Thursday, March 18, 2010


Yesterday as I walked past the bee hive in the blackberry field on my commute home I stopped to see what we had left. Last fall our bees were going great guns. The hive was bustling with life, a whole colony of bees stocking up for the winter. At the beginning of the winter, we noticed that there was a mouse nest in the hive, so we opened it up on a warm day, scooped out the nest, set a trap, covered up the holes so that they were only big enough for a bee to squeeze out and closed it up for the winter. But as the warm late winter days came, no bees escaped to stretch their wings and dump the trash that they accumulated all winter long. There was no warm honey smell as the sun beat down on the hive and there was no soft hum drumming when I put my ear close to its belly. Yesterday I opened it up to find a very large mouse nest made of dead honey bees and honey comb. The hive is dead. I cleaned up all of the honey comb that was clean. There was very little honey. I cut the honey comb into sections and put them in jars for the honey to run down to the bottom. I plan on making hand cream and lip balm with the wax. What a sad end to the hive that had such an exciting beginning! I plan on trying again this year with a different entrance... one that is more mouse-proof.

On a happier note, the greenhouse is flourishing with greens growing above ground and earthworms thriving below. The Seedling Greenhouse has been a success. The eggplant, pepper and tomato seedlings are germinating nicely, while the chickens in the West Greenhouse are fertilizing the soil for them. Andy and I have had two meals that have included fresh greens. Hopefully they will be ready to harvest for sale next week!

The sap has stopped running! What an early spring. Notable is the fact that on this week last year we drew off our first batch of maple syrup! Today we are done collecting and have 22 gallons of finished product! Not bad for a bucket brigade operation.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sandy River Farmers Market

I should clarify what was happening earlier this winter with the Sandy River Farmers Market. There was a chance that the parking lot next to the Better Living Center (the location of our Farmers Market) was going to be developed. That is no longer the case. However, parking is becoming more and more of an issue for people who live in down town Farmington, so Andy and I believe that this issue will need to be addressed again sometime soon.

It is no secret that Andy and I would like to have the Tuesday afternoon market (for those of you who go away on the weekends and work during the day) along with a Saturday market in a location that is more visible to people who are shopping downtown on the weekends, and to tourists who are driving through on their way to Sugarloaf and Rangeley. We wanted you to take the survey to help us find out what the community wants in a Farmers Market. We believe that Farmington is a very unique town, and that it deserves a vibrant farmer's market that is family oriented with shade, music and a wide variety of healthy, local foods making it a destination location for the community. It has been a vision Andy and I have been conjuring up since we started this venture 4 years ago.

Unfortunately, we can't get many of the Sandy River Farmers Market members to agree with us. We have a lot of respect for the other vendors and believe that there are many great farmers in this area. We don't want to step on toes and we don't want to cause any hard feelings, so for now we are going to be at the Better Living Center Parking lot from May to October every Tuesday from 2-6, and Friday from 9-2.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

It is officially spring in our greenhouses! Seedlings are growing very fast as they already have their first true leaves! Andy has been very busy trying to keep up with the sap that is "gushing" out of trees, but I have had plenty of time in the greenhouse to weed and water... I am loving life!!

Here are some pictures of our plants...

This is a red mizuna mustard green that is a part of our salad mix.

And this is Bok Choi. Yummy!

In about a week the greens should be big enough for us to have our first fresh salad of the year!!

We have also started 736 eggplant, pepper and tomato seedlings. We are expecting germination to occur at any time. These seedling will be put in our newly constructed seedling greenhouse that we incorporated into one of the larger greenhouses. Essentially a greenhouse within a greenhouse that allows double the protection, including a propane heater equipped with a thermostat.

Here is a picture of the seeds being planted. Yes this is my kitchen floor and yes, the seed trays are still in my house! This causes a great mess, and is very distracting for the kittens.

Andy has started 53 varieties of tomato. This is his favorite crop to grow. They are very time consuming to tend, but it is so satisfying to see the greenhouse filled with tomato plants taller then me covered in ripening red, pink, purple, green, yellow, orange and marbled tomatoes... we will have them soon enough!!!

The farmers market at the West Farmington Grange Hall on Saturday mornings from 10-noon is going well. There are more and more vegetables every week! Andy and I had baby romaine lettuce for dinner last night that we purchased from Aloha Rainbow Farm. She sells them for another local grower. They were so crisp and sweet... I think I'm going to go make a loaded sandwich for lunch!

Monday, March 1, 2010

CSA 2010

Our 2010 Year-Round CSA Memberships are now for sale! We are keeping the same set-up as last year:

you can purchase a $100, $200, $300 or $400 share, we then add a certain percentage to the amount you paid. You then have a line of credit that you can use to pick up Marble Family Farms products. You can pick up what you want when you want it. You can find out more at the MOFGA website.

We are set up at the Farmer's Market at the West Farmington Grange Hall every Saturday from 10-Noon until May, when we will be with the Sandy River Farmer's Market in the BLC parking lot every Tuesday from 2pm-6pm, and Friday from 9am-2pm.

If you are interested and would like more information or to sign up, you can e-mail us at