Toot and Puddle

Last Wednesday morning, I was up early to drive the truck up to Cornerstone Farm in Palmyra to see our friend and fellow farmer, Hanne Tierney, and pick up a couple of….piggies!  Yes, they’re here and getting used to their little enclosure near the site of the farm’s old barn.  I peppered Hanne with questions…this is an entirely new thing for both Sonya and I…and the pigs rode home without incident in the back of the truck, bedded down in a thick layer of hay.  They spent a day barricaded inside their pig house (to get used to it and recognize it as a safe place) but are now free to roam around within their fenced area.

The pair are a brother and sister, about 7 weeks old, black in color, and weighing somewhere around 20 pounds each for now.  They are a cross between two heritage breeds:  Tamworth and Large Black.  They are ridiculously cute, especially now as they begin to roam a little and root around their area.  Obviously, this is very exciting for us, and we’d encourage folks to come by and see the new additions!  Also, thanks in advance to Howie and Joelle Powell for providing excess whey from their goat cheese making and Zakk and Emmy at Square Root Natural Foods for giving us their “slop” (veggies past their shelf life, expired prepared foods, etc.)  These, in addition to veggies from right here on the farm, are valuable additions to the pigs’ diets.  For grain, we’re going with Nature’s Best Organic Hog Pellets, purchased (along with our Nature’s Best chicken feed) at Paris Farmers Union.

And…Toot and Puddle?  Those are the pigs’ names, inspired by the pigs in a series of children’s books by Holly Hobbie.  The literary Toot and Puddle are best friends, though Toot loves to travel and Puddle is a happy homebody.  More photos of our T. and P. to come…

Happy lettuce in Field 1

In other news, the planting goes on.  After several rounds of rototilling, we deemed the inside of the new Field 1 hoop house ready and created six new beds in there.  Now inside and enjoying the warmth:  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and squash.

Tomatoes! Peppers! Eggplant!

Most of those same crops, plus the farm’s second attempt at sweet potatoes, are also now in the ground in Field 4, our new field.  We had to wait and wait and wait for it to be dry enough out there to prepare beds, but the deed is done.  All of the Field 4 crops are planted in beds covered with lengths of black greenhouse fabric.  This is the Summit Springs Farm answer to the black plastic conundrum:  how can we create an ideal field growing environment for those heat-loving crops?  Black plastic mulch is a common answer for many farms, both organic and otherwise, but we dislike the stuff.  The results are great, sure, but the plastic only lasts for a single season and then must be removed and thrown away, creating loads of waste.  Greenhouse fabric has all the advantages of black plastic mulch…it attracts heat, keeps the plants clean, and keeps the weeds out…but it is thicker and tougher and can be reused over many seasons.  As Sonya and Andrew can attest, however, it was a chore to get it out there, unrolled, and clipped down!  I’m sure that at the end of the season the process in reverse won’t be so fun, either, but we hope the great yields we get will offset the sore muscles.

And finally, we’ve settled on a start date for the CSA!  On Tuesday, June 21st, we’ll throw open the barn doors for the first time for those picking up right here at the farm.  For the off-farm folks picking up in Portland or Lewiston, the start date will be Friday, June 24th.  E-mails will be going out to all of our members very soon with all the details…

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2 Responses to Toot and Puddle

  1. Carol Montana says:

    Soooo cute! Can’t wait for Tuesday – we are anxiously awaiting our first pickup. Thanks for all your hard work.

  2. John says:

    You’re very welcome! We’re looking forward to the start of the CSA next week, too. We did our most extensive harvesting so far this season earlier today, and it felt really good!

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