Fall on the farm!  We’ve finally arrived at that point in the season where things really start to slow down, whether we like it or not.  (HINT:  We like it.)  The battle with the weeds is on hiatus until spring, the cover crops are seeded, and the days are […]

The Comforts of Autumn

Few things make me smile like a fat praying mantis and a compost pile.  Earlier this week, imagine my luck, I got to take in both at once (see left).  The praying mantis population has been delightfully robust all season, and we’ve started noticing some egg sacks popping up around […]

A Thing of Beauty

The Silver-Laced Wyandotte cuddling up with Landon is nearing her 6-month birthday, so she should be just a few weeks away from laying her very first eggs.  After months of feeding these hens, cleaning their bedding, and moving their chicken tractor to fresh grass, we’re ready for them to start […]

Lay, Lady, Lay

  We’re just a week or two away from wrapping up a season’s worth of transplanting, and we have an unwieldy tower of plug flats to prove it.  Navigating this pile of 10x20s that once held a farm’s worth of baby produce is like playing the most boring game of […]

The Sweet Spot

  We’re trying out a lot of new things on the farm this season, but the biggest change is probably the addition of our first official farm employee.  We’re excited to finally introduce you to Joe Painter!  By day, Joe is a hard-working and enthusiastic member of our teeny-tiny farm […]

A Farm Milestone

With all the peas picked and this season’s strawberries in our rear-view mirror, it’s really starting to feel like summer.  The recent solstice and face-melting temperatures also go a long way in setting the scene.  In just a few weeks time, the summer veggies will make their grand entrance, like […]

An Ensemble Performance

  When we set out to build a farm five years ago, we pictured bountiful vegetable rows free of plastic mulch.  We didn’t like the idea of laying out a field’s worth of petroleum-intensive plastic, only to throw it away at the the end of the season.  We also felt […]

An Evolving View on Plastic

  These nodules on the roots of our Austrian winter peas are host to every farmer’s favorite nitrogen-fixing bacteria.  We incorporated the peas (and the nitrogen they store) into the soil a few weeks ago and are now planting peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants into those beds.  As we develop a […]

How do you like them nodules?

  While the market table suggests a season in its infancy, we’ve been sticking veggies in the ground for about a month and a half.  The greenhouse, meanwhile, has been home to baby plants since the frigid days of February.  Don’t let the harvest fool you–Spring’s decisions have already been […]

Slip Service

  Each season, we learn something new about navigating the unique needs of spring production.  Last year’s lessons were all about our veggie transplants.  Our greenhouse was too cold and our germination mix too low in fertility to start happy, healthy plants.  We made some tweaks over the course of […]

New Season, New Lessons

November 16, 2014
    In the waning days of fall, with our cover crops seeded and our frost-sensitive veggies tucked under row cover, there’s nothing left to add to the fields. So, we have no choice but to start the bittersweet process of taking it all away. We spend our meager hours […]

Saying Goodbye to 2014 with Flair

October 19, 2014
  It’s the end of an era on Root Mass Farm. After nearly 4 seasons with the faithful Dodge Ram ’98 van (pictured above), we’ve decided to replace it with a shiny, new Ram Promaster. Our new vehicle will be more functional in every possible way, with three seats in […]

The End of An Era

October 5, 2014
  This time of year, we tend to let some things go. Our drive to get fieldwork done is stifled by two complementary feelings–a weariness from the work we’ve already put in and a contentment with the results. If we just stopped working today, we could probably get you kale […]

You Win Some, You Lose Some

September 21, 2014
  Some (maybe most) parts of running a farm can only be mastered with lots of time. No matter how many books we browse or numbers we crunch, Landon and I just have to learn our lessons from season-to-season and make changes incrementally. When a wrong gets righted one year […]

The Secret of Good Farming is Timing

September 7, 2014
  For the first time in a couple years, we’re harvesting more string beans than we can manage. It’s the good sort of problem farmers hope to have and one we didn’t think was possible this time last year. By September of 2013, our bean plants had been decimated by […]

In Pediobius We Trust

Little carrots in the foreground, big carrot tops in the background
  Not to diminish the coolness of carrots, but I wish I had included a picture of the mountain of dirty plug flats living in the barn, just so you could see the visual proof of how close we are to getting everything in the ground. The planting season begins […]

Lots of Changes, Max

August 10, 2014
  If I spend too much time with any one crop, my worrisome nature takes over and I start to doubt its progress. “Is that aster yellows in the carrots?” “Did you see that shrimpy kale transplant in the second planting? Do you think its shrimpiness is contagious?” So, for […]

Helicopter Parent

July 27, 2014
  The history of our farm so far has been one of expansion. Each season, we’ve brought new pieces of land into cultivation and tested the muscles of our two-person crew. But the field pictured above represents the end of the line for us. Once we begin farming this field […]

The Future is Now

July 13, 2014
  Usually, we try to reserve this space for good news, but Landon and I felt it was time to share some heavier stuff. It’s about the garlic. As some of you may remember, we had some woeful disease problems with last year’s garlic crop, resulting in much lower yields […]

Bad News, Tempered by Some Good Spuds

The fields are finally filling up.
  Like big ol’ scarves and cute boots, some great things just aren’t made for summer. Alas, we have to say goodbye to the radishes, spinach, and other cool-weather veggies. They’ve hung up their “Gone Fishin'” signs and won’t be back until fall.   Fortunately, some fun-loving, heat-loving summer crops […]

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Summer