Friday, August 20, 2010

What's worse than a tomato worm?

The tomato worm saga continues....only it's worse!  Actually, in a sense it's better.  You see, now we've found a tomato worm with parasites on it.  Gross!  The white things all over this worm are actually cocoons of pupating wasps. As the wasp pupates, it will cause the tomato worm to die. (So it can't eat our tomato plants.)  By the time the wasps undergo metamorphosis, they will have digested all of the worm's insides.    So, like I said, finding a tomato worm with parasites on it is a good thing.  We'll keep telling ourselves that here on the farm.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday at the Farm Market

A beautiful day at the Lancaster Farmer's Market....


Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's already August?!

This summer has gone by so quickly!  I'm way overdue with this update from our farm.  Let's jump right in with our latest crop...eggplant.  The blossoms are so pretty.

The eggplant is beautiful, too.

And yes sir, we do have tomatoes...we have some tomatoes today!  Doesn't a song go something like that?  Well, anyway, we have them. 

The banana peppers just look like a party is going on right on the plant.

The raccoons have been getting into the corn.  Look at how they just neatly peel back the leaves and eat their meal.  I thought I'd leave a hotdog and beer for them so they get a complete meal next time!

We've just been busy doing the usual on the farm.  Weeding, picking, getting ready for the market...When one crop lightens up, the next one comes on in full force.  For awhile it was green beans.  We would pick 3 bushels a day, have a day break, then pick another 3 bushels.  Next, cucumbers came on.  We would pick all we could one morning, then the next morning check them and have just as many.  I couldn't believe in a day that they could grow that much.  I said I was going to camp out one night and just watch them grow since it's so unbelievable.  Except I don't like camping...and there are skunks and raccoons at night.  I'll just keep going out in the mornings to be amazed at what has transpired overnight.    Our latest heavy crop is tomatoes.  We have a long row of cherry tomatoes and 4 long rows of larger varieties.  We've been getting about a bushel per row every other day.  Wow!  It's crazy, hard work, but the amazement of seeing the plant  growth, the colors, the beauty of it all keeps us going. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

U-G-L-Y You Ain't Got No Alibi

This is a tomato worm.  In real life, it is about as wide as an adult finger and about 4 inches long.   And just look at the pointy thing on its tail!  Thank goodness for boys on the farm.  Here was the conversation tonight:
Boys:  "You want to see a tomato worm?"
Girls:  "Eeewww!  Gross! Wait, let me look closer.  No, wait, take it away!"
Boys:  "OK, when you're done looking, we better squish it for you."
Girls:  "Why?"
Boys:  "You don't want to get your shirt dirty."
Girls:  "Our shirts? Wait, how do you squash it?"
Boys:  "With your foot, but oh man, that's a thick worm."
Girls:  "Eeewww!"

Goodnight, and pleasant dreams.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's a Jungle Out There

It's amazing what a little rain, humidity and warm weather can do.  The plants seem to just explode!  Yes, I know we have a farm, but I am still amazed that we plant these tiny seeds and things grow.  I don't think the wonder of that will ever go away.  For some of the vine plants we have, first, mounds were made and the seeds were planted in the top of the mound.  I like to tell people it they are the burial mounds for all the rabbits who eat our produce.  We have mounds for cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash.  It is amazing how fast they have grown.

The first picture was taken June 7, and the second picture was taken June 24. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Tour of the Farm

Welcome to a tour of our farm.  We had so many people who came to pick black raspberries that wanted to look at the farm, so we thought we'd share a little tour with all of you.  Double A Family Farms is located at the end of the road the Albert house is on. 

Here is the barn.  It is on the left side of the road.

We have a cooler up and running behind the barn. 

Leaving the barn, across the paved road starts a dirt road that runs alongside the black raspberries.

At the end of the black raspberries, the road keeps going, and on the left is our produce.

To the right, on the same side as the black raspberries is our corn.

More produce on the left...

And our produce ends with the tomatoes.  So produce on the left, corn on the right....and the corn runs the whole length that the produce field does (which means lots of corn!)

Now, if you were back at the start of our tour where the berries were, to the left of that road is a large field of wildflowers, and then you can see our rows of potatoes.  The large field that looks like nothing is growing in it is pumpkins, squash, and canteloupe.  (We just planted it last week and it is growing.)

So this is somewhat the layout of our farm.  If you are still unclear, come and visit!  We's be happy to take you on a tour.  (Bring gloves.  You may be asked to weed.) 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Salad

Ooooh, summer salads are so good!  Here is an easy one:  Start with lettuce or lettuce mix (especially good from Double A Family Farms--the mix has lettuce, spinach and chard).  Add some strawberries, black raspberries and feta cheese.  Drizzle with a purchased raspberry vinaigrette dressing and enjoy! It tastes so light and fresh.  To make this a main dish, you could add almonds and grilled chicken. 
Yea summer!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Eating on the Job

This is why our CSA customers will not be getting peas in their baskets this week:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Late Night

Frequently Asked Questions

We've had several questions asked of us since we started our farm/website/ here are the anxiously awaited answers to your burning questions:

1.  How much of your land do you farm?  Our website says that we have 52 acres, but not all of that is farmed.  We have about 5 acres of produce. 

2.  Will you get honey from the bees?  Yes, eventually.  Probably next year. 

3.  Do you get stung by the bees?  No, we haven't yet.  Alex, Michael and Audrey are the main caretakers, and I do believe Alex has gotten stung once.  They tell me that since the bees are new here, they are confused and getting used to their surroundings.  Once the bees are more established, they will become more aggressive. 

4.  Who takes the pictures and writes the blog?  Me, Cindy.  Not that I don't do other work on the farm.  It just seems to be coincidence that when we get out in the field and start working, I have to head back the long distance to the house to get my camera.   And it was only once or twice that my camera wasn't charged up so I stayed in the house to charge it doesn't take more than a half-hour or so.  But I do work. Hard. 

5.  Do you grow everything from seed?  Yes.  Many crops are planted right in the ground from seed.  Some that require more attention have been started from seed at the Arnold house and tended to under lights until the plants are big enough and the time is right to plant. 

Thank you for your questions, and keep them coming!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rain, Rain...

John working in the raspberry field.

We've had an abundance of rain lately, but the crops are looking good!  The black raspberries especially look like a jungle.  It's amazing that a year ago they were literally just sticks in the ground, and now they are so tall, leafy and flowering.  The pictures don't do them justice...they are beautiful. 

Here is a picture of a row of the raspberries.  There is a grass walkway between each row, and we have 50 rows. 


Broccoli, cabbage, red cabbage


Strawberries...not red yet...


Monday, May 10, 2010

The latest buzzzzzz at Double A Farms

Over the winter, the Arnold family took classes to learn how to raise bees.  Just this past week, the bees were introduced to their new home at Double A Farms. Having bees on the farm will help pollinate the berries.  Some sources say you can get 30-40% more of a crop when you have bees on hand to pollinate. 

Michael smoking himself up as he gets ready to go to the bee boxes..

Michael and Tim are opening the bee boxes.

Michael, Tim and Audrey

Michael with a smile on his face (and no stings!)

Tim, Michael and Audrey are looking for the Queen Bee.  (I told them she was right behind the camera!)