llo to new readers! I'm Beto writing this week from Moon Phase Farmers! We met a bunch of rad folks last week at Whalebird Kombucha. They hosted a Slow Money SLO event where we were invited to table. It's great to meet so many more locals and see familiar faces :)
Right now the recently new moon is in Gemini so we planted vines yesterday (melons, beans and kiwis).
Whats up on the farm
During the days we drip-irrigate, prepare soil, plant seeds, transplant, herd ducks, and build infrastructure. Sometimes we squirrel some time away to keep up on administrative tasks and planning. Want to tour our farm? Until we find the perfect scheduled time, we are taking appointments for educational tours of our farm operation! Reply to this email or call us 805-765-2753 to schedule a free tour!
An old organic farmer mentor of ours in Ojai, Steve Sprinkel, says early spring is the hungry times and it certainly was at our farm. Before the buds break and the bugs bloom, little critters everywhere are at the tough end of their winter fast. Every morning and afternoon for a while we chased birds out of our greenhouse. They'd eat the cotelydons (baby leaves) off a seedling or pull 'em up hoping it was a worm. We lost maybe 20% of our tomatoes inside. I even replanted the same bean sprout 3 times and now it's a little vine :)
Outside almost all our carrots the quail gobbled up before they could germinate. (Did you know quail can eat poison hemlock seeds? It's in the same family as carrots!) Slugs hiding nearby devastated our first and second green bean plantings. We tried row covers but snails would just hide inside the cover folds between meals. Frustrated for non-toxic solutions, and missing the backyard livestock I raised back in Ventura county, we bought a clutch of muscovy ducklings! We'll share more information and pictures later about them as we get ready for fresh organic, slug-fed duck eggs sometime before October. Fresh eggs will be in limited supply until we grow our flock :)
What we're working on next:
Building our super fancy harvest washing station! A mobile coop for our ducks to stay safe in the field overnight! Always more seeding! Our solanums (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, y tomatillos) are hardening off and we'll plant those out in a few days. We're looking into finding and/or trapping a bee colony for putting in our empty top bar style hives.
Yesterday we harvested our first boxes of produce! It was a great practice day before we really crank 'em out later this month. Here's what was inside
marjoram, parsley, sage, rosemary
beets & carrots
lettuce, chard, kale
If you haven't already, sign up for a weekly or bi-weekly harvest box here. Choose to pick up here at the farm midday until evening Wednesdays or at a convenient location in Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo. That's Joy Juice in Pismo Beach and the SLO Foods Natural Co-Op :)
Right now there are chicken eggs, lemons, carrots and greens at the Branch Mill Organic Farm & Retreat Center farm stand
Really loving this weather,