Manna from Heaven…or The First Harvest of 2015

Despite being on the receiving end of more than 2.38 inches of rain over the last two and one half days, we have managed to squeeze in some important tasks. I harvested the first of the strawberries yesterday which was a nice addition to my Mother’s Day celebration. There were just a few to pick, (less than 1/2 a pound) but they were sure tasty for our breakfast this morning. Boy, fresh from the field tastes amazing!

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I left quite a few behind in the field to ripen a bit more, so upon inspection this afternoon I was able to pick about twice as many more! Yumbo awaits our breakfast tomorrow!

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Talk about wet!!! I’m so glad that we created the berm for the future berries that we planted last week where the patch had a low spot. I was amazed to see the standing rain in the aisles while the new plants are happily above grade…it might be hard to see, but the new dry root plants are greening up on the top of the berm. I’ll evaluate how this works in the future but the best thing we did last year was to add straw to overwinter the strawberries last fall. This was a great way to keep the berries off the ground and nestled onto a bit of a cushion where they are less apt to have their tips subject to rot. I give Dave full credit for this since he went and got the straw and laid it down one cold, sunless day for me! Dave accuses me of favoring the berry crops – the strawberries and blueberries – more than the other veggie crops. Perhaps, I’m guilty as charged! I love all the berries…do you blame me?

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Between spurts of rain we managed to get more mowing done and I tackled some much needed weeding in the Trident Maple areas. I love the little critters I encounter along the way. Look at this little toad…he is so well camouflaged that I jumped when he moved right near my workspace. IMG_7839 (1)

Vegetable Planting so far has included:

  • 10 rows – 3 varieties of Potatoes
  • 4 rows – Peas
  • 3 rows – 3 varieties of Spinach
  • 3 rows – 3 varieties of Lettuce
  • 1 row – Radishes
  • 1 row – Cabbage
  • 1 row – Pak Choi
  • 1 row – Swiss Chard
  • 1 row – 2 Types of Peppers ( more to come)
  • 1 row – 1 of 2 types Cucumbers (more to come)
  • 2 rows – 2 varieties Strawberries
  • 2 Plum Trees (same variety)
  • 2 Pear Trees (replacements- same variety)
  • Grapes – 2 varieties

On deck, ready to plant as soon as the fields allow:

  • 5 rows – Tomatoes – 3 varieties
  • 2+ rows- Eggplants
  • Peppers

I spent the morning with my allergist. Although I have not reported any of my problems with bee stings here, over the last year I’ve had an increased reaction anytime that I was stung. (Beekeepers just have to be cool with stings now and then.) I truly don’t mind these stings, but apparently, my body does! As my skin says ‘no more’, I consulted my dermatologist after my last episodes who sent me directly to my allergist. Although my reactions were to some degree “manageable” I was told that they would only get worse over time. So, today I had venom testing done at my allergist’s office and to no surprise, with the slightest prick of the lowest concentration of honeybee venom, I had quite the localized reaction. (This is not to be confused with a systemic reactions that would require an EpiPen. (Of course we have EpiPens on site at the farm as well as carry them with us in the field as a precaution when working in the beeyards.) So, I kind of looked like a drug addict today but I could not resist a pic of one of my arms (both arms were involved!) while they tested me for various stinging insect venoms besides honey bees which included wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and one other that I just can’t remember!!! IMG_7844

After all of this, I had great news! A venom shot once a week over the next 15 weeks would send me on the way to being desensitized to these venoms! After that, I will taper off with the injections and within a year of working on this, I’ll be totally desensitized! Yeah!

While awaiting my venom results, Dave was hard at work at our equipment maintenance, replacing batteries and repairing tires on some of our implements. He was fairly excited that he eeked out a productive day despite the wet conditions. All in all, another good day at Seven Oaks Farm!

4 thoughts on “Manna from Heaven…or The First Harvest of 2015

  1. One can almost taste the berries. They are lovely. I believe my dad had raised berms for the berries as well as straw. Good thinking on your part.
    Love. Aunt Helen

    • Helen, it is always wonderful to hear from you! I don’t remember my dad talking about Grandpa Luehrman and strawberries! Interesting to note: my dad, Pete, had a small aversion to strawberries that always mystified me…perhaps he had to weed them or tend to them at the home place? That is a thankless job…unless, of course you are someone who love strawberries as much as I do! Wish you were close by…I’d so love to share the crop with you!! XOXO

  2. I remember those first berries out of the field when I worked on the farm! Mrs. Guth would always let me have the first ones for helping with the hoeing in the summer heat the year before. I do believe the berries taste best when you have a lot of your own sweat in the growing. Enjoy!

  3. “Yumbo” – definitely deserves its place in the family lexicon!!!! 🙂 (Your arm. . .yikes!)

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