Our windmill is up and running and producing energy for us and the nieghborhood!
Our windmill is up and running and producing energy for us and the nieghborhood!
by Alina Harris, a happy fieldhand of Morning Glory Farm since May, 2010
Green and Red Peppers Come From the Same Plant
Ripening: Did you know that the difference between green and red peppers is their maturity? The difference in price, taste, and color all depends on the time that the fruit is picked. Green peppers are picked the youngest and red peppers are harvested as the oldest.
Think Twice About Eating Rhubarb Leaves
Poison: Ever wonder why rhubarb is sold without the leaves? Because the leaves contain oxalate, a substance that has been reported to cause poisoning if large amounts of raw or cooked leaves are eaten. The stalk also contains a small amount of oxalate, but nothing that could be problematic.
Indeterminate Tomato plants grow “forever!”
An indeterminate tomato plant is one that continues to vine and set fruit until killed off by any outside force. In New England, this usually is the frost (hopefully not the tomato horn worm or late blight). In warmer climates or greenhouses, indeterminate tomatoes can grow to be trees!
In contrast, determinate tomato plants are ones that will set all of their fruit during the same time period. These type of plants would be best used if one wanted to can the tomatoes all at once.
The Waiting Game: A Farmer Needs Patience
Asparagus: A productive bed of asparagus can last for 10 to 15 years, however the waiting period for this crop to become productive can be 3 years!
Strawberries: The Athearns grow their strawberries in a perennial system of matted rows, as opposed to using plasticulture. For a whole year, the Athearns weed, water, fertilize and lay straw around their strawberry plants in order to prepare for harvesting. Even though the plants begin to flower, the flowers are pinched off in order to encourage vegetative growth, instead of reproductive growth to form the fruit. On the 2nd year, they are finally able to pick the first strawberries (and man, are they good!) After the 3rd year, however, the strawberries get tilled into the ground and it starts all over again.
The whole gang in a group photo in front of the new Morning Glory Farm Store.
The best growing season in years in flying along. I have not posted in surprisingly long, I got so caught up in all the farming duties and moving into the new building I was unable to post, but alas I just grabbed a moment during a heavy summer thunderstorm to write a few notes.
This rain is all so welcome as we have been dry for a long time now and been working hard at irrigation. Oh I can just feel all the plants breathing a sigh of relief. The great spring weather allowed us to get our plantings in early or on time and then they seem to take off and we are now harvesting many things ahead of schedule.
Dad, Dan and I picked the first Sweet corn of the season today! We picked 20 bushels of Sweet Chorus in West Tisbury on Uncle Lenord’s Farm. It tastes so snappy and sweet, I have been eager for it to ripen all season. We should have every day now for the foreseeable future.
Sweet Corn, 9 varieties of lettuce, salad greens, boc choi, broccoli, zucchini and squashes, cucumbers, early peppers, greenhouse tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh eggs, carrots, baby carrots, beets, swiss chard, 3 kinds of kale, collards, Shelling peas, green beans, slender young beans, yellow beans, snow peas, green onions, scallions, purple scallions, walla walla sweet onions, cut flower bouquets, red potatoes, Yukon potatoes, fingerling potatoes, blueberries, and loads of culinary herbs from arugula and cilantro to Parsley and basil to Radicchio and on
The crew is busy busy every day keeping up with the weeds and all the harvesting, the baking of pies and working the store, turning the veggies from the fields into soups, salads, muffins, and happy customers, they are a fantastic group of people and we together can grow all this food, with out their passion and energy the farm would cease to exist.
Thanks for checking in…
Nearing completion, this week we have finished all the coolers, laid the new pitch pine floor, hung the lights, tiled the new bathroom floor, laid the brick patio, put the front porch on, and so many more things. We are feeling ready to open on Friday May 28th and are just awaiting all the requisite town officials to sign off. Meanwhile all the normal field work has continued with many of us splitting time between construction and weeding carrots, planting broccoli, and sowing beans etc.
We need to open for one because the crops seem to be way ahead of schedule, the asparagus started 12 days earlier that the average for us and is coming in very strong every day now, spinach is ripe, first and second plantings of lettuce are ripe, garlic scallions, 2 kinds of radishes, baby salad greens, rhubarb, chives, many herbs, the strawberries are way ahead of schedule and may be ripe by May 5th and be a strong crop, followed by green onions, baby beets etc.
Here is a picture of our new space, this is the main area, unseen is the ‘corn room’. The registers and vegetable tables are moving in now. The floor is made from local Pitch Pine cut by local sawyer and fisherman Tom Turner from logs from trees removed for the addition and others tom cut from island forests. Soon this area will be filled with vegetables, fruits, baked goods, our famous salad bar, local meats, hot coffee, and happy customers and staff enjoying the new building. We really believe that our new store will create a significantly better customer and staff experiences. Many of the changes were for work flow, customer and staff ease, energy efficiency, and food quality.
The view from the second floor storage/office area.
Wow things seem to be moving so fast down here at Morning Glory. Farming activities continue ahead of schedule, the perennials, asparagus, fruit trees, strawberries may be as much as 2 weeks ahead this season. Lilly Walter is back on the farm and has taken over the field crew chief job; organizing each days planting/weeding/watering/and harvest. The asparagus has been growing very well, and we expect over 100lbs each day this week, Look for it in Cronigs, Alleys, Middletown Nursery, and many island restaurants; such as Letoile, State Road, Zephrus, Blue Canoe, and others.
The store addition is moving fast, the builders built a roof on Tuesday and by Wednesday night it had been wired with lights, and shingled! A quick count of the workmen/women at the farm this week was 44! DECA had 4 carpenters and 2 parking lot builders, Jonas Cavallo from Workshops and Sons had 3-4 men working at shingling the roof, Craig Willett and Cielio were running electric, Judy Klumick and Taz Armstrong were painting the huge basement walls, 2 men from the cooler wall installation team were putting up our new walk in cooler, Alex and Tim were here from Alexander and Dyke fitting refrigerant lines. Sam was up on the roof breaking back shingles and fitting the two buildings together and redying the new stairs that were installed this week. Galley Plumbing was in to run piping to the upstairs office/break room. And all the while Gary Harcourt had up to 6 men working at the base for the windmill. Rebbecca had her crew of 6 in the greenhouse selling and planting. And Lilly had 11 farmhands getting crops in the ground. It feels like and orchestra all playing along to the baton of Jim and Jim (Glavin and Athearn)
Thanks for checking in, more info to come I have become very busy with all going on this week but will update again soon. All is very close to on track for our May 28th opening! Please come down and check it out.
Construction and farming activities continue at a blistering pace, the great weather and general haste as the season progresses has enabled allot of work to be complected in the last couple weeks. At the new store Foard Panel company arrived and started to coat our building with their insulating panels. We are very impressed with the efficiency of the product and of the team that has been putting it together. We will hopefully be able to keep our produce and store comfortably cool in the summer and in the cool days or fall to keep the cashiers toes from freezing to the barn floor as in the past.
Our new parking area is coming together, more than 20 new spaces , better drainage and easier access with out risk from the farm vehicles.
Foard Panel arrives at the farm!
You can see here the system; first the barn boards (as to be seen on the inside) then this stressed skin panel that is locked into place by these splines that significantly lessen the ‘bridging’ effect from cold air squeezing through or traveling down the nails, then the spray foam seals the deal literally. We will nail up more barn boards on the outside walls once Foard finishes.
Not bad for 4 days work!
Fitting the ridge pole over the cooler building, this building is structually made form these panels, WOW.
Inside work continues with Willet Electric sheding light on it all and Galley plumbing adding a new customer bathroom.
Thanks for checking in, amazingly we still are on track to open the doors Memorial day weekend, Friday the 28th of May!!!
The workmen have been feverishly working away. On Thursday I counted 17 men and women pounding away at: installing the post and beam porch, nailing up barnboard roofers, staining the white cedar trim, laying out a fire suppression system, running electric services, digging water trenches to service the greenhouse, reinstalling the pump in the well; and through it all Jim Glavin coordinating it all like a conductor with his baton. The timing and staging of materials and workmen is a staggering workload, thank you Jim!
Thursday evening Daniel and I set up a couple of work lights at night to back light the new white oak post and beam frame. I captured this image that night, I hope a few passersby found it as beautiful as I did.
Jim Athearn nailing up a little pitch pine for the last rafter.
Here is the Easterly view of the new store, looking from the Meshacket road.
The first boards to go onto the roof. This is island cut white pine cut by the fisherman and sawyer Tom Turner from Katama. We ordered nearly 8,000 board feet of lumber from him this winter to sheath the store and for the pitch pine floorboards. These are nice clear boards that we ‘kiln’ dried in our greenhouse over the winter months, let’s hope they don’t shrink much more once they are on the roof!
The post and beam frame all covered up. The upper sidewalls will get a cedar shingle treatment and the lower sidewalls will be board and batten. All of these boards will show from inside the store.
Next step, the insulated panel company comes Wednesday to lay their panels on top of the skin we put on, and then we can start to shingle. Our family friend Jonas Cavallo and his company Workshops and Sons will be doing the shingling with Dan and I working alongside.
Thanks for checking in on the progress, soon I will be able to share some pictures of our early crops they start to hit the ground this week. We already have filled a greenhouse with vegetable transplants and hopefully by the end of the week we will have three greenhouses full of plants! happy spring
Hardwick Post and Beam arrived this week and got right to work. All the oak framing was pre-cut in their mill in Hardwick MA and it should go together like a puzzle from here. With the use of the Tashmoo Crane they lift it all into place and pound the pegs into place to lock it up.
The lumber arrives at our farm!
These are the ‘Bents’ the roof trusses all in order to go up.
The first frame went up Tuesday morning March 23rd.
Notice the scarph joint on the right, they then pound a square peg in to the notch in the center of the joint and it drives them tighter together, should be as tight as a single piece of lumber by the end.
The view from Meshacket Road
As the rainy, snowy, and windy weather moved in the team called it a week and will return Tuesday to finish up. We then will start to nail up the barn boards. It finally feels like the barn we have been building for the last 3 months! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for more updates on the progress at Morning Glory Farm.
I just liked this pic of Dad and Dan working out a carpentry problem.
You can see the lumber Tom Turner cut locally for the building drying in the greenhouse. Also behind Dan is our newest addition to our tractors, a 1971 Ford 3600, 35 hp diesel, little utility tractor, we have been using it mostly as a bed forming and cultivation tractor, but here it has on the rear mechanical pallet forks. Purchased from Alan Norton in late 2008.
Deca’s carpenters and masons continue to ready the building to receive the post and beam frame we expect soon.
The ‘Deck’ as they call it, the sub floor of the final store. In front is the concrete floor of the cooler area and forward is the new farm sales area.
These are sonar tubes being placed and poured. They will make the footings for the wrap around porch. The soil is so sandy and loose that we needed to put a footing below them at 12 foot deep then run this tube up and fill it with concrete and the anchor bolt for the porch. This should make sure we can fill up the porch with displays, rocking chairs, people, bands, cooking demonstrations; and whatever else we or you may feel like, and not have the porch sink or become cooked like so many Edgartown porches are.
This is the ‘corn room’, I am standing in the salad bar area to take this picture of the old seed room stairs. The floor will be raised up a foot and meet the rest of the building, with the stairs on the other side (outside the store floor). I think this picture is kinda wild to look at having traveled those stairs so many times.
The masons are pouring us a nice level and huge floor, that will constitute our dry storage area. It’s huge I love it!
The south east view, the wood frame structure will hold our new walk in cooler. A new energy efficient machine that will also act as a dehumidifier and basement climate control unit by some smart engineering by our friends at Alexander and Dyke Refidgeration. A office will be above this area.
Wish us luck finishing by Memorial day when we hope to open, could be hard. Come by and check out the progress, we hope to see Hardwick Post & Beam on Monday!