August 27, 2015

Propagating Snapdragons from Stem Cuttings

I always enjoy growing my own plants, but there’s something even more exciting and gratifying about propagating them - producing plants by dividing, grafting, or taking the cuttings from existent stems. It’s an interesting and very easy-to-follow process.

Recently, while up in Maine, I was given a beautiful collection of snapdragons, Antirrhinum majus. These blooms were so magnificent, I was eager to bring the stems home to my farm, where my head gardener, Ryan McCallister, could root new plants from their cuttings. With so many different varieties of snapdragons, certain types are harder to come by - they may be heirloom varieties that have not been as well-preserved. For some, propagating snapdragons from stem cuttings has been very successful - I can’t wait to see how these cuttings do.

Here are some photos…

August 26, 2015

Repurposing Felled Trees at My Farm

Recycling felled trees into valuable, usable lumber is always a good thing, and is one of my priorities on my farm.

Dominic Arena, who works at my farm, keeps his hydraulic Wood-Mizer sawmill on one of my back fields. Dominic enjoys lumbering, but he also shares my passion for recycling and repurposing as many natural resources as possible. I feel sad whenever I lose a tree, but it is comforting to know the high-quality wood from that tree gets reused in many ways - first as lumber for stakes and other building materials, then as compost for my garden beds, and finally as mulch or firewood.

Dominic was at the sawmill controls yesterday, making good quality wooden stakes from a felled ash tree - here are some photos from that process.

August 25, 2015

Hay for My Horses

Hay is an important part of every horse's diet, and my Friesians, ponies and donkeys depend on me to provide them with the best quality hay possible.

Hay is a harvested plant that’s dried and cured after being cut in the field at various times of its growth cycle. In most cases, hay is cut during the late bud or early bloom stage to maximize its nutritional value. My hay comes from Adam's Hay, right here in Bedford, New York. When examining a supply, my stable manager, Betsy Perreten, looks at many factors including freshness, texture, smell and coloration.

A load of hay was delivered to my farm yesterday. Take a look at my photos...