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Frozen pumps! Spelunking! Differential Gears! Leotards! and Lots More! at Town Farm

Posted 2/4/2013 4:08pm by OONA COY & BEN JAMES.

Hello Friends –

Here's a poem for the first of the month. It's by Antonio Machado:

The gusts of February/ Rip through the lemon trees/ I don't sleep so I won't dream

We don't have lemon trees around here, but we sure have gusts. Geez. Fortunately our greenhouses remain intact after this week's windstorms.

The spelunking continues in our 300-foot-long kale tunnels. Recently the crew devised a system whereby one kale harvestperson goes into the tunnel with a bag attached to a rope. They fill the bag with about 10lbs of kale, and then holler to a friend on the outside, who pulls out the kale. This year's crew averages a few significant inches taller than last year's crew, and they were starting to feel a bit cramped.

FYI, we think we have 2 or 3 more weeks worth of kale out there, so enjoy it while it lasts!

We seed new rounds of spinach and salad mix almost every week in the high tunnel. Watering is always a challenge this time of year. Please do not ask me how many pump parts and sections of pipe I have allowed to burst from the cold over the last few years. Please do not go look at the patch jobs I've performed with solder and blow torch. This week we took advantage of the warm day on Thursday to reprime the well, click on the power to the pump, and get the sprinklers going for a half-hour, just so all the seedlings would have a proper start. This week, we also seeded the first radishes of the season. Can't wait.

Now what do the farmer and the farmer's sons do with their time in the depths of winter? Build differential gears out of Lego pieces, of course. In their leotards, of course. (OK, only one of us has been wearing his leotard, but I'm not saying which one). Pretty cool, huh? I entered the farming business with some serious deficiencies in the mechanical know-how department, but making lego machines in the winter with a six- and a three-year-old has helped to build my ego tremendously.differentialThat's all. Come to market. Spinach, salad mix, carrots, and lots more, in addition to all the kale. By "lots more" I really mean "watermelon radishes," but they are so good they deserve the epithet.

The Northampton Winter Farmers Market is open from 9 - 2 every Saturday on the lower level of Thornes Marketplace. See you there!