Reduced tillage experiment

This is kindof my pet project for the summer. The plan is to grow, and then plant seedlings directly into a cover crop, avoiding tillage in the spring when we're most likely to have major water erosion. In this case, we planted winter rye last fall, and then this spring we scythed it down and planted various brassica seedlings (broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, brussell sprouts) into it. A big picture of the test area is shown above.

CSA delivery started

We have started delivering! On Friday we brought boxes to our first 4 members and also the food pantry in Story City, and tomorrow we will be harvesting in the rain to bring food for the rest of our CSA.

Greenhouse progress

Our greenhouse: It’s been a learning experience, and I’m confident that we’ll need to keep making adjustments, but our greenhouse is up and operational. The modest size of 20’X12’ seems hard to fill with seedlings, but should be easy to fill with tomatoes and some fall greens. For now, it also makes a nice picnic area on cold windy days.
here's some pictures of our serious workers, Irene, Steve, and Nate:

spring planting

Saturday 4/25

We got most of our potatoes in on Good Friday, and the last few on Saturday morning. All in all, with the help of a big Friday crew, and the steadfast work of my mom, Barbara and Nicholas all weekend, we got all the potatoes and onions in the ground.

Bees died

So our bees died this summer, Chris talked some kind of expert (maybe an apiarist?), and based on the fact that there was still substantial amounts of capped honey left in the hive, and there wasn't any evidence of foulbrood or other major pathogens/pests, we think they froze to death. I put some more pictures on facebook. If you want to see our new bees, we're having workday tomorrow April 10 after noon, and Saturday, April 11 for most of the day.



Here's some pictures alice took of the garlic, maybe we'll see some starting to poke through the straw on saturday. We didn't really have much in the way of garlic last year, so it will be nice to get a good crop of them in the august, hopefully i'm still here when they are ready for harvest.

In terms of other alliums, we've started some onions, leeks, garlic chives, chives, and bunching onions in our greenhouse, and should put the out in the next few weeks. We'll also be ordering some prestarted onions for the bulk of our crop.


hello everyone,

The ground is warming up, birds are returning and while we have still only planted things inside, farm life is picking up at the Mustard Seed. I know I have been itching to get into the garden, wondering if I should have planted things already, or if the weather would destroy anything I might plant and I should just be a little more patient. In the meantime, I've thought of something to occupy myself.

Candles, spinning, and lots of craft fun

The craft retreat was super fun. Thanks everyone for coming and being such fantastic guests. I think we all had a good time, and the folks from Duluth sounded enthused about hosting another craft retreat up there next winter. Here are a few pictures.

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