Category Archives: Farming

Celery contains antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory support

This is our first celery grown here at Mercy Hill Farm. We’re very excited. Here’s why: Celery contains antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory support unparalleled by other edible plants, but only if it’s fresh and organically grown.

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Find out more about how to buy, store and consume this amazing vegetable here: The World’s Healthiest Foods

Tomato Power

Tomato Plants

 

06/27/14 – These beauties are Brandywine heirloom variety plants, about 8 weeks old and loving these warm nights we’ve been having lately. The distinctive leaves are a lot like a potato plant. Brandywines are a large tomato, some as large a 1 1/2 lbs each. Great slicing tomato for sandwiches, or if you need an organic doorstop.

Give them another 5 or 6 weeks and we should have some on the farm table for sale. Go tomato power!

Fresh Squeezed Eggs

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Don’t forget the farm fresh eggs! It’s a great way to start the day. This is a chive omelet getting ready to power a whole lot of mowing, digging, planting and whatnot around the farm. Yes, those purple thingies are the chive flower buds. Mmm.. Buds. :-D

Garlic Plants

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Springtime here on the farm, not a lot of things growing in the garden yet. We’ve started tomatoes, peppers and other earlies inside of course, but outside, it’s mostly about the garlic, which gets planted in fall, stays warm under a bed of straw all winter, but look at it now!

Springtime Planting Begins

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We’re a wee bit anxious to see green again. How about you?
Today we’re starting our longest season crops indoors; things like bell peppers, jalapeƱos, bunching onions, broccoli, oregano and sage.

If we can’t have green outside, we’re going to at least have some inside. Looking forward to offering these and many more at our farmstand this summer.

Think green!

Fresh Eggs Again Very Soon!

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The new hens are nearly ready to lay enough fresh eggs to sell again. We’re collecting nearly two dozen a day now, but they’re still kinda small. It won’t be long now. Look for another announcement and the return of the sign out front by the road saying: “EGGS!”

Fresh Eggs Again Soon!

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January 15, 2014
The new girls are 22 weeks old and layed their first egg today! Thanks for your patience. Within a few weeks we should have some fresh eggs for sale again.

New Hens Having Roost Practice

The new batch of egg layers is growing fast. Here they are trying out their new high roosts for the first time.

Chickens on roost

Here’s one just two months ago, on the low roosts:

baby chick on roost

They are about five times the weight they were two months ago. We should have fresh eggs again soon!

Brussels in Fall

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Ah. Don’t you just love Brussels in fall?
These beauties are dense nutrition, full of vitamins, fiber-rich and also, very tasty. They are also standing up well to the hard freezes we’ve had here the past week or so. I think these ones will go in a nice brussel slaw with some bacon & onions.

How do you like your brussels?

Seedlings in Greenhouse

Mini Greenhouse Is Providing Big Benefits

Broccoli PlantsWell Worth The Effort

For years we have started our seedlings on the porch, with relative success. It provides the plants with adequate protection from frost until we can put those tender seedlings into warm and cozy garden beds come the end of May. Of course, we’d love to have a big old hoop house like the pros use, but it’s hard to justify the high cost to get one started and keep it running unless you make your living that way. We’re not there yet. This is still mostly a wonderful hobby of ours.

This year though, we built a mini greenhouse for the seedlings to live in and what a difference! We still sprout them on the porch, on heat mats, but then they went in the greenhouse. The plants get a lot more direct sunlight throughout the day, resulting in the rich green color and sturdy, stalky plants pictured above.

This little structure was very inexpensive to build. Yeah, It’s ugly, but it’s cheap and it gets the job done.

Miniature GreenhouseI didn’t save receipts, but I’d estimate we didn’t spend 100 dollars to build this. There’s no artificial heat source and no lights. So far, there’s been no need to heat it. All of the lumber came from scrap materials left over from other farm projects, which you could probably get from your local landfill’s demolition dumpster. It’s 10′ wide x 5′ deep x 7′ tall and covered with 6 mill plastic. The roof is made of transparent corrugated plastic paneling from the building center, probably the most expensive component, but important to help it last through many years of harsh New Hampshire winters. We put about 12 hours of work into it over a weekend.

The real benefits are that we can keep our plants in one place and they get a lot more direct sun. We don’t have to move them outside during the day to harden them off (get them used to sunlight and wind) and then in at night to protect from them from frost. The greenhouse warms up within minutes when the sun hits it in the morning, so the plants begin their growing day sooner. At night, we’ve had temps down below freezing, and it’s gotten down to 32F inside, but because the plants don’t experience the dew and the wind with the greenhouse closed up, the plants are not subject to frost, even at freezing temps.

We’re no using it for our heat loving plants – for peppers and tomatoes we would have to heat it at night. Given the size of the greenhouse, we could probably achieve temps of 80F easily with a single infrared heat lamp. I might just build a second one with double wall plastic to help insulate it, for use with heat-loving plants, but for now, this is working great for our brassicas, our flowers, our alliums, leafy greens, etc.

Seedlings in Greenhouse