Thursday, May 29, 2008

As The Season Turns

Welcome to the MRF blog. The season is beginning to pivot out of having just green leafies to having a more varied appeal. This week for market we'll be having a couple of new items on the table. Broccoli! It is absolutely gorgeous and we have good volume. It's as nice as I've ever seen anywhere. We'll also have the first peas of the season. Thease are English shelling peas. We grew them in the big greenhouse starting in February. They're pretty much a one timer harvest wise. They look and taste great. Outdoor peas won't be far behind. I'ts possible we'll have some baby beets and turnips as well this week.

Field wise, it's all about getting things in the ground right now. We are well on the way to getting tomatoes in. We've bee spacing them out further than normal so we are not putting in as many but hopefully the extra space we'll give them a larger yield. We're trying celery this year for the first time. We just transplanted that yesterday, looks great. Basil is in, first round of corn is in, second round is germinating. Melons are just about ready to transplant and we have squash starts of all kinds ready to to get in now.

Potatoes! Today is field trip day. 2nd and thrird graders from Ann Ford Mcgraths class are coming out to help us plant. Last year they harvested so I thought they should see the otherside of the deal. Not as fun as digging, but still a fun job.

Really hoping the UPS truck comes today with our new water pump. The old one went out a week ago. Sears says its on the way but they are always slow. We need water! Thankfully it's rained a little and it's been cool.

Having van woes too:( One in the shop with a $2,000 repair and the second one unexpectedly went down yesterday and is being towed to the shop today. Hopefully one of those makes it back on island by Saturday so we can go to market.

Oh well. I'm no stranger to this. Just get it fixed and forget about it.

Gotta roll,


All in all, things are going great

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's bean awhile

Busy, busy, Just trying to stay ahead of the weeds. It's pretty much a non-ending task. Things are looking good. Some of the early crops like boc choi and raab ae starting to wane and some of the newer things like turnips, broccoli, peas and kohlrabi are coming on within the next week. Hoping that we dont have much of a product gap this week. I always think we are short but by the end of the day we have a bounty.

Market has been good. Last week was a little slow for produce but we sold a good deal of starts. We'll have more this week. We are just getting ready to put out tomates so you're not too late. In fact we still may need another week or so. I just can't wait. Ours are going in on Monday come hell or high water. We'll pop in a few rows of fingerling potatoes that are all greened out and ready to plant as well. Soil temps are still off by a few degrees but I suspect we'll hit 55 o in the next couple of weeks. Great weather for growing lettuce. Ours is looking lovely. We did get hit with a little downey mildew, not enough to worry about. Typical for cool/wet conditions. We also lost our cauliflower to a couple of persistent critters. First slugs and then cabbage root maggots. Oh well, pest damage has been minimal to us this year and no deer invasions!

Strawberries are all up and growing like crazy. Our old patch has tons of berries on. Should see the first ripe ones in a couple of weeks! Still sowing indoor but as beds become availble we are going direct as much as we can. We even started beans inside. We don't normally go this route and franklyI have not had good luck doing it. We'll give it a try again. We'll sow some direct at the same time. We did get the first corn in and it looks awesome. We have a econd succession that was jut planted in flats yesterday.

Alright, I have to get going here folks, It's a busy day. Take care and eat well,


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where to start

Uhh, there's alot to do right now. It's generally an overwhelming sense. Basically about three days worth of tractor work staring me down. Tilling, bed prep, cultivating, mowing, etc. etc. We had a nice couple of days of rain. I'm thankful although it did interupt my busy schedule. The weather is supposed to get real warm for a couple of days and then switch back into a cool and wet period (oh really) Not exactly what we are hoping for but hell, we'll take anything over 60 degrees right now with a big smile. We need some sun for our crops to grow. It's all growing soo slow. we're looking at a gap unless it kicks in her real quick. Anyway, I'm tractor guy today.

Weeds have been a big obsatcle for us this year. We lost a couple of beds of carrots because we simply can't devote that much time to weeding/thinning 150ft rows that are smothered in weeds. Till em' up and do it again. That said we've been on the weeds better than most years. It's just those small things like carrots that are especially challenging. We are getting the to the point where we are having to devote so much time to harvesting that it is hard to keep up on everything.

Despite the difficulties, we are off to a stellar start. The first two markets have been great. Sales are brisk, inventory has been strong and we have sold through practically everything we have taken. Plant sales have been fair. Lots of competition and a limited market. We have a great selection if you need starts, espescially tomatoes. Commercial sales are coming around. The economic slow down can be seen and felt directly.

In the field. Stawberries are in. Tomatoes are going out next week. New greens are just about ready. Old greens in the greenhouse are just about done. They'll be out next week and something will replace them. Melons or toms? hmm maybe peppers. Potatoes are chitting and I'll be working on the field they will go in today. We arte planting them with AnneFords second and third grade class on the 29th. So much more to list. Where's it all going to go?

Keep well,


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Farmers Market

It's been a busy week around the "Rock". Farmers market started last Saturday. We had a great selection of produce and starts and despite the rain we had a steady flow of customers clamoring for the first greens of spring. We are shooting for another big day this Saturday. We'll be taking salad greens, braising greens, spinach, kale tops, broccoli, kale tops, pea shoots, arugula, bok choi, raab, radishes, parsley, potatoes and lots of plant starts.

In the field, we are extremly busy right now. Transplanting continues to be an almost daily task. The weather continues to be cool so most of our sowing is taking place inside. We just started sumer and winter squash in the last few days, cucmbers too. They'll be ready for transplant in 3 or 4 weeks. The basil is looking good and we just began potting it up from cell trays into 4"pots. It's still a little early to get it out. We've been transplanting tomatoes into the greenhouse as space comes up. I have some planned for outdoors as well as oon as it warms up. This may well be a difficult year for toms. I'm only putting the hardiest and small fruited varieties out and reserving the larger and more fickle ones for the greenhouse's.

Any spare time I have right now is spent on setting up irrigation. We're getting there. We did get a little rain last weekend so that gave me a break for a few days. It sure dries out fast though. It's time for everything to get water again. I' ll spend a good part of my day geting tapes set.

Oh! strawberry starts are here! There's a project. We have to lay the drip, plastic mulch the beds and get em' in. Five 125ft beds, hopefully Monday?

Oh and one more thing... Don't forgret to mow.

Take care,