Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back in the groove

Finally,  new posting after almost a year off not blogging.  One hell of a year it was though.  Great times and a very successful season.  We had a mild winter that has allowed us to basically have a continual harvest throughout the entire winter and even now we still making weekly deliveries to a few accounts and the grocery store.  Quite a bit of ground already direct sown with cold hardy greens.  Peas and favas are in as well with more to be sown very soon. Our propagation houses are filling up fast and we're just about ready to start transplanting into our other big greenhouse at the main field.  We'll be squeezing things in just about anywhere we can fit them at this point.  It'd be nice as I always wish for this time of year to have it dry out a bit more so we could make a little more room so we don't get backed up.It'll be what it'll be though, wet or dry, we'll deal.

We opened up our pizzeria this year too.  It's called Hogstone's Wood Oven.  We've been open just about a month.  We have a lot of work to do but we're finding a groove.  All in good time.  The one thing for sure is the pizza is very good and we're off to a great start.  We're invested into taking our farming to the next level which I know may sound cliche-ish but we love to cook.  It inspires us and we like to share that inspiration with other.  It's also real.  We like real. Real is good.

Katie and I just returned from a week in Tuscany.  It was amazing and I'm very inspired by the things I saw and learned there. I celebrated my 50th birthday while there, I couldn't dream of a better place to do so.  Italians take style, food and drink to an elevated level and it was one of those take a step back and reflect moments.  I'm humble by nature but as I reflect, I just think to myself  "dude...  you've done a lot of cool shit" 

For now,  there is much to do for the new season.  More planning than physical labor, which at times can be frustrating.  Spring time tends to toy with your emotions and patience is a virtue.  I'm ready, a new season, spring in step and intently focused on being the best we can be.


Farmer John

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Open House and Plant Sale

Come out this Saturday the 21st of April and the following Saturday the 28th for our annual open house and plant sale. We have a ton of great garden ready starts and we'll have the wood oven fired up cranking out some great pizza. Jp and the OK rythym Boys will be playing at noon. Come on out and see what your farmers are up to.

Farmer John

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rabbit Rabbit

Happy April! Sheesh is it wet. We have not been able to do as much as we would like to be but we are making progress. This spring appears to be even more wet/cold than last however I think we are doing better job dealing with it than we did last year. We've maxed out our greenhouses with both crops in the ground and newly sown flats. We've been able to get a few things in the ground outside such as leeks, onions, lettuce and Asian salad greens greens. we did get a few potatoes in however not in a traditional manner. Since it's been so wet we took to planting spuds above ground and are covering them in hay mulch. We'll see how well it works.

I had a nice chat with a fellow farmer the other day. So great to bounce ideas back and forth. She's doing no-till which is something I've been thinking about. The above mentioned potato plot is a start. We have one field in particular that is very wet that could be a good candidate for further exploration of this idea.

My computer acting up, gotta go.

Farmer John

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It Could Happen

What a nice sunny day we had yesterday. Earlier in the week it stayed fairly dry and was quite windy. Things actually dried out quite a bit. If we could link a few days like this together we'd be able to get into the field and prep some ground. Fortunately we have a couple of dry areas that we have been able to plant into. We're also thankful for our greenhouse space. It's kept us in salad greens during this difficult time of year we commonly refer to as the dirth. Over-wintered crops are done and new crops are struggling with the cold wet ground. It is officially spring though and things will begin to change fast. We'll still be spending most of our time in the greenhouse houses but hopefully by this weekend we'll have our dry field completely planted out. We have a few beds of leeks in there now and we'll be adding peas, favas, greens and onions, maybe a bed of radishes and beets if we have room. It's going to be a slow start again, pretty much what we've become accustomed to. We're actually using row cover (agribon) again after many years of not. I hate it but this time of year it can really make a big difference. It's practically impossible to keep on in the spring winds though.

I'll keep it short today. More to come as we progress.

Farmer John

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wet Leap Day

Damn it is wet out there and getting wetter. It's actually snowing at the moment. As a farmer we're always hoping for a dry spell in February so we can get in and do a little field work to get our cover crop turned under and start prepping beds for our earliest crops such as greens, peas, favas and early potatoes. We did get in for one day early this month. We have a few beds prepped but's too wet to think about planting. Most of our ground tends to stay wet well into the spring. If we miss that early window it normally delays production a bit. The forecast is for rain through the week. We'll wait it out. We have more we can sow in the greenhouses and in fact we direct sowed two beds of greens yesterday.

It'll all come together in the end. It's mostly mother nature just toying with our emotions and you know what they say about March, in like a lion, out like a lamb. There's plenty to do in the mean time. After the last few years, we've learned to just deal with the flukey spring weather. I'm just happy we have precipitation! So many places are experiencing drought right now. It's scary.

It's all coming together. Looking good for the new year. Ready to grow!

farmer John

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Return To Normal

The weather has been just a bit fickle, in coordination with the forecsast anyway. We went from pretty dry to pretty wet in the field. A little different than what the weather cafe forecast was calling for. We did get a few beds worked up and ready to plant in the sunnier / drier days of this week, so no worries. I'm actually glad to see it cool down and precipiate a bit. That's what its supposed to be doing right now.

Still harvesting beautiful salad and braising greens from the fields and a few beets too and lots of turnips. The radichhio is beautiful right now and the kale and chard are starting to re-grow and look great. Garlic is up and the daffodils are rapidly growing. Looking good. peas, fava's and the earliest potatoes going in the ground soon. Lore says presidents day, thats a little early for us, but not far after that.

Lots happening in the greenhouse's right now too. Tables filling up with trays of starts, some beds direct sown. This season is starting to takes shape!

farmer John

Monday, February 6, 2012

60 Degrees

Thats right, the forecasted high temp in the region today is 60 degrees. It's the first week of february. Damn, thats pretty nice, you have to admit; We'll take it. Of course we know it could be snowing again next week but who cares. We're beginning to go ahead with sowing flats in the greenhouse just slightly earlier than normal. It's an exciting time of year filled with hope of the on-comming season. For us, it's like the season never ended. We are still harvesting from beds we planted last year. The outdoor salad greens we sowed in September have continued to pump out beautiful salad greens all winter long. Theyr'e the nicest winter greens we've ever grown. The braising greens are also continuing and are just delicious. We just give them a quick two minute hit in an oiled skillet after they've been rinsed and chopped. Throw in a little sambal and a couple cloves of garlic and you're good to go. That's good eats right there.

I'm hoping to get in the field today to do a little tractor work. Forming up some beds in our dry fallow plot for both direct sowing and transplanting. We'll be clearing out some old beds to make room for the new sowing of fava beans and with any luck we'll be plowing up another acre of new ground. Still completing a few seed and supply orders and continuing to plan out the year. So there's your answer to the oft asked question "so what do you do in the winter when your not farming?" Dude.... we're always farming.

Most of you know I had ankle surgery back in early December. Making good progress, down to one crutch and should begin walking on my own in about a week or so. That wasn't so bad now was it? In reality it was a pretty quick ten weeks. Still, Lots to do for one guy on a crutch.

See you out there,

Farmer John