Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Potluck and Shitakes

Come on out to the farm this Friday, May 25th, from 6-8pm.   Bring food, drink, friends, family, or just yourself.   It's an opportunity to meet some work-traders and friends you may not know, learn how to inoculate logs with shitake and oyster mushroom spawn, and just kick back and relax!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Time to Grow Veggies!

The season is certainly here!  We have been fully enjoying this last month of warm weather.  I love the snow but the winter dreariness lasts too long for me.  The sun has been wonderful!  Rain recently came through and we started planting the raised beds.  And then, as it always happens in VT, the temperatures dropped!  The buds and flowers on the fruit and berry bushes seem okay and the transplanted hardy veggies are safe under row cover.  One more night of low temps expected and I bet we'll be in the clear.  That means there is A LOT of transplanting coming up quick!

Allyson and I are sharing the Small Step farmer responsibilities this year.  With our intern Rachel and our team of 20 work-traders the farm is going to be a happening place!

Early season seeding with Azre.
Pan and Narumi.  Azre's farm friends!

 If I'm not at the farm, I'm home enjoying this!

Head lettuce planted and seedlings hardening off.
Our seedlings will be set up for sale at the East Warren Community Market by this weekend.  Herbs, veggies, potato seed, and flowers!   Stop by and stock up for your garden.

Thanks to three school field trip the potatoes are all planted!  Twenty-four 200' beds this year-  Come on new potatoes!  The kale and chard, fennel, parsley, napa cabbage, and the first succession of head lettuces, radicchio, escarole and frisee are in the ground.  We started the asparagus, still hundreds to go!  This is our project for this week.  Onions, leeks and shallots are next.  The garlic is looking gorgeous!  We are not selling garlic this year but will be saving the seed to plant for a big crop next season.

Last week we hosted two class's from the Waitsfield Elementary School and this past Monday we had Ms. Mormiles 4th graders from Williamstown Elementary.  This is one of our favorite times on the farm, to have fun with all these crazy kids and watch them learn through being active outdoors.

At the end of the all-day field trip we circled up for questions and discussion time.  One of the 4th graders asked me what I did as a hobby or in my spare time.  I was stumped for a minute, then said that I spent a lot of time cooking in the kitchen.  But really, what do we do when we're not at the farm? hahaha!  Here Asa and I are with the rest of the Twombly clan at our home in Roxbury....doing what on this particular Sunday?  Prepping the garden of course!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Intern Wanted!

Small vegetable farm seeks intern for 2013 season

Small Step Farm is a diverse vegetable, herb and flower farm in the Mad River Valley of Vermont.  The farm is entering its fourth growing season and has many opportunities for someone who is hardworking and creative, looking to learn more about growing food and operating a small farm.

The intern will work closely alongside the farmers in the greenhouse, field, and wash station; learning how to set up irrigation, seed, transplant, fertilize, weed, harvest and pack vegetables.  You will also gain independent responsibilities such as deliveries to restaurant and grocery store accounts, and helping to manage the community work-trade program. 

Applicants should possess a positive attitude, high degree of professionalism, interest in learning and a passion for local food and community.  Previous farm and/or manual work experience is required in addition to a strong work ethic in all weather conditions.  Must be able to lift 50 pounds and be able to work efficiently in a group or independently.  We are looking for someone available 20+ hours a week.  Weekly stipend and farm produce provided.

For more information about the farm go to smallstepfarm.blogspot.com and check us out on Facebook.  To apply contact Jillian at smallstepfarm@gmail.com

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Our Roxbury Home

Our hill farm is kind of an extension of Small Step.  We named it Viracocha Farm.  The name Viracocha comes from the Quechua of South America.  Referring to the human energy field, it signifies  farming in harmony with the subtle energy that composes all life and matter, or attuning to the life force of the plant, animal, or soil.  Studies show us that plants respond to stimuli including human emotions, thoughts, and  words.  In other words, they have intelligence.  Just as a plant or animal needs water, it also needs our positive engagement.  This is the fundamental principal of Viracocha.  Farming can be productive and enjoyable.  Everything should revolve around quality not quantity, diversity not mono-cropping.  Farming should not be a forceful struggle but a spiritual practice.  So far we are growing tomatoes in our hoop house, berries, shittake mushrooms, and a few laying hens. Year two includes finishing our 2nd hoop house (heated), preparing ground for more field crops, a few meat birds and a roots garden for storage.  Oh yeah, and a sauna if everything goes according to plan...  ~Asa

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hot Stuff!

In the field are hot peppers! Not too many, but enough to sell jalapenos to the Big Picture Theater for their famous poppers and enough for us to pickle and make lots of fresh salsa.  My favorite are the Cherry Bombs pictured here.

Big Yields!

The greenhouses are finally full of ripe tomatoes!!  We have our Small Step greenhouse in Waitsfield and then Asa and I have a 21x96' greenhouse at home in Roxbury.  And, they are finally really ready! Tons of varieties, mostly heirloom!

Fields of Green

One thing Small Step has A LOT of is kale!  It's been growing spectacularly this season, even with no irrigation. It's tender and tasty, and will be even better when the temperatures become cooler.  For varieties we have, Toscano (dinosaur), Red Russian, Winterbor and Redbor. For some reason I always plan for sooo much kale, next year we must do only 3 beds!