hobbit day party

Happy Hobbit Day 2014

Yesterday our family hosted our second annual Hobbit Day party. In the fictitious world of Middle-Earth, Hobbit Day is the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. In the real world, it happens to be the first day of Fall. Both are great excuses for gathering family and friends for an outdoor gathering. Intermittent rain threatened all day to cancel our plans but the skies cleared by late afternoon, settling into a brisk but lovely fall evening just in time. […]

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apple tree blossom

Photo Update Spring 2014

Wow! Our recent weather in West Michigan has been fabulous gardening weather. Several warm, sunny days with intermittent rain. Not enough rain to keep you indoors all day, but just enough to keep me from needing the sprinkler more than once. I’m so thankful! During this previous winter I realized that I simply didn’t take enough pictures of the farm in 2013. To remedy that in 2014 I plan to, at a minimum, take photos for a spring, summer and […]

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chickens

2013 Farmer’s Report

At the beginning of this month I delivered the final round of produce for our 2013 season. Now that the season has ended, it’s time for me to provide you with our second annual Farmer’s Report. The annual Farmer’s Report is an exercise that helps me analyze what went well, what went wrong and – most importantly – what I’ve learned so that I can apply those lessons to improving subsequent seasons. It’s also a great way for me to […]

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potatoes hilled with mulch

One of the most popular pages on the Arcadia Farms website is my guide to Square Foot Gardening plant spacing. Maybe as far back as a year ago a reader suggested that I also create a guide to companion planting. Companion planting is the practice of growing crops in close proximity to take advantage of beneficial relationships between specific plants… and it is one of the cornerstones of health in my garden. Some of the known companion planting relationships can […]

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Striped and spotted cucumber bugs

So far the 2014 garden is off to a great start! At the end of May I shared a summary of what’s going well and what’s not-so-swell. At that time, the garden remained relatively pest-free. However in the short time since that post I’ve encountered to more prevalent invaders. The first pest is a mysterious, large, picky eater. The invader may be a deer, although there are no signs of jumping our 8-foot tall fence and the tracks left in […]

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radish

Spring is a busy time for farmers – even micro-farmers! We’ve got a lot going on around our homestead and in our lives in general. There are several fun projects I’m eager to work on and share with you, but for now my number one priority is getting plants and seeds into the ground. (Followed closely by the priority to make sure all those plants and seeds have their initial needs met so I don’t lose them!) Those fun projects […]

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apple tree blossom

Wow! Our recent weather in West Michigan has been fabulous gardening weather. Several warm, sunny days with intermittent rain. Not enough rain to keep you indoors all day, but just enough to keep me from needing the sprinkler more than once. I’m so thankful! During this previous winter I realized that I simply didn’t take enough pictures of the farm in 2013. To remedy that in 2014 I plan to, at a minimum, take photos for a spring, summer and […]

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honey and sweet violet leaf cough syrup

Yesterday was amazingly sunny and warm. Today is rainy  and warm, but I’m not complaining, because these are great conditions for my spring garden! As I traipse back and forth from the house to the garden I’ve noticed that the violet blossoms are basically gone for the season. Meanwhile, I keep reminding myself that I need to make time to harvest more of the leaves before my ‘real’ garden kicks into full gear. I plan to dehydrate about 4 cups […]

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dye free homemade sprinkles

Last spring I debuted my first foraging post when I shared about the violet velly (jelly) I made from sweet violets growing ‘wild’ on our property. Once I discovered that violets are edible (and beneficial for health!) I knew these early spring beauties would give me plenty of opportunity to try out new recipes. I’ll share more about their health benefits later this week. (If you can’t wait that long, click here for a re-fresh.) Though there are plenty of […]

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