CidahFest @ Eden Acres 10.20.18

CidahFest 2018
CidahFest 2018

This year we are thankful for the abundant rain that helped to plump up our apples. However, the past 3 seasons of drought has taken its toll. The trees uptake nutrients through their roots in August/September for the following year. Without rain, the nutrients are unavailable. We have seen significant leaf loss and other signs of stress. But the show must go on, so we are celebrating our apples for what they are…. super healthy and amazingly flavorful with CidahFest!

Please join us from 2:00 – 5:00 pm on Saturday, October 20th as we welcome the musical talents of Jason Roman with some comfort food and drink (hot cider, of course!) Take home gallons of our craft raw cider will be available as well. Parking is limited, car pooling is recommended.

IMG_5269Also, you can find us at Frinklepod Farm (244 Log Cabin Rd, Arundel) on Saturday, October 13th from 10:30 – 2:00 with our Pop-Up Cider Shop for another opportunity to taste our cider and take some home.

***Unpasteurized raw cider can only be sold by the farmer. Due to FDA regulations, it is not available in stores.

WARNING: Once you taste the difference, it may ruin all other ciders.

 

Ecotherapy: Nature’s Remedy for Happiness

Ecotherapy

This season, we started keeping bees which has heightened our awareness of many things within the orchard, connecting the ecosystem from something as small as mycorrhizae in the soil to something as big as the equipment and inputs we use. Farmer B has been extra gentle in what he is spraying on the trees, careful not to use even organic pest control measures that have the potential to harm bees. Wildflowers are left to grow, supplying the bees with the pollen they need to feed their colony and ultimately produce honey that we will enjoy and sell when we have a large enough supply. Continuous blooms are allowed to go to seed to encourage more grasses, flowers, and different herbs to grow throughout the orchard. As a result, we are noticing more biodiversity within just two years.

As the summer solstice passes, when the sun is at its peak, it highlights a return to light. Light, love, and power are the energetic attributes for the summer solstice. It’s a time for barbecues and trips to the beach, generally a time to celebrate being outside and our connection to nature. For us, it’s a reminder that we need to enjoy our free time as much as possible before the apples start to drop; to pause and be conscious of the energy we are extending.

In this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Americans are said to spend 80 to 99 percent of their day indoors, disconnected from nature. In response, Japan has implemented “forest bathing” as part of its national health program since 1982, before there were even smartphones and other handheld technology to “unplug” from. And now the benefits of being in nature are beginning to become more recognized. Science is just catching on that our disconnect from nature is affecting our mood and mental health. It is shown that walks in nature decrease negative ruminating thoughts and elevate moods. Yup, there’s even a name for it… Ecotherapy, nature’s remedy for happiness!

In all the craziness around the Fourth of July, I needed to get back on track. Walking the orchard, taking in the beauty around me, and giving thanks for all of my blessings are ways I can slow down and pause.

What are some other ways you can pause and enjoy life more?

Springtime Update: Beneficial Nematodes

NematodesSpring brings rain and warmer temperatures. It also brings pests. So, it’s time to break out the organic measures for controlling tick populations and apple pests. One of our not-so-secret weapons that we use for the orchard is beneficial nematodes. Insects with a pupating or larval stage in the soil become susceptible to the insect-parasitic nematodes. The microscopic worm-like organisms seek out insects to host them as they mature and reproduce, killing the pests in the process. There are several species of nematodes that are parasitic to a variety of pests. We employ a triple threat to broaden the impact on pests such as curculio, apple sawfly, Japanese beetles, ants, and ticks. Timing is of importance when putting them down, however. Soil temperatures need to be above 45 degrees and should be wet since nematodes live in the water-filled pores within the soil. Drought conditions such as last year, could not sustain the nematodes. Thankfully, the abundance of snow this winter and recent rain has aided our efforts.

Bryan felt as though he was spraying magic pixie dust, so he added a brew of nitrogen and other nutrient fixing microbes to the nematode mixture for increasing soil fertility. It’s particularly interesting to note the 1960’s “discovery” of the effective microbes and philosophy of their founder, Dr. Teruo Higa. Dr. Higa’s research focused on combining microbial strains that were not believed to live together in the wild to see which ones could co-exist. All the microorganisms in the formula Dr. Higa created and used at Eden Acres Family Farm co-exist, co-prosper, exchange information, are sustainable, are safe, are efficient, are effective, and service each other. Dr. Higa believed that humans needed to learn from these microbes. We think so too!

What can we learn from beneficial microorganisms?

Symbiotic relationships are essential to our growing and changing world; a balance that can only be achieved by working together. What contributions are you currently making, or can offer to your community, to co-create a more prosperous culture?

One Love,

Ali

 

References:

http://articles.extension.org/pages/24726/soil-nematodes-in-organic-farming-systems

http://www.teraganix.com/Effective-Microorganisms-History-and-Availability-s/194.htm

 

Step into Your Bee-ing

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It’s the time of year when people are noticing the first few signs of spring. The days are growing longer, the birds that migrated back north are singing their songs, the buds on the trees are swelling and we await the apple blossoms. It reminds me that we need bees. A goal of ours, despite knowing very little about beekeeping currently, is to start with a couple of hives in the orchard. I did a bit of research to understand the different options and what would work best for a first time beekeeper. Of course, you are supposed to order your bees in January, but there’s no time like the present! If I hadn’t had to look a bit harder for bees, I may have missed the apiary in the town next to ours that has nucs of Italian bees that have been overwintered and ready to go.

In the meantime, the previous month has been full of change and new beginnings. Some astrological alignment I believe helped usher in the changes and we have now embarked on a journey of homeschooling our two boys. It was something I never thought I would do or could do, despite having a degree in education, but have felt remarkably at peace with it. I am encouraged by their growth, both academically and in their confidence. It has encouraged confidence in myself as well. I am now able to unite the ideals of farm life and learning from the environment around us. They both take roles on the farm and are growing into their unique selves. It is wonderful to witness.

My question to you is, what aspects in your life have you been resistant to change because you didn’t think you could it? My wish for you is that you will know that you are so much more capable than you may give yourself credit for… Be the bee and step into your bee-ing.

All my love,
Ali

A Time To Go Inward and Self Care

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Winter is a time to go inward. A time of retrospection and self care. This winter we have enjoyed family around the holidays, recharging with a trip to Florida, building upon friendships, and getting in a little surf and skiing. The winter allows us to restore our reserves and get ready to spring forth.

Self care can be equated with the airline advisory to put your mask on first, then to assist those next to you. You can only help others once you yourself are cared for and in balance. All too often we sacrifice, as mothers, as fathers, as friends, to help others in need. But if you view your level of self care as a fuel tank, you can see that it is vitally important to refuel yourself. Likewise, it’s important to use that fuel so that it doesn’t become stagnant. It’s a balance of give and take, or rather gift and accept. When you give more than you allow in return, it results in emptiness. Running on empty can be seen in such symptoms as fear, jealousy, anger, hoarding of knowledge, affection, and material comforts. On the other hand, a balance is evident in a free flow of information, love, and service.

What do you do to promote self care?

Ali