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Jesse has made two farm tutorials with Nicolas this month. I’ll post them both at the bottom.

This was taken right after Jesse filmed Nicolas talking about Swiss Chard. The filmmaker is ready to leave the farm and go edit his new tutorial. The farmer is getting geared up for many more hours of labor. He and his crew are heroic. It is busier at the farm right now than it has been all year. We’re all getting more energy by turning all these beautiful vegetables into green smoothies. We’ve been drinking one every morning, even the kids most days. They make a huge difference in our ability to get it all done, and to  help cut our cravings for chocolate and cheese, part of the day anyway  🙂

Here are a few of the vegetables we’ve been throwing into the blender:

Lots of Swiss Chard, collards and other greens make their way into the green smoothie as well. Nicolas also adds flax oil and mulkasan and sometimes some coconut oil.

Three random pictures from a beautiful fall farm day:

Willie:Jesse with Fennel. Doesn’t the shadow of his hand on his sweater look like it’s reaching for his heart? He doesn’t think so either. Hey, it’s Halloween! I love Halloween.

White on white. See the honey bees? We have lots of honey this year.

One more, and then I will relinquish this space to the farmer’s wisdom on my son’s tutorials.

I caught the Turkeys plotting their escape. They sense that November is here. You can hear their passionate discussions in the upcoming Swiss Chard video. They sound like canned laughter. 

Finally, the videos:

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Saving Tomato Seeds

Nicolas used to save many seeds. But when his variety got really big, several of these seeds grew into plants that were clearly no longer the pure heirloom breed but rather had been cross-pollinated. So, for the past few years, he had stopped saving seeds and bought from great companies like High Mowing Seeds.

His mother, Helen, continued to save a bit. And he is happy to have them. He’s going to use the tomato seeds she saved from last year. Nicolas is also going to grow a few plants in isolation in order to save their seeds.

For some breeds, like squash, different families have to be planted really far apart or to be isolated with nets. Tom, at High Mowing Seeds, does a lot of this. More and more new technologies are being developed to address this issue.

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The “tomato twine” that Nicolas uses to stake the tomatoes is sold by High Mowing Seeds.

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Sweet Potato Slips

Here in the south, it is about time to plant sweet potatoes. We have never had enough sweet potatoes. They are one of our most popular crops – at the market, with the chefs and in our family. They are also extremely nutritious – loaded with vitamins C, B, A and good dietary fiber. The more saturate the color of its flesh (and it can be white, yellow, orange or purple depending on the breed) the more beta carotene. In Eastern Africa, their word for sweet potato means “protector of children”.

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In this tutorial, Nicolas talks about the soil mix that we use. It is called McEnroe Organic Farm premium growing mix. We get it from Seven Springs Farm , in Virginia. Here is a link to a site that has information about lots of soil mixes, including recipes to make it yourself.

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