following afternoon, we see that the "rodent" was actually a baby bunny rabbit. It was thankfully not one of Willie's Wonderful Wabbits. (3/28/13)
On a windy day, Nichole is over at Maple View to do some planting. She uses her thumb to poke holes in the black plastic, into which she'll place the seedlings. (3/27/13) Nichole plants several trays of curly kale. Littering the plastic are blades of the recently mowed cover crop of winter rye from between the rows; in the background are the cows and solar panels of Maple View Farm. (3/27/13) We have several piles of manure which Shane will be transporting for use as fertilization. (3/27/13) Shane tows the manure spreader to fertilize the beds on Brightside. (3/27/13)
Nichole drags the irrigation hoses from the field to a barn for storage. (3/26/13) John and Nichole clean out the black plastic from last season's growth on our Brightside field. (3/26/13) Needing space in our cold frame for early tomato seedlings, Willie tills under what's left of our mixed lettuce, arugula, and premature turnips and radishes. (3/26/13) Our kitten caught a vole outside, slipped in through the cat door, brought the vole into the bathroom, and set it free. Cindy quickly closed the bathroom door and used a cork, some thread, and a plastic Tupperware cake box to set a peanut butter trap to catch the vole. The vole had no interest in the peanut butter. (3/22/13)
Cindy observed that the vole was not very fast, so she plopped the cake box over the vole, slipped the cover beneath it's little feet, and took the vole outside to freedom. (Maybe John was right when he said that our kittens are useless as rodent-catchers.) (3/22/13) At Maple View Farm, Nichole and Cindy cut the planting potatoes so that each piece has an eye on it; then John drops the pieces into the trench he plowed with the tractor. (3/20/13) Shane, Nichole, and John plant potatoes at Maple View. (3/20/13) To get us better access to it, Shane cleared up the brush around the lower pond. (3/22/13)
John plows rows at Maple View to plant our potatoes. (3/20/13) Nichole begins cutting potatoes into pieces so that she and John can plant them at Maple View. (3/20/13) John leaves for Maple View with the tractor so that he can till the fields and plant potatoes. (3/20/13) Willie uses the tractor to transport heavy portions of tree trunks over to the log splitter. (3/19/13)
The weather got cold and the kittens have commandeered the dog bed by the wood stove so Clapton is forced to sleep on the bricks. (3/18/13) Nichole begins harvesting "the mystery green", which we couldn't identify and have lost its seed packet. John thinks it might be "Tokyo Bekana", and we'll be selling it at the farmers' market on Saturday morning. (It was our green serving for Friday's lunch, chopped and boiled, with the addition of minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt.) (3/15/13) At sundown Willie inoculates the last of his shiitake logs while his dog Hank looks on. (3/17/13) Shiitake prowled beneath a kitchen chair yowling authoritatively like a tiger that had conquered a gazelle; in reality our kitten had apprehended a rubber band. (3/17/13)
The heron stopped by our pond today. (3/15/13) Piglets of many colors...rooting. (3/13/13) The joy of mud, from a pig's perspective. (3/13/13) Shane gathers and burns the brush and the weeds that are around our garden. (3/13/13)
On a cool and cloudy Wednesday, Nichole and Willie weed the strawberry plants. (3/13/13) We pulled back the white remay that was covering our crops and found the greens growing and thriving magnificently. (3/12/13) The tatsoy looks thick, green, and juicy for a delicious and hearty salad. (3/12/13) The baby bak choy is perky and ready to enjoy. (3/12/13)
This mystery green is also thriving! (3/12/13) The new red Russian kale is just about ready. (3/12/13) Preparing to take a hog to the slaughterhouse in late morning, Willie bribes them into the trailer by tossing in the peanuts that pigs so enjoy. It's almost lunchtime, so Willie and Cindy are also indulging in peanut snacking. (3/12/13) One pig does step halfway up, and then all the way up. Willie took her on the drive, ant then returned home to try to get the other pig. (3/12/13)
On the homefront, Clapton looks on as Cindy weeds garlic. These are four rows of garlic on black plastic, with the elephant garlic in the row at right. The elephant garlic in the foreground has not been weeded yet, while that in the backround has been. (3/11/13) This elephant garlic has not been weeded yet. (3/11/13) This elephant garlic has been weeded, and is wanting some rain. (3/11/13)
Early Monday morning we noticed that we hadn't seen one of our kittens, Sungold, since Sunday afternoon. Willie ventured outside, where he heard a desperate meowing. (3/11/13) He located Sungold, thirty feet high in a tree. (Notice his two ears in the upper left part of the tree.) But Willie had to leave, rushing off so that he wouldn't be late for his other job, as a tree-climber, ironically. (3/11/13) Shane found a ladder and ascended as far as he could safely get. He climbed up onto a thick branch, stood on it, and grabbed the kitten, who was quite a bit further up. (3/11/13) With Sungold clinging wretchedly to his leg, Shane climbed back down the ladder and set the kitten free on the ground. (3/11/13)
The piglets had a glorious time in the mud today. (3/11/13) Little lettuces are poking their heads up at Maple View. (3/6/13) On an incredibly windy and cold Wednesday afternoon, John and Nichole weed our elephant garlic over at Maple View Farm. Shane used the self-propelled weed-eater to clean up between the rows. (3/6/13) John and Nichole have a long way to go on these three 300-foot long beds of garlic. In between two of the garlic rows are one and a half rows of strawberry plants. (3/6/13)
Rocky relaxes in the strawberry bed while he waits for Nichole. (3/6/13) John carries logs over to the log splitter. (3/5/13) He splits the logs and Nichole carries the split logs over to the log pile. (3/5/13) John and Nichole install a wire fence around the beds they've just seeded. (3/5/13)
The hens wander around looking for insects and worms after John tills the beds. (3/5/13) Expecting a rain soon, John scatters bone meal to fertilize the seedlings he'll be planting. (3/5/13) On Sunday morning the kittens got their first taste of the great outdoors where they will learn to climb trees instead of the bedroom draperies. (3/3/13) Kittens like to curl up in cozy places, like in a plastic carton full of paper and plastic bags. (3/2/13)
The cold frame, filled with arugula, mixed lettuce, and head lettuce, supplied the greens that John and Cindy sold at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday. (3/2/13) Willie built a rabbit hutch for his new bunnies. (3/2/13) Hank is intent on keeping a careful eye on Willie's bunnies. (3/2/13) Türker stands on the steps to the porch, eager to attack O'Neal. (A tough old bird could make a nice soup.) (3/2/13)
Willie has gotten us loads of mulch from his job at The Arborist, which John will transport via tractor to fill the mud spots in our driveway. (3/1/13) Nichole harvested some fresh young arugula, which John and Cindy will sell at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. (3/1/13) John picks up more logs to split for firewood, and unloads them onto a log pile. (3/1/13) The busy life of a piglet on Eco Farm...
Ah, the joys of rooting.... When Cindy started on her daily walk with the dogs, Türken began attacking the dogs full force so Cindy kicked the turkey and the turkey flew up into the air landing with a splash in the pond. (Yes, turkeys can swim.) (3/1/13) When Türken got out of the pond and set his soggy yet murdurous eyes on Clapton again, Cindy and the dogs fled quickly onto the path to make their getaway on a walk. (3/1/13) After their walk Cindy and Clapton made their escape inside the house, but Türken let them know that he had not forgotten. (3/1/13)
The waterfowl trio takes a stroll up to the eastern garden. (2/28/13) Willie is thinking about getting into the rabbit business, so he's building a rabbit hutch. (2/27/13) These are three of "Willie's Wonderful Wabbits". (2/27/13) Nichole and Mark inoculate shiitake mushrooms. (2/27/13)(2/27/13)
Wednesday morning after another rain, we notice that the fence must have shorted out again and a hog has gotten out. (2/27/13) Willie goes next door to retrieve the trailer, and the hog follows the pickup truck up the driveway. John tell us that the hog's undoubtedly in heat. (2/27/13) Cindy stays close behind to take photos, but the hog is huge so Cindy's careful to keep out of reach of the animal. (2/27/13) John and Willie have the trailer ready for her; John drops a trail of peanuts inside and Willie gives her a few pats while showing her the peanut trail. (2/27/13)
She's taken two steps up onto the trailer. That's two feet on, two more to go. (2/27/13) She gets all four feet up and Willie starts to slowly ease the gate closed, but the gate squeaks and the hog jumps off again. (2/27/13) While both men try to coax her, the hog shows interest in eating some more trailer peanuts. (2/27/13) Her reluctance has both men thinking hard. (2/27/13)
Willie sprinkles in a few more peanuts. Then John remembers that he's got the pigs' favorite food in a bucket in the back of his pickup truck: Dried ice cream. (All natural!) (2/27/13) "Ice cream!?! Well, maybe.... Since you insist..." Both men are still inside the trailer, and the hog is blocking the exit. (2/27/13) Willie creeps quietly over the top of the trailer's side. (2/27/13) Willie quickly slams the gate and John springs up above the hogs reach. (2/27/13)
Willie latches the gate closed on the captured hog, and John gets quickly out of the trailer. (Yes, raising naturally-grown pigs with compassion can be challenging for small organic farm families!) (2/27/13) Not out of bed yet on a rainy Tuesday morning, John and Cindy watch a drama: Sungold throws a kitten paw around Clapton's neck and chews his furry ear; Clapton woefully complies and O'Neal remains a mere witness. For the moment. But a larger family drama is yet to unfold.(2/26/13) Just after lunch on Tuesday we noticed that the largest hogs had escaped, one hog being about half the length of Shane's sports car. (2/26/13) Would a heart-to-heart talk do the trick to get the hog back into its run? Maybe not. (2/26/13)
Our immediate task was to get the hogs away from the gardens, away from the uneasy barnyard animals, and back into their run. (2/26/13) John got a shovelful of grain to lure the hog back toward its run, and Willie used a board to block the hog from the garden beds. (2/26/13) This escaped hog was being less than cooperative. (2/26/13) After a trek around the cold frame, through a garden, and into the woods, the last hog was finally penned up. Whew! (2/26/13)
Green Tree Experts dropped off another load of tree trunk parts to keep John, Shane, and Willie busy cutting and splitting into firewood sizes. (2/20/13) With a dirt-spattered snout, this piglet comes to investigate Cindy's photography style. (2/20/13) While the farmworkers haul, split, and deliver firewood, our kittens lounge around indoors, enjoying the heat from the woodstove. (2/22/13) The kittens have been doing a lot of lounging, and not any mouse-catching. (Farmer John says these kittens move around like a couple of giant rats, and he'd rather have mice than kittens.) (2/22/13)
Our spotted piglets enjoy a cool drink on a cold afternoon. (2/18/13) Nichole drills holes to make shiitake logs. (2/18/13) John drills more holes, and Nichole is sealing the log ends by painting them with wax. (2/18/13) John gives Willie a hand with splitting firewood. (2/18/13)
After months of living beside the pond, our geese finally chose today to go in the pond, an overwhelming desire they had when Clapton (our little white dog) decided to charge them. The geese like hanging out with Willie's new rouen duck, and the duck knows he belongs in a pond. (2/17/13) We've expanded the fence so that our spotted piglets have more room to run around in the field. (2/15/13) The piglets are rooting happily in their enlarged yard. (2/15/13) Two piglets warm up on a snowy Saturday by munching on some delicious compost. (2/16/13)
At this point we've gotten an abundance of logs for splitting and selling for firewood. (2/15/13) Nichole harvests collards in a field of green. (2/14/13) John watches as another load of logs is delivered for us from Green Tree Experts, Inc. We'll cut the logs up into firewood. (2/14/13) Three hens rendezvous on top of a pile of future shiitake logs. (2/14/13)
In preparation for planting, John organizes the bundles of leeks and onions he bought. (2/7/13) We're expecting rain so we need to get the fields ready for planting. John clears the remay, plastic, and cinder blocks out of the rows and Shane sprung-tooth harrows to rough up the soil. (2/5/13) Our spotted piglets enjoy the time they get to root in the soil. (2/5/13) Our geese have finally noticed that we have ponds, but they have yet to get into one of them (even with the potential threat of our big dog nearby). Maybe the geese identify too closely with the chickens they live with, and haven't yet realized that they have webbed feet and can float. (2/5/13)
Late Friday afternoon Willie finishes splitting firewood and Nichole tosses it onto the pick-up truck so that John can make a delivery on Saturday. (2/2/13) Willie found a skink in the woodpile, and showed it to us on his glove. The lizard was temporarily minus its tail. (2/2/13) With the increase of our house mouse population, Cindy got two kittens from the Chatham County Animal Shelter. We've loved watching our playful kittens, but Sungold and Shiitake are getting older now and are literally climbing the walls. (2/1/13) We've been keeping the kittens indoors to prevent our biggest dog, Hank, from doing them harm. Hank has been undergoing obedience training from his master, Willie, and Hank has a brand-new fenced-in yard. And our kittens now exhibit their potential for tree-climbing expertise in case of a need for dog-escape. (2/1/13)
Nichole gathers the wire hoops and remay from a finished winter garden to open up the beds for a new spring crop. (1/30/13) We've had a couple of Grey Toulouse geese for almost a year, but they have yet to discover any of our ponds. Willie recently acquired a rouen duck and set it free on the biggest pond, so the geese first noticed the water. Now they'll walk down to the pond periodically and become obsessed with nuzzling the grass and preening. Maybe one day they'll hop in. (1/30/13) After coffee on Wednesday morning, and before going out into the fields, John works on on Cindy's broken Husqvarna sewing machine and gets it running for her again. (1/30/13) Nichole and John inoculate shiitake mushroom logs with an abundance of farm poultry and dogs sharing company. (1/30/13)
With sleet both in the air and on the ground, Shane and John inoculate shiitake mushroom logs. (1/25/13) These two sets of piglets don't get along with one another so we've had to keep them in two different pens; but they've recently discovered a loosened board in the barn, so they may decide to join forces and live together. (1/25/13) Using the farm torch, Shane weeds along the fence line keeping a careful eye on the flames. (1/29/13) Shirtless on a warm afternoon in late January, Willie adds to the mountain of split firewood he's cut for sale. (1/29/13)
As the sleet flies on Friday, Sungold looks out the window at Türkgirlistan, and Türkgirlistan looks in the window at Sungold, while Türker observes in the freezing cold. (1/25/13) The country's financial crisis results in limited new homes being built, which means that less land is being cleared and good firewood is harder to come by. We still sell firewood to several pizza restaurants and to homes that heat with wood stoves, but the logs we are able to get are more difficult to cut since they're tremendous. This log is too big to fit on our log splitter so Willie must use a chainsaw to get the log into a more manageable size. First he uses the saw to cut the log in half by going around to both sides of the log. The log is almost as tall as Willie. (1/22/13) Then he cuts a wedge out of the log. (1/22/13) He continues to cut out wedges and then slice each wedge into a size that he can lift and can then be split on the log splitter. (1/22/13)
O'Neal has learned to run fast when Türker chases him. And Türken will chase a dog at every opportunity. (1/20/13) We noticed that our poultry seemed to be congregating around the cap to Willie's pickup truck. (1/19/13) Then we observed that the hens like to take refuge beneath the cap from the wind and from the roosters. And who could blame the hens? (Maybe the roosters could.) (1/19/13) John has been picking up organic grain from whiskey brewing to feed to our pigs and poultry. (1/19/13)
On Friday afternoon Nichole harvested bushels of Brussels sprouts, and then cleaned a lot (but not all) of them. On Friday evening John, Willie, and Cindy cleaned a lot (but not all) of the Brussels sprouts so that we could sell them at the Carrboro Farmers' market on Saturday morning. John cleaned the rest of the Brussels sprouts at the farmers market, and we sold them all. (Hank sits leashed to Willie's side so that as our kittens frolic nearby Willie can praise his dog when it sits patiently, and distract his dog when it appears trapped in kitten-attack mode.) (1/19/13) We got a light snow on Thursday night, so John carried fresh hay out to all the hog houses so that the hogs can bed down warmly. (1/18/13) Then John drove up to the piglets next door and poured fresh feed into their buckets. When the piglets spotted John, they ran one by one from their house across the wet snow to indulge in the corn in their feed bins. (1/18/13) Then John threw fresh bales of hay into each of the two sections of the pig house. John had initially bought eight piglets from a litter; a week later he bought two more piglets from the same litter, but the two sets would not tolerate one another so John was forced to divide the pig house into two separate sections. (The two piglet sets still do not get along, perhaps a result of pigs' innate food greed.) (1/18/13)
On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, Nichole, Willie, and Shane inoculate shiitake mushroom logs while Hank tries to balance on a railroad tie. (1/15/13) Willie slices off strips of wax to melt in a frying pan and then paint onto each end of the logs as a sealer. (1/15/13) We got a snow on Thursday night, which made life exciting for our Toulouse geese on Friday morning when we let them out of the chicken coop and they wandered through the remay-covered vegetable beds. (1/18/13) The biggest pigs tiptoed through the melting snow to make their way to the feed John brought them. (1/18/13)
Shane begins the process by drilling holes in the logs, and Willie finishes up by painting wax as a sealer on each end of the logs. (1/15/13) Nichole presses the sawdust inoculate into each hole in each log. In the foreground is the melting wax that Willie will paint onto the ends of the logs.(1/15/13) After dinner John and Cindy clean Brussels sprouts to sell at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. (1/11/13) Last week Amarandi caught a large bass in our pond, which made a delicious dinner, so on Wednesday evening she decided to give it another shot. (1/9/13)
With Rocky waiting patiently nearby, Nichole plants another row of tatsoy. Beside it is the swiss chard she planted the previous day, and beside that are the hakurei turnips. (1/8/13) We have had and will continue to have lots of carrots growing protected beneath the remay. (1/8/13) John purchased two more siblings from the same litter of pigs he'd recently gotten, but he was forced to build a separating fence since the two groups refused to tolerate one another. (1/8/13) Nichole and Cindy have not yet weeded the garlic plants in the foreground, though they have weeded the ones in the back. (1/8/13)
The cold frame is loaded with freshly planted rows of arugula, lettuce mix, hakurei turnips, radishes, and lettuce heads. (1/8/13) In front of the solar greenhouse are rows and rows of stripped collard plants, their leaves small and tender. The sunshine helps these lettuce plants grow bigger while the remay protects them from the frost and the deer. (1/8/13) These curly kale plants have been, and will be, at the Saturday farmers' market for weeks and weeks. They make a great kale salad when chopped and sauteed with onions, garlic, ginger, tamari, toasted sesame oil, and grated carrots. (1/8/13)