Farm update: October 22

Panorama 01 sml

We are enjoying spectacular sunrises and sunsets here on the farm as the weather seems to settle comfortably into true fall. The days are crisp and the evenings are chilly – but we finally figured out our tricky gas stoves, so we’re staying toasty when we’re inside. We don’t have a furnace in our farmhouse, so we keep warm with the stoves plus lots of layers. A near-constant simmering soup pot and frequent bread baking help too.

Garlic 01 sml

I’m pleased to report that next year’s garlic has been planted in the arugula (and grass and thistle) bed. Garlic is a fall-planted crop in our climate; we typically plant it in mid-October and harvest it the following July. Our good friend and farming mentor Lara generously donated this seed garlic to Quiet Farm; one of the many cool things about garlic is that it adapts to the microclimate in which it’s planted. This means that within a few years Quiet Farm will grow entirely unique garlic, which we’ll then pass on to other farmers. (If you live in the Lafayette/Boulder/Louisville area, you should join Lara’s CSA next year. She’s an amazing farmer and has taught us so much, and she grows truly spectacular vegetables and herbs. We think the world of her.)

Hallway Floor Contrast 01 sml

Look at our gorgeous pine-and-fir floors!

The Quiet Farmhouse Major League Very Serious Renovation Project is kicking off with a vengeance, and we started by refinishing some vintage hardwood floors. We were disappointed to only find salvageable floors in a small part of the original 1901 house, but we opted to save what we could. The floors had been dark stained and then used as a careless dropcloth for later painting projects, and they were in rough shape. We’re so pleased with how the sanding and refinishing turned out, but now comes the difficult decision of what sort of flooring we’ll install in the rest of the house.

NRCS 01 sml

Government paperwork is good for insomnia.

Another task on our to-do list recently has been to apply for a season extension grant through the NRCS. There is lots to learn about applying for grants as a small start-up farm, but we’re hopeful that this grant will assist us in building hoop houses (also called high tunnels) to extend our growing season. We’re quite lucky because, unlike many other programs for small farmers, this grant will still be funded whether or not our government manages to pass a new Farm Bill before they go on yet another unnecessary vacation or campaign trip or whatever it is they do while not doing their jobs. (And on that note, please could everyone remember to vote in the upcoming midterms? Astonishingly, only 37% of eligible voters managed to make time for this in 2016. Your small farmers thank you.)

Brittle 01 sml

Pumpkin spice what?

While avoiding the news I’m diligently testing recipes for my “Fall Treats” class this week at Broomfield Public Library. Though I’m not at all a fan of sugar, especially the quantities consumed in the average American diet, I think an occasional homemade indulgence might be permitted. This here is a chile-spiced brittle with pecans and toasted pumpkin seeds, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. We’ll taste curried pumpkin soup and other delicious fall things, too. Not registered yet? Go here!

This week I’m in seed school and N is painting our walls. We hope to have positive irrigation news for you next week, and I hope to see many of you in class on Wednesday evening!



17 thoughts on “Farm update: October 22

  1. Beautiful floor!! Planting garlic is on my list to-do this week, all hard-neck varieties. Also going to try fall planted onions this year. Stuttgarter onion is a long day variety, said to be a real good keeper onion, let you know how it goes. Along with your spectacular sunrises, and sunsets, how about those starry, starry nights? Just as spectacular, I’m sure.


    • Marty, it’s like this: I am liable to become totally obsessed with the “news cycle,” which is entirely fear-based and focused mostly on clickbait (and encouraging consumerism). And I tend to obsess and worry and agonize about things I cannot control. So I think it’s absolutely possible to be an informed citizen while avoiding the news and to instead focus on what I can control, like growing food and saving seeds and becoming a valuable contributing member of my own community. I do want to save the world, but I have to start small.


  2. Great work! Your floors are beautiful. I can relate to feeling disappointed that they aren’t throughout the old house, but somehow it will all work out ok. You’ll get an end product you’ll be happy with, I’m sure.


  3. Pine and fir seem like odd choices for a floor. Our neighbor in Montana used pine for her floor because her house was a reproduction of a house in New England. It was nice, but still seemed odd that a softwood would be used. Yet, some of the oldest homes still have them, so it can’t be that bad. Some of the old buildings at work that are about a century old have redwood floors! That is weirder than pine, but it was available.


    • Back when these floors were installed (1910ish?), people used what was available rather than shipping in whatever they wanted. Pine and fir would be the logical choice for floors in a house sitting just below thousands of acres of sub-alpine forest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is how our old buildings ended up with redwood floors. They are in redwood forests. That was back before redwood was overly harvested and became expensive. Entire houses were built out it if exclusively. That is what built San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area after the Great Earthquake, although the floors of homes outside of the Santa Cruz Mountains were made of valley oak.


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