Welcome 2015!

posted Apr 24, 2015, 6:46 AM by Mike Finnefrock   [ updated Apr 24, 2015, 6:46 AM ]

The snow's almost melted. The crocus (or croci?) have started to bloom and the greenhouse is starting to warm. That means it's time to start the 2015 planting season! Stay tuned for apple, pear and farm updates!


posted Nov 2, 2014, 5:52 PM by MandM Finnefrock   [ updated Nov 2, 2014, 5:52 PM ]

As we've mentioned we've finally had enough tomatoes to breed an invasion fleet of fruit flies.  Wait! I mean to make pasta sauce, pizza sauce, salsa.  Yup, we have been busy preserving our harvest. We love being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor all winter long.  This year the cucumbers were having issues with the mice, weather and well, just general issues.  Without cukes, we opted (or were forced tomatoe, tomaHto) to skip making pickles.
Fortunately, we are still swimming in pickles from other years.  This gave us the time and opportunity to try something new! Enter our first try at Kim-Chi.  It came out well enough that we might just try it again next year.

The End of Season is Nigh

posted Oct 23, 2014, 6:51 PM by MandM Finnefrock   [ updated Oct 23, 2014, 6:51 PM ]

No we are not talking about the Knights of Nhee... it's Nigh.  Miraculously we had a hard frost this year at the exact same time as last year (we know from our blog post) and boy was it a hard one.  We're a little late posting about it this year. It was a sign of the impending season's end.  We are diligently covering the crops on cold nights and growing in the greenhouse! This has allowed continued harvests, but things have definitely slowed down and that is just fine by us. Check out the before and after shots.

Warted Gourd Anyone?

posted Oct 16, 2014, 6:25 PM by MandM Finnefrock

This year was not, by ANY stretch of the imagination, a good year for our vine squash. However, our organically planted warted gourds have been abundant.  We haven't been able to find
a good source to know if they are safe to eat.  This leaves them as Fall decorations, for now.  See, by organically planted we mean the deer.  We found these vines growing in our yard, by themselves, away from the main garden. Being the ONLY happy vining fruit in the garden (or near in this case) we just had to wait and see what the vine would yield.  Some of the vines were watermelons. Yay! The others were the aforementioned gourds, which, by the time we figured out it was gourdes, had already taken claim to a large swath of real-estate. So, we just left them. At least we didn't have to worry about weeding under them.

Don't Forget the Apples

posted Oct 4, 2014, 7:40 AM by MandM Finnefrock   [ updated Oct 4, 2014, 7:41 AM ]

We fiiiiinnnnnalllly got to pick apples!  It seems like forever ago that we were ooohing and ahhing over the flowers.  This year was the first time in Unity's short history that we were able to harvest and taste more than one apple variety.  Sweet Sixteen was one that fruited for the first time this year. It was crisp and sweet. There were underlying notes of tartness mixed with notes of apple and northern tree grown fruits.  Ohhh look at us! One day in the field and we are starting to sound just like Wine Spectator's Oenophiles!!  

We think we may have started picking a bit early, but we're trying to beat the darned deer.  Just like with the corn, it will be a learning process to know when peak ripeness hits. By the way, Mike has turned into a rock star at determining if corn's ready.
Besides the apples, we've continued to work on the inside of the greenhouse. Our hope is to get it and the plants inside ready for Fall.  Mother nature has been sending us gentle reminders that Fall is here, from a early freeze (9/15) to many evenings near frost temps, to the ice cool breeze on a 75 degree day.

Tomatoes Runneth Over - FINALLY!

posted Oct 2, 2014, 5:22 PM by MandM Finnefrock

We've struggled with blight every year we've been at Unity Orchards.  So this year we tried planting them further away, further apart, got super aggressive with our pruning and even pulled a few plants early because they looked like they were going to spread blight.  All of those painful decision paid off and we've been swimming in tomatoes of all varieties.  So many tomatoes that we were able to make tomato soups, pasta sauces, pico-de-galo, salads and then rinse lather and repeat!  Yes, of course there were PLENTY left over for canning.

Hopping It!

posted Sep 22, 2014, 5:50 PM by MandM Finnefrock   [ updated Sep 22, 2014, 5:50 PM ]

It's that time of year where the Hops are read to Harvest.  We started with the  plants at Charles' that continue to produce massive amounts year after year. 
It must be something in the soil, because it sure isn't TLC. As these hops are completely ignored. We've worked through several pounds of hops already, and still have a few varieties left, but have run out of drying racks. 
This seems like a good problem to have, especially when on tap we still have a super hopped beer (Hulk Mad Hoppy) that reminds us why we grow our own.

Dinner In A Box

posted Sep 21, 2014, 5:47 PM by MandM Finnefrock

The garden is nearly at its peak production for the year.  The time of year where nearly every plant is producing and in large enough quantities to make full meals. No going to the store (although we still find excuses to). We've got garlic and onions curing.  Tomatoes everywhere and delicous veggies falling out of boxes.  Just about the only thing we need is some cheese and bread to go with all of the delicious harvest.

Visitors From The Sky

posted Sep 13, 2014, 9:27 AM by MandM Finnefrock   [ updated Sep 13, 2014, 9:27 AM ]

Earlier this summer we heard from the neighbors that a Hot Air Balloon had landed in the field next to our house.  How we happened to be out, we have no idea.  We had been in the garden weeding for days! The one time, the ONE time, we leave, we missed out on the final approach. 

To our great surprise, many weeks later, we got a second chance. One night, needing some herbs, we opened our door to a massive balloon aiming for our field.  We don't know why they aborted the landing, but they did, landing a little further down the road.  It made for a great experience and a few good photos. Feel free to click and enlarge!

Napa Cabbage

posted Sep 6, 2014, 8:16 PM by MandM Finnefrock   [ updated Sep 6, 2014, 8:17 PM ]

We decided to try a few new things this year including Napa Cabbage.  After surviving a late start,
early drought and a hungry bunny, we've got a very nice set of cabbages growing! The few we've already harvested have been over 4lbs. Which leaves us an oft asked question... What does one do with a cabbage surplus? 
Recently checked off our list is stir fries (plural), cabbage roles, cole slaws and on deck, soup.  All have been delicious, new, fresh and yes, plentiful. 

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