Monthly Archives

March 2015

Take a Field Trip to Cloudview!

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Did you know that Cloudview Farm offers field trips?

Bring your students over and learn all about Spring at the farm!

Give your students a cross-curricular and memorable outdoor learning experience.  Farm explorers will gain a new understanding of where food comes from.  During exciting farmer-guided adventures, students will get to use their own two hands to pick and taste garden-fresh veggies.  Spring is an especially magical time on the farm because it means baby lambs, new-born piglets, and fuzzy chicks have arrived.  Don’t let your group miss out on the fun and learning this Spring!

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Remember that it is never too early to begin planning for trips next fall!

Raising Soil Fertility

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Cloudview employs sustainable farming practices when growing your food. One element of sustainable farming is improving soil fertility, or raising the levels of humus in the soil.

Humus is the stuff in a handful of soil that gives it its blackish cast and characteristic smell. It’s hard to say exactly what humus is because it is so many things. Humus is what’s left of organic matter after it has been broken down by the billions of big and small organisms that inhabit a spoonful of earth—the bacteria, phages, fungi, and earthworms responsible for decomposition….But humus is not a final product of decomposition so much as a stage, since a whole other group of organisms slowly breaks humus down into the chemical elements plants need to grow…It also serves as the glue that binds the minute mineral particles in soil together into airy crumbs and holds water in suspension so that rainfall remains available to plant roots instead of instantly seeping away.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. 170-71. Print.

tractercloseToday the compost spreader visited founder Jim Baird’s fields north of the farm. It spread a compost made up of wood chips and leaves. This is in addition to the goats that grazed the fields this winter and left their own fertilizer. As the compost breaks down, the organic content of the soil will raise, making the soil healthier, and better able to retain water and grow crops. Healthier soil in turn raises the nutrition levels of crops. This is why the food we grow at Cloudview tastes so good, it’s extra-nutritious because it’s grown in healthy soil.

The compost spreader adding organic matter to a hay field

Wood chips and leaves after being spread on the hay field.

Sign-up is open for 2015 CSA Boxes!

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Have a delicious summer and support your local farm! Become a member of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Cloudview Ephrata and enjoy high quality, fresh produce from May to October. For 20 weeks, members pick up a weekly produce box straight from the farm full of same-day harvested veggies and complementary recipes. Sign up today and get a box of fresh, flavorful and local veggies worth $25 every week for 20 weeks.

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