Solar High Tunnel and Brussels Sprout Harvest

greenhouse

The big news this week is that we have planted in the solar high tunnel!

Our seedlings that have been germinating for the past 3-6 weeks in the greenhouse were gently transplanted into the beds in the solar high tunnel.  Allen’s lab class did a good chunk of the work turning over the soil and measuring out placement of the seedlings.

On Monday Steph, Matt, Allen and Esther harvested Brussels sprouts from Elsalma in the most miserable conditions, but that’s OK, we them out before the frost.  After harvest, we washed and trimmed the roots to prepare them for storage in the root cellar.

October Closing and Winter Preparations

Tony and Matt have been working hard on the composting bins and they look great!  These bins will be part of Arley’s project about composting with regional microorganisms that she has gathered from the woods on site at Eden Hall.

 

We have broken ground in the high tunnel to prepare the soil for winter crops.

 

mattntrackerleeksmelissanleeks

The root cellar has been cleaned and readied for storage. We will be storing leeks and long neck squash harvested from the student garden and Elsalma as well as some crops from Allen’s farm.  Above, Melissa is preparing wet sand in which the leeks will be stored and Matt is bringing down the the squash packed in hay on the tracker.  Different crops keep best at different temperatures and humidities so we must create microclimates with materials such as wet sand or dry hay.

 

Most of the remaining plants have been harvested and ripped from the student garden. The celeriac, kales and lettuces are still hanging on.  The now empty beds will be tilled and planted with a cover crop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introductions: Matt

Matt Kelterborn joins Chatham University as the new Eden Hall Farm Assistant. Previously, he worked for Pennsylvania Certified Organic as a Certification Specialist. In that role he was responsible for the certification review process of over two-hundred  producers and processors in the region.  Orignially from Michigan, Matt grew up on a small vegetable farm selling produce through an on-farm stand and local food co-op. He attended Michigan State University and earned his degree in International Relations at the Residential Public Policy School.  Afterwords, Matt completed the 9-month intensive Organic Farmer Training Program at Michigan State’s Organic Farm to delve further into the year-round manegement of an organic farm in a cold climate.  With these prior experiences, Matt hopes to contribute to the education and experiential learning of all the students in the Falk School of Sustainability.

Matt

If you have any questions for Matt, feel free to reach out to him at Eden Hall Farm, or contact him by email at mkelterborn@chatham.edu.

Introductions: Melissa

Melissa is a second year Food Studies student who works on integrated pest management (IPM) here at the Eden Hall Farm

Melissaphoto
I’m from the small south-central Indiana town called Trafalgar. I came to Food Studies  with a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from Ball State University. I’ve always been interested in food and considered going to culinary school  to become a pastry chef.  But, I am also passionate about agriculture so I felt that the Food Studies program would be a better fit for me. My focus and interest within this program is livestock and I spent this past summer interning at North Wood Ranch.

North Woods Ranch is a grass fed beef and pastured pork operation in Cranberry.

Introductions: Gianna

Stay tuned for a series of posts introducing the student graduate assistants at the Eden Hall Farm. First up is Gianna

Gianna

I came to Chatham’s MAFS program from a variety of positions in sustainable agriculture, including farm internships, environmental education, and farm management at College of Lake County. My interests in pursuing the program are vast but are connected to my passion towards incorporating sustainable farming and gardening into hands-on experiential education. I am currently working as the Grains Assistant at Eden Hall and will be doing community networking and curriculum work around grains growing. I am also working on the hops growing project.

I was given the opportunity to go to the PASA Field Day: Seed Cleaning Intensive Course hosted by Ernst Conservation Seeds. This family business has been saving an enormous variety of native seeds for 50 years! We learned about harvesting grains, separating the seeds, cleaning them and storing them. It was a great learning opportunity as the Grains Assistant and also have me a chance to meet some local grains farmers including Nigel Turdor from Weatherbury Farm. We even got to try some local wheat bread grown by Weatherbury Farm. I am excited to go out to Nigel’s farm and help him plant some winter grain in the next few weeks.
gianna1 gianna2 gianna3 gianna4

September Update

Hops Harvest

Fresh hops, ready to harvest!

Fresh hops, ready to harvest!

We harvested the hops from the plants in the student garden on the 23rd. We cut the ropes that the bines (the name for hop vines) grew up all year and harvested the hops by hand. The plants are in their second year so we cut the bines off about four feet from the ground and composted what we cut off. Soon we’ll retie the ropes to the trellis. The plants in elsama are only one year old so they won’t be cut back this year.

We then dried them for a few days in the greenhouse and packed them in ziploc bags and stored those in the freezer.

unnamed  hops

Some of the hop cones (the name for the hop that’s harvested) are brown and more dried out. We think it’s because we may have harvested them too late. We’re going to experiment with brewing with them though to see what the difference may be. Look out for some Eden Hall beer in the future!

Work and Pick

harvestworknpick

Colorful Harvest!

Work and picks are now from 5-7 on certain Wednesdays. Next one will be a preservation day on oct 15 on preserving peppers: roasting freezing and dehydrating. Then the next work day will be November 5.

On Wednesday we worked out in elsama. We gleaned the last of the tomatoes, there were a ton! Now the plants will be pulled out and the beds tilled. We also helped load up the pumpkins, butternut squash and Amish crookneck squash that had been picked. They’ll be transported from Elsalma on the big hay wagon. We also got the chance to pick some amazing wildflower bouquets! All the wildflowers around the fence of elsama are in bloom. It was a really beautiful evening!

Garden Harvest 

Arely harvesting peppers

Arely harvesting peppers

There is a frost coming.

Allen and Arely preparing the lettuce  beds for frost

Allen and Arely preparing the lettuce beds for frost

In an effort to prepare we covered the new lettuce beds and harvested all mature looking peppers from the student garden, the high tunnel and Elsalma.  That’s a lot of peppers!