Erin Brethauer

Farm barn

Posted in Farming in the Blood by erinbrethauer on October 31, 2009

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More photos to come from the  farms once things settle down.  Here’s one of LuAnna Nesbitt looking out  from a barn near Cane Creek Valley Farm.

Conquering the tree

Posted in Farming in the Blood, North Carolina by erinbrethauer on September 5, 2009

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This is Judson.  He’s 4 and  loves to climb.  His parents run Cane Creek farm where I’m working on a little project.  In the ten minutes that I hung out with Judson while he climbed/tackled this tree, I watched him fall three times.  The first time he fell, there were a few seconds where we both paused so he could figure out how to react.  He quickly snapped out of it and said ‘that was fun!’ before climbing back on the tree…to fall off a minute later.  He’s a rough and tumble sort of guy.  Later Judson asked his dad if he could climb on the roof.  Doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Waiting for a bright day

Posted in Farming in the Blood, North Carolina by erinbrethauer on July 31, 2009

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It’s hard to tell who’s more eager for sunshine to hit the fields at Cane Creek Valley Farm: the farmers Jeremy and Amanda Sizemore, or the heavy green heirloom tomatoes that are hanging from the vines.

“I can’t believe the rain’s been holding out for this long,” says Jeremy Sizemore Friday morning around 10:30 a.m. as he walks along the rows looking for the ripened heirlooms, “It’s awesome.”

This is only the second day the Sizemore’s have been able to pick their tomatoes because of the constant rains.  Yesterday, they picked 30 boxes worth of heirlooms and today they got to 40 boxes until the rain forced them to pack up and head to home base to pack 56 CSA boxes.

“Last year at this time we were two weeks into picking,” says Jeremy, “I didn’t figure we’d have these plants because of all the rain.  I kept spraying.  That’s the only reason they’re still here.”

Because they run an organic farm, the Sizemore’s are limited in what they can do to protect their tomato plants from blights brought on by the heavy summer rains.  Mostly they can use organically approved sprays and then hope for the best.

The tomatoes now are so ready to be picked that they are weighing down the rows and, in some areas, causing rows to fall over into the mud.  Jeremy and his childhood friend Shannon Byrd pick up some stakes and a rock and set to work fixing the fallen plants.

“We’re doing this cave-man style,” muses Jeremy who forgot his hammer but found a nice flat rock to pound down the stakes.