In the summer of 2015, we developed a really successful and dependable protocol for growing micro-greens and shoots. Check out our YouTube video here.
We launched several brand new workshops in 2015, Including our 3-Day Herbal Primer, Our Intro to Permaculture, our Artful Soil Building Overview, and our Crafting with Herbs.
2015 was our Tenth Anniversary Year for our small farm here in Warwick, NY! With 2016 getting ready to begin, we've been taking stock of how the past year went for the farm.
The year seemed to zoom by, but we did accomplish a lot:
The first thing that we think of when we try to think about what we did in 2015 is our new Permaculture Design Course, which started in October will be continuing through July. We are so excited that we are now offering students an official PDC at our farm!
We completed our 9th successful year as a CSA Farm! Every year ends up being very different in this crazy corner of the world, but we try to keep things diverse so the baskets our CSA members pick up each week are loaded with produce!
This year, we had a bumper nightshade harvest! Tons of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and potatoes! I hope our CSA members were not too sick of them!
And we just harvested the biggest and best fennel bulbs ever for Christmas! We were struggling to get big fat bulbs for years and years, so this is a huge accomplishment for us!
We also learned and experimented with natural plant based dyes for wool, taking advantage of the perennial dye plants have started to grow out nicely to the point of needing root divisions.
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And we were able to gather a lot of herb seeds this past season to split up and sell next spring at our Plant and Seedling Sales! So many people have asked us for seeds and we are so happy to be able to start a collection of Midsummer Farm Seeds.
Amphibians are a great way to gage how healthy a piece of land is. We saw more frogs - and a variety of them - than ever before. That is a great sign that our efforts of restoring and rebuilding are paying off!
And we continued selling eggs in 2015 although at $9 per dozen, we do not fully cover our feed expenses.
Non-GMO grain or Certified Organic Grain is very expensive. But we are serious about avoiding GMO's and serious about practicing organic only. We feel it is worth the expense of only using organic grain. And we think our customers appreciate it as well. There are "industrial-organic" eggs in the supermarket and local and well-treated but GMO-fed eggs at the farmer's markets, but our product is something above and beyond. Our birds are completely and totally raised wandering about the farm, and the only commercial grain we feed them is Certified Organic and non-GMO.
In 2015, we accidentally grew tons of "Kermit" or Petch Siam Eggplants ! What a weird vegetable to have so many of!
Thank you so much to all our past CSA members and our 2016 members for all your support!
Check out our newest blog post, 2015 Garden and CSA Pictures.
At last year's Plant Sale, we were also able to offer a wonderful true variety of marjoram we have been developing. We will have the plants for sale again this Spring. Here's a video and link to a recipe for a fabulous Marjoram-Potato Soup.
In 2015, we nurtured, protected, hatched, and released over 34 Black Swallowtail Butterflies.
We're always actively and consciously growing soil - our soil - the soul of our farm - was stronger and livelier than ever this past year! In winter, the soil always seems more active - churning and breathing under the frosty crust on top.
We also bred some really beautiful chickens in 2015, perhaps they will be available for sale in the near future as "Midsummer Farm Chickens"
Throughout the entire year, we met great people during our workshops, our courses, at our Plant Sales, in our CSA, and through individual sessions as well. Every year we are so grateful that we have such a dedicated and intelligent community of like-minded people around us.
We also loved meeting groups of people at various talks and demos and workshops we did off farm at other great organizations, farms, and clubs.
We've been doing our Full Year Living with Herbs Course for 4 years now - next year's class is starting on January 15th - (there's still room to join us...)
Next year, we'll be joined by some great Guest Teachers and Other Surprises!
We finished out 2016 with a planting of a small orchard of very young Pear, Apricot, and Plum trees.
Early in 2015, we launched our new website!
Our goal was to create a site that was content rich and would provide lots of info, tips, etc. in gardening, farming, herbalism, natural health, natural pet rearing, and more. We also wanted to have lots of photos and recipes. We hope you have all been enjoying it!
We are always adding and updating our new website - We usually announce updates to the site in our Email Newsletter, which you can sign up for here:
Forest Edition of Living with Herbs! One group of women has been retaking the Living with Herbs Full-Year Course as a private group for 3 years now. This year we decided that our focus will be on Forest Farming, an important way to cultivate many medicinal and endangered native herbs, as well as mushrooms, berries, and other great forest plants like ferns and moss. So together we'll be learning and actively experiencing the development of forest farming structures like herb and mushroom beds, and also on mushroom growing and foraging, identifying and growing mosses, and lots of work on ferns.
Throughout 2015, we actively created lots of new areas to support beneficial insects and native pollinators. This balancing - by supporting 'good' bugs makes an enormous difference in dealing with 'bad' bugs organically.
In the Spring of 2015, we launched a best ever Plant and Seedling Sale! This was our 9th year of doing our Big Spring Plant Sale. We had our usual huge variety of certified organic heirloom vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, flowers, natives, and perennials. But we also did a focus on Ferns and Woodland Medicinals. And we also offered more berry plants than ever before. Figs, too!
Next year, we are planning even more berries - including lots of native berries. We will be running a new Berry Growing Workshop this February!
We got our garlic and shallots planted in November ....
In the fall of 2015, we found a glorious colony of turkey tail mushrooms in one of our wooded spots.
Although this is something we've been doing annually, we continued our certifications in 2015, both our USDA Organic Certification through NOFA-NY and our Animal Welfare Approved Certification.
We have been Certified Organic since 2005 - ten years! And certified Animal Welfare Approved since 2009, 7 years!
(The big NOFA-NY Conference is scheduled for the end of January!)
Animal Welfare Approved Website
We're very serious about providing the safest, cleanest, and respected food. Our land is not only maintained to be sustainable, but to be restorative and regenerative.
We also started filming YouTube videos. Check out our YouTube channel here!
If you like them, Please subscribe and hit 'like' because the more feedback we get, the more time we can spend on making more!
2015 was a great growing year - it started late, but kept going and going into early winter. Our perennial herb gardens really loved the long and mild summer and are really taking off. We dried more herbs than ever before - and Harvested our biggest batch of Elecampane Root.