Season Kick-Off Weekend at Better Farm

Community potluck dinner-party season has started back up!
We've got spring fever at Better Farm, and have kicked the season off right by getting seed flats planted, harvesting an aquaponic bounty and copious amounts of free-range eggs, rehabilitating some unwanted plants, making signs for our new trails system, and pasteurizing last year's compost.

Seed Planting
Our artichokes, peppers, mulberries, huckleberries, leeks,  and several other varieties of produce have been planted in flats throughout the main house at the farm. Aloe plants have been divided and repotted to encourage growth for a budding skincare and essential oil line (stay tuned for more information about that!).

Aquaponic Harvest
We have a variety of beautiful, organic lettuces ready to go! Please contact us at (315) 482-2536 or if you would like to place an order.

Egg Heads
The chickens are hip to the season shift and are laying dozens upon dozens of beautiful Ameraucana, Leghorn, and Bard Rock eggs. A dozen eggs is $3 and includes a variety of all the above-listed varieties

Plant Rehab
A trip to Watertown on Friday yielded a handful of sick cactuses and orchids being discarded at a local store that we'll be rehabilitating over the next several months. This "plant hospital" will afford us the opportunity to educated visitors on bringing plants back to life—and keep these beauties from ending up in the garbage.

New Trail-System Signs
Over the weekend a group of us walked the new trail system in Better Farm's woods—and made trailhead signs to guide the way. By summer, we'll have a map to go along with the trails, as well as trail markers and camping sites. E-mail us if you'd like to volunteer on this project.

Compost Pasteurization
We blogged in February about how pasteurizing your compost can benefit from pasteurization:
Many people choose the safest route to prevent hitchhiking seeds and damping-off by buying a pre-sterilized package of potting soil, if you have a large amount of pots and flats to fill, this could be expensive. By taking a couple of extra steps before you begin, you can use your own rich, organic compost. Some people "bake" their soil in their oven to kill micro-organisms. But this process of sterilization kills everything, even the healthy organisms that you have worked so hard to create. The answer is simple: Instead of sterilizing compost and garden soil, pasteurize it. While sterilizing kills virtually all surface-dwelling microorganisms, when you pasteurize your potting mixture, it is only heated to a temperature that kills harmful organisms and leaves beneficial organisms alone.
We experimented with this process, which wasn't as smelly as you might initially imagine; and we've been left with fluffy black soil that's going to be very very good to our seeds and seedlings in the garden.