Turtle Bend Farm is a sustainable vegetable farm in Polk County, Georgia. Adam and Mecca Lowe are growing vegetables on approximately 7 acres of family farmland using ecological methods without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Our goal is to produce clean, healthy, fresh vegetables for our local communities while protecting and enhancing our local natural and social resources.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Busy as Bees

Man this summer has absolutely flown by. I'm not saying it's over- but there are signs that the seasons- both cultural and ecological- are changing. Kids are going back to school, we are ordering our fall seeds like crazy, and some of our summer crops are winding down. The tomatoes will soon give in to the late blight, cucumbers succumbed to the powdery mildew (although we have another succession coming on), but the green beans keep rolling! We are harvesting some of the most beautiful french green beans I have ever seen! Adam has been working really hard to help all of our crops along- weeding, watering and most importantly- harvesting! We are also beginning to see the first of our okra!! We have the traditional clemson spineless variety, a slender burgundy variety, and a fat hill country red variety. Our silverqueen corn is almost ready- begging for rain!! We also have another crop of black-eyed peas maturing. We will have some red ripper peas very soon- they are nice and plump and pinkish in color- if you like peas you will have to try them.

As a part of our efforts to support ecological diversity on our two cultivated acres of vegetables, we have strategically planted buckwheat in rows between winter squash, around the second succession of summer squash, and anywhere in general with open ground. We use the buckwheat as a cover crop and it is useful for several reasons. The first is that it is fast growing, shading out other weeds. Second, it produces a nice head of small white flowers that attract THRONGS of bees and wasps which are beneficial insects- they help polinate plants and some of them will actually eat other bugs, like squash bugs, that like to eat our crops. THere is a serious vibration of bees going on early in the morning in the rows of buckwheat- I will post a picture of this soon. We are going to mow down the buckwheat before it goes to seed and leave it as a mulch for our winter squash to grow on.

We are still gearing up for our fall vegetable subscription. I will be sending out an email to all of the folks who have shown interest or signed our email list at the farmers' markets over the past month. We will start our subscription during the first week in October and it will run for 10 weeks until the first week of December. If you are interested in receiving a weekly box of organic vegetables this fall, please contact us as soon as possible to be considered. We only have room for about 25 shares, so space is limited. We will be serving our surounding area- including Dallas, Powder Springs, Rockmart and anywhere in between. We need to have a cluster of customers for each delivery location so tell your friends!! See the previous post for a list of the vegetables that we will be growing.

We hope that all of you continue to visit the farmers markets as the seasons change. There is no reason that most of the farmers markets should have to end anytime soon- we will continue to produce food for several more months!! Come say hello to us at the Dallas Farmers Market in the historic downtown every Saturday morning between 8am & 11:30. We are also regulars at the Powder Springs farmers market in historic downtown Powder Springs on Thursdays from 4-8. The farmers markets are alot of fun because they offer a variety of products in addition to vegetables, such as baked goods and honey. Both markets also have live music on some days. In Dallas we have enjoyed seeing the Llama's come visit (that's right- live llamas!) and the greyhound dogs! We also really enjoy talking to folks who come by and talking to the other farmers. We love seeing families come and it's a great way for kids to learn more about where food comes from.

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