We had many friends, family and neighbors stop by the farm this weekend. Michael’s nephews chased chickens and pigs for much of the day on Saturday and Ryan’s aunt calmed the critters with Reiki on Sunday.
Best of all, new friends Julie, Ray and Kendra came for a visit after seeing the article about Crescent Run in the local paper… just as we were about to start work on the greenhouse. It was assembled by a crew in the fall, but a venting panel that had not been secured with a hinge flew off in the wind. It turns out that Ray has done a lot of research on these geodesic greenhouses and was eager to lend us a hand to replace the panel!
Our new project is clearing out a home for the pigs in the woods adjacent to the paddock. We have to take out a section of rock wall, clear out fence lines and remove some thorny brush. Luckily, we know some young boys with machetes who are eager to help out… and we received an extensive first aid kit for Christmas.
Anyone in need of a pig fix?
Thought you might like to see them in action!
The local paper wrote an article about us. Read the article here.
It’s starting to feel like a farm around here. With the addition of the pigs, it definitely smells like one. We are busy busy busy with a long list of projects to get this place up and running, and our progress is starting to show.
The pigs are a lot of fun so far! They are really playful and enjoy our affection, running up to us for a scratch on the rump. We’ve had some members and neighbors come visit them, and we encourage anyone in the area to stop by.
We moved the chicks out to the coop yesterday. We started them out in Eleanor’s garage, where her children helped us out by spending lots of time with the chicks. For the past few days the chicks have been constantly escaping from their brooder, and with the warm temperatures this week, we decided it was time for the big move. They have grown so quickly! The change is noticeable with each passing day. They are feathering out and look a little bit mangy in the process.
We have some seeds started on shelving in our kitchen, mostly leeks and herbs. We plan to fix a broken panel on the greenhouse this weekend, and then start the rest of our vegetables out there. Other projects on the horizon include building bee hives, chicken tractors, and an insulated room for produce refrigeration.
We have the pigs in the pasture right now, where we can easily keep an eye on them. Soon we will clear out fence lines and set up electric fencing in the wooded area beyond the pasture. We’ll also put up a new shelter, leaving the A-frame in the paddock for sheep.
We’ll be featured in the Lincoln County Newspaper coming out tomorrow (3/14). The article describes how we are working to develop our unique setup here in Bremen as a farmer-landowner model for others to replicate. We have met with the Maine Farmland Trust about their new Beginning Farmer program which links new farmers with land for lease. We are helping them create checklists, templates, and most importantly, a community for farmers and landowners to rely on for support and guidance. Anyone interested in participating in the Beginning Farmer program should contact the program coordinator, Erica Buswell. Land For Good is another great resource for landowners and farmers to explore.
I had to double check that calendar this morning, February 10th?! While winter has yet to show up (in earnest anyways) it is easy to day dream about what March through October will have in store for us. Just because the pond is covered in ice and the ground has a bit of snow on it, doesn’t mean there aren’t chores to be done. We have plenty to do!
We bit the bullet. Took the plunge. In December we purchased a BCS walk behind tractor. Or, more aptly put, a rototiller on steroids. Powered by a 13 hp honda engine, this versatile machine is ready convert our Waldoboro field into seed beds. The BCS accepts many different attachments (think plastic mulch layers – just ordered, flail mowers, bailers, chippers, etc.) and should be an investment that will see use for the next 25 years or more. In addition to the BCS, we have purchased seeds, materials for many construction projects, materials for our veggie storage room, bee hives, and much more.
Perhaps the biggest winter chore is getting next year’s wood in order. It seems odd to be concerned with 2012 – 2013 years wood supply while loading up the wood stove in January, but so it goes. There is an abused and cliche Throeau quote stating that cutting wood warms you at least twice… This is true, very true.
Laying chicks arrive the week of 2/20. We’ll start sowing seeds soon and do some work on the greenhouse. Pigs arrive next month so there is fencing to set up and a shelter to build. Oh, and feed to purchase, more seeds to sow, an alpaca and sheep shelter to build, more fencing … Hold on, here we go!
We have had a lot of interest in our pigs, so make sure to send in your deposit. We are starting out with 5 pigs that will be ready in September. If there is enough interest we will consider adding a second wave of pigs, ready in November. Check out our new Pork Tab for more information!
Also, keep checking in because we have a lot of new posts in the works. We’ve been really busy on the farm and have a lot to share with you!
Home sweet future home! Shortly after the holidays we will be relocating to Bremen. Our new home is sandwiched between the barn and garage pictured. The split rail fence across the driveway encases a paddock for sheep and beyond (not pictured) is the forested area that will be home to our pigs.
We have about 11,000 square feet of tilled garden plots here. We will use them for our small seeded and closely planted crops that are not suited for use with plastic mulch in a no-till system. We’ve planted a few varieties of garlic at the top of the field, now covered in mulch hay. Other crops that you will find here next summer include greens, carrots, onions, leeks, turnips and radishes.
The landowner is having a geodesic greenhouse constructed. It will have raised beds for planting and our seedling trays can be hung from the ceiling. It has a solar water tank that will pipe water through the soil to keep it warm.
The glazing is 16 mm thick and has an R value of 3.0! This refers to the level of insulation provided by the material. In comparison, a single sheet of greenhouse plastic may have an R value of only .085.
Here is a shot of the chicken coop. We will be able to fit about 25-30 birds in this fenced area. We also plan to have ”chicken tractor” coops that can be moved around the property.
Until the big move we’ll be hunkered down with our spreadsheets and Storey’s Guides to raising livestock animals. Michael will sneak out to the barn daily to start up his new chainsaw and Ryan will keep knitting ornaments, hoping that our Charlie Brown Christmas tree might not look so pathetic.
We plan to put together a pamphlet and complete the CSA information tab on the website in the next 2 weeks, so stayed tuned!
We have some exciting developments to catch you up on.
We are in the process of having a logo designed for our farm. I’m not sure that our name lends itself easily to this purpose, but it does represent the root of the farm. We live near Crescent Beach, in Owls Head, which we often run or walk our dogs to. We refer to the route as “Crescent Run.” During these excursions we have dreamed up ideas and discussed our plans for the farm.
The field we are farming is also set on the water, and we serve a community with very strong coastal ties. These are people who can relate to our experience of using Crescent Run as a place to clear our heads, plan and dream. We like to think that our field will provide a similar setting (we know from previous experience that field work leads to a whole lot of daydreaming!), and so it will share the name, Crescent Run.
Our mission for the farm is, of course, to provide a local source of fresh, healthy food grown using sustainable practices. What sets us apart from other farms is that we are a teacher and scientist team. We are devoted to learning and teaching. We are eager to learn new practices, try new crop varieties, and share with our community. Yes, we have a core group of fruits and vegetables that we know we can grow well. Our CSA members can expect the regular staples, but also something new and different. We will grow food that you don’t always find at your local farmer’s market. Something as common as celery, many people haven’t had fresh off the farm. We’ll also grow unique vegetables, such as heirloom stuffing tomatoes, which are hollow like bell peppers. As we try new crops, add meat and fiber animals, an apiary, and so on, we will provide an environment for people who are truly interested in sharing the experience of growing a farm.