Vegetable Variety Show

“Ooo, what about these mini colored peppers? Do you think they would be good?” asked Gene.  “Maybe, and the ‘Honey Bear’ acorn squash looks really nice.” I reply…  And the debate has begun at Ripley Farm! 

Fall 2014: short days, huge harvests, and farm expansion

"Is the season slowing down for you?"  Many people ask us this question this time of year. 

Yes and no.  We had our first frost that killed our summer crops on Friday.  We have turned under many spring and summer plantings and have green cover crops of oats, peas, rye and vetch growing all over the farm.  They days are getting shorter, and we are sleeping in a little later.  So, in that sense, yes, the season is slowing down. 

Sharing the Abundance: Win a one-week membership to Ripley Farm's CSA!

Ripley Farm is 'Sharing the Farm's Abundance' with a new GIVEAWAY of a Wednesday CSA farm share!

Everyone's offering Labor Day specials, so we decided we would, too!  Ripley Farm style!  This week we're giving away a one-week's membership to our popular Community Supported Agriculture summer farm share program for one lucky person who is drawn out of the straw hat!

The winner will learn what the Ripley Farm excitement is all about! 

From Seed to Salad: one weekly lettuce planting’s growth, regeneration, and beauty

If you’re one of our fabulous customers, I’m sure you have noticed that we have lettuce available every week of the season for the CSA shares and our Orono Farmers Market booth.  Lettuce is something so basic, so mundane seeming, and so ingrained into our work schedule that I almost take it for granted when we go out to harvest every week.

Switching Gears: Our first harvest in pictures

One of our CSA members who has been with us since the very beginning recently asked Gene, "So, 80 members this year, can you handle it?"  Gene told me this later, and I laughed.  "Of course!" I said, without much thought...  This morning, as I listen to the sound of the wind and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Arthur on our metal roof, I reflect on the truly monumental task of growing healthy food for our local community.  Making a living farming is hard work.  With so many things out of our control, as farmers we sometimes feel stressed, frustrated or disappoin

Always One Step Ahead

This week’s to do list: plant fall storage carrots and rutabaga, get September broccoli seedlings in, weed winter squash…  Hang on cowgirl, today is the solstice!  AKA the first day of summer!  Hello, school is out, and we’re blessed with the longest days of the year perfect for playing outside in the sun ‘til sundown.  Heck, the lake water hasn’t even gotten warm enough for my Texas-born body to swim in!

Reclaiming Ripley Farm

The thing I remember most about the first time we walked on what is now our dream farm at 62 Merrills Mills Road in Dover-Foxcroft is Gene's smile after he pranced through the tall timothy and red clover in the field tucked up out of sight from the road.  Hey, this beautiful eight acre field has a ton of space, he said.  There's no way we'd be able to sell more veggies than that, we told each other. 

From Deep Snow to Deep Roots in 45 Days

Snow?!?  Ugh, who wants to hear about that stuff ever again after this winter?  I certainly don't, but don't worry this story isn't about snow.  It's about snowLOSS and has a beautiful ending...

2013 Summer CSA in review

Are you a visual person?  I sure am!  The cliche, "a picture says a thousand words," is really true in my book.  That's why in 2013 I made a goal of taking a picture of every single week of our summer CSA farm share boxes that we had!  I had a lot of fun doing this and made this blog to show you the beautiful colors and diversity that can be had from our local farm from July-October! 

The Story of the Storage Season at Ripley Farm

Have you ever noticed that winter in Maine is a very dark time of year?  Our vegetable crops have noticed, too!  While I'm sure you've also noticed the cold temperatures of Maine winters, the reduction of daylight hours is really what "kills" the growing season.  At ten hours or less of daylight, or after the beginning of November every year, the days are too short for the vegetable plants to make any growth at all.  Wow, does this sound like seasonal affective disorder to you?