Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Summer Solstice

Rows and rows of tomatoes - 12 varieties in all

Onions growing in bio-degradable plastic, seems to be minimizing weed pressure

Mowing down the buckwheat cover crop in the fall field

Plowing under the mowed cover crop in the fall field

Cheery little calendula bloom

Sunday, June 7, 2015

CSA starts Tuesday June 16 and Thursday June 18

Hello Members,
Welcome to Wildwood CSA. Share pick up will begin on Tuesday June 16 and Thursday June 18. Pick-up hours are 3-7pm at the farm. 248 N. Adam Street, Lockport. 
Planting peppers over Memorial Day 2015
Irrelevant irrigation on lettuce rows in early June





We have been busy planting, irrigating, weeding and getting everything ready to open up the farm. Our first few weeks of shares will feature lots of greens like Boc choi, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collards and lettuce. Greens have great cleansing and fortifying properties - perfect for Spring. There will also be broccoli, cabbage, Chinese kale, kohlrabi, radishes, beets and carrots. The pick-your-own garden has lovely spring oregano, mint, cilantro, chives and lovage. Mint water is refreshing after a good day's work. Snap peas are climbing and should be ready to pick in a couple weeks. Look for an email from us this Tuesday with more details and CSA information. Looking forward to sharing the harvest with you!

 The weather is giving us whiplash this Spring. In May, there were 90 degree days and now in early  June we are trying to plant between rain deluges. That said, the farm is looking pretty good. We planted in our new fields that were cleared in 2012. Hard to believe the fields were overgrown woods just a few years ago. So far, the Spring crops are growing well. The summer tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and first squash and cucumbers are, too. As we expected, there is intense weed pressure in the new fields. We have planted cover crops on next year's fields to help manage the weeds and add nutrients for next year.

This year we are planting our biggest crop to date. Almost 1,000 tomatoes are in the ground! The workload has benefited from our newest piece of equipment: the transplanter. (Seen in the photo above.) We can now plant young seedlings in less than 1/5 the time it used to take us transplanting by hand. It has been a great time-saver, and back-saver!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

CSA 2015 is Now Full

Lettuce Mix ready to harvest
Our 2015 CSA season is now full! Thank you to all our new and returning members. We are looking forward to a great season and to sharing the harvest with you.
If you are interested joining the CSA, please email or call to be added to the 2015 wait list and 2016 priority list.
You can still find our fresh, organically grown produce at the Lockport Community Market on Saturdays, 9am-2pm from Saturday July 4 - Saturday, October 3.
Thank you for supporting your local farm!



Fields prepped for the season
Tractor implements ready to work

Saturday, April 11, 2015

CSA Shares Still Available


7th generation discovering flowers
Just a quick update from the farm. Folks are asking. Word is spreading. There are only 6 shares available for the upcoming season. If you are planning on joining, I recommend doing so this week. We would love to have you join the CSA! There are both Full and Half share sizes. Full Share ($525) is usually one full grocery bag of produce and 1/2 bag of greens. Half Share ($295) is approximately 1/2 grocery bag of produce and 1/4 bag of greens. Some weeks will be fuller. Please find more description on our CSA page. If you have questions on availability or shares, feel free to call us. We look forward to a great season full of delicious and nutrient-packed veggies, fruit, greens, herbs and flowers!

Around the farm, we are fine-tuning the tractors, equipment and tools to prepare the fields and plant the first crops by the beginning of May. The new greenhouse is complete and already filling up with young onions, leeks, celery, celeriac, broccoli, cabbage, and kohlrabi. Garlic is sprouting through its winter hay quilt. Pepper and tomato seedlings are beginning to pop. The bees are busy pollinating the first wildflowers. And the sun peeks through the window a little earlier each morning. Looking forward to sharing the harvest and the farm life with you this season.



2015 Garlic crop

Onions and Leeks

Broccoli and Cabbage

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Season for Seeds

2-day old Onion starts
Nothing like a little sunshine and a few days above freezing to get everyone in a great mood to farm. For us, the season has officially begun. With the tiniest of movements: Seeding. The seeding season always begins the first week of March with seeding onions and celery. We seed in March and harvest the crops in August-September, although last season we harvested the long-growing celery in October! Putting those tiny seeds in the soil brings a mixture of hope and reality. Hope for a great growing season and bountiful crop. Reality that the plans are set, and now it is time to carry out the actions to nurture another bountiful crop. Onions and celery seeds always take a week or two to show, so there's a lot of time for hope and reality to mix.

 
The break in weather has given us time to work on the seeding hoophouse. We are framing the ends now. If we have a calm day next week, we will cover with greenhouse plastic. It will be double- insulated so we can control the temps inside to grow healthy strong seedlings. Once the sides and plastic are on, the onion and celery starts will be the first trays to move into the new home (and out of our kitchen and dining room).

Building sides to the Seed Hoophouse
We are expanding every year and 2015 is no different. Our goal is 100 members in our CSA (Halfway there!) and enough for the Lockport Community Market and local restaurants. That's a lot of seeding! To make more efficient use of our time, Rich made a vacuum wand seeder. Using the suction from a household vacuum cleaner attached to this PVC wand, he picks up seeds on the end of each nozzle. Then, he moves the wand into place above seed tray, releases the suction, and gently taps the seeds into their holes. The dibbler in the corner of the photo helps us prepare several holes at a time. This method is a big time-saver already!

Dibbler + Vacuum Seeder Wand = Time Saved!
Come Chat With Us
Bree had a great time taking with the Lockport College Women's Club and the Lockport Rotary Club this past week. We have a couple more speaking engagements in March, if you want to hear us share our story and the history of the farm. Rich will be at the Niagara County Genealogical Society on Wednesday, March 25, 7pm. For the Delphi employees, we will have a informational booth at Delphi on March 30, 10-2pm. 

As winter breaks, we take a deep breath, look around and marvel that this old farm will once again take us through another growing season. We are privileged to be the stewards of this small piece of Earth. And when the winter gets to us a little bit, just think: Fresh vegetables will be here before we know it!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Celebrate National CSA Day and Hear Our Story



We are thinking Spring! Seeds are received and organized. Seed racks are up. Soil is being mixed. Crop plans and field plans and greenhouse plans are being finalized. Ready for Spring 2015.
2014 celery starts

National CSA Sign-Up Day
Tomorrow, February 28, is National CSA Sign-Up Day. We can't think of a better way to celebrate than, well, to consider joining a CSA!

Click HERE for a 2015 membership agreement

The thought of all the fresh delicious produce, aromatic herbs and brightly colored flowers of the 2015 CSA season is a great way to get through this last part of winter. If you are already a CSA member, you might even have some of the previous season's produce stocked away in the cupboard or freezer for a little treat of warm summer flavors.

Our farm share program, called Wildwood CSA, is open for a second season and We Are Growing! You can join our farm family and get in on the fun farm experience by downloading an agreement form on the CSA page. Just complete and mail it in along with the payment. Then, look forward to 20 weeks of fresh produce!

Click HERE for a 2015 membership agreement or visit our Wildwood CSA Page for more information.

Hear Us Speak Around Town
We do get off the farm sometimes! We have been enjoying talking at different community events this winter. About 50 people came out to the Kenan Art Counil last month hear about McCollum Orchards. It was so fun to talk with people who remember the farm in its heyday. We also presented our research on the Cornell Ag Extension Ethnic Vegetable Trials at the Empire State Producers Expo in January.

Don't worry -  you didn't miss us. We have been invited to speak at three upcoming events. Please come hear the story of our historic family farm and our efforts to revive it. We will share interesting facts from the family farm's history in Lockport, some highlights of our efforts to reclaim the old farmland and stately mansion, and share information about the Community Supported Agriculture farm share program for the 2015 season.

Thursday, March 5
Lockport College Women's Club
7:00pm

Wednesday March 25
Niagara Genealogical Society
7:00pm

Rotary Club
March Tuesday 12noon TBD

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Welcome 2015 CSA Members!

Hello! We are currently taking new members for the 2015 CSA farm share AND introducing a new farm name: Wildwood CSA. Our new farm name reflects the transformation the farm, and us farmers (The Woodbridges) have gone through the past few years.  Join us for delicious ultra-fresh farm produce and a fun farm experience each week.

Fresh Carrots

With a CSA membership, you will enjoy over 50 different types of produce throughout the season from the favorites like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, to more unique crops like romanesco, turnips and chinese kale. Shares are done market-style where members choose what they want from the options harvested that week. You will also gain unlimited access to a large, acre-plus pick-your-own garden full of bouquet flowers, culinary herbs and other fruits and vegetables like snap peas, green beans, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers.

Our 2014 CSA was a wonderful success. Members enjoyed the diversity of the shares and the bounty. They loved the pick-your-own garden and visiting the farm throughout the seasons. We farmers loved the CSA, too. We enjoyed knowing our hard work in the fields was going to soon be delicious and healthy meals. We enjoyed swapping recipes and getting to know our farm community.

We look forward to the 2015 season already! This year, we will have more diversity in the shares and more flowers in the pick-your-own section. There are some new peas and beans I want to try, too. We also will add an Extra Greens Share for $75 for those who want an extra bunch of greens for juicing or lettuce for salads each week. Full shares are $525 and serve 2-4 people. We will start offering half shares this year for $295 serve 1-2 people. The season will run 20 weeks from mid-June to end-October.

To sign up, please complete and return the Membership Agreement and payment. Find the agreement to download on the CSA page or email us for one at mccollumorchards@gmail.com. Read more about on the CSA page and see lots of photos on Facebook.com/mccollumorchards .

Thank you and we look forward to a bountiful 2015!