Early October farm tour

by Cari Balbo


Summer has given way to another beautiful autumn in Palermo, Maine. Join me for a virtual walk around Ridge Pond Farm in photos. 

The lovely and delicious Nodhead apple.  

The lovely and delicious Nodhead apple.  

What an amazing apple year we're having In Maine. Everywhere you look apple trees are heavy with fruit. This is the Nodhead tree covered in its red jewels. 

What an amazing apple year we're having In Maine. Everywhere you look apple trees are heavy with fruit. This is the Nodhead tree covered in its red jewels. 

Looking back towards the house from the Nodhead. The giant pear tree next to the house is going to need more pruning over the coming years to yield healthy, happy fruit.  

Looking back towards the house from the Nodhead. The giant pear tree next to the house is going to need more pruning over the coming years to yield healthy, happy fruit.  

It's an enormous tree for a pear. I love how it towers over the house. 

It's an enormous tree for a pear. I love how it towers over the house. 

Mike in the kitchen garden. Our house is a good example of Yankee thrift. The 'formal' sides of the house that can be seen from the road or the dooryard are white clapboards while the private sides are simple wood shingles.  

Mike in the kitchen garden. Our house is a good example of Yankee thrift. The 'formal' sides of the house that can be seen from the road or the dooryard are white clapboards while the private sides are simple wood shingles.  

The kale is going strong. We'll be harvesting these plants in the next couple of weeks to make room for this fall's garlic bed. 

The kale is going strong. We'll be harvesting these plants in the next couple of weeks to make room for this fall's garlic bed. 

First time growing Sweet Annie (the scent of the Common Ground Fair). It's massive! From one small transplant came this monster. Will definitely be growing it again, wherever a fragrant summertime hedge is needed!

First time growing Sweet Annie (the scent of the Common Ground Fair). It's massive! From one small transplant came this monster. Will definitely be growing it again, wherever a fragrant summertime hedge is needed!

We had over five inches of rain on the last day of September. It helped replenish the farm pond somewhat, though the level is still far, far below where it should be. 

We had over five inches of rain on the last day of September. It helped replenish the farm pond somewhat, though the level is still far, far below where it should be. 

In addition to the Nodhead we have this apple that gracefully arches over the path around the end of the pond. We don't know the variety but it is tasty for fresh eating.  

In addition to the Nodhead we have this apple that gracefully arches over the path around the end of the pond. We don't know the variety but it is tasty for fresh eating.  

Fall color coming on around the pond.  

Fall color coming on around the pond.  

Mike has been clearing trails in our woods for hikes and access down to our shoreline on Branch Pond. Our land is full of ledge rock outcroppings like this moss-covered beauty. 

Mike has been clearing trails in our woods for hikes and access down to our shoreline on Branch Pond. Our land is full of ledge rock outcroppings like this moss-covered beauty. 

It may not be easy to see in this photo but at the high point of our property where there are several small ponds and wet areas there is this man-made bridge that gets you safely over the wettest section. We don't know much about the bridge but if it dates back to Palermo's agrarian heyday it could have been a way to get sheep over the wet areas and onto the north side of the ridge, now forest but back then was likely cleared for sheep farming. 

It may not be easy to see in this photo but at the high point of our property where there are several small ponds and wet areas there is this man-made bridge that gets you safely over the wettest section. We don't know much about the bridge but if it dates back to Palermo's agrarian heyday it could have been a way to get sheep over the wet areas and onto the north side of the ridge, now forest but back then was likely cleared for sheep farming. 

Thanks to our friend Joel of Wild Miller Gardens here in Palermo we have a new tilled garden plot for next summer back behind the barn. It's about 20x70. We'll use this for growing more vegetables in the future as well as larger plantings of perennial herbs like calendula and comfrey for Ridge Pond Herbals products. The apple on the right is the third mature apple we inherited with the farm. This one is most definitely a cider apple as the taste on its own is extremely tannic. 

Thanks to our friend Joel of Wild Miller Gardens here in Palermo we have a new tilled garden plot for next summer back behind the barn. It's about 20x70. We'll use this for growing more vegetables in the future as well as larger plantings of perennial herbs like calendula and comfrey for Ridge Pond Herbals products. The apple on the right is the third mature apple we inherited with the farm. This one is most definitely a cider apple as the taste on its own is extremely tannic. 

Dogwood leaves turning purple.  

Dogwood leaves turning purple.  

We planted five black locusts in May. They're growing quickly, exactly what we want as we're growing them to make our own fast-growing, naturally rot-resistant fence poles. 

We planted five black locusts in May. They're growing quickly, exactly what we want as we're growing them to make our own fast-growing, naturally rot-resistant fence poles. 

Fall color tucked into the wall of pines along the edge of our eastern field. We enter our second autumn here at Ridge Pond still astounded at the beauty of this place and our luck in getting to live here. 

Fall color tucked into the wall of pines along the edge of our eastern field. We enter our second autumn here at Ridge Pond still astounded at the beauty of this place and our luck in getting to live here.