Monday, April 27, 2009

Open House A Huge Success

Thank you to everyone who came out Saturday for the open house/plant sale. We were busy all day from 9 til 5. It was great for folks to get a view of some of the happenings around the farm, have some pizza and grab a flat of starts for the home garden. It's been awhile since we've had a plant sale. I used to do them we first started the farm. Not many people came out as people didn't know who we were or what we were doing. Now after we've been in business for eight years, people definately know us and we have a great reputation for offering high quality and reliable varieties of plant starts in addition to our fresh, local produce. It's a very satisfying feeling to see the success of something you've started from scratch. So a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years.

Now its back to the business of getting plants in the ground. The broccoli and cabbage we've been hardening off all week is ready to be transplanted. It's at its prime and looks great. We'll be starting up with the irrigation now too. It's actually quite dry out and the new transplants need a good shot of water to survive. We've got lettuce going in the ground this week too and maybe some onions as well along with chard and anything else that is ready. Things are ramping up in general. It does'nt get too much busier than it is now.

Obviously lots of ground work happening as well. The potato field is just about ready and I need to get to the new strawberry field prepped as well. It's a little later than normal but the weather is later so I'm not too worried. But no time to tarry. Oh, and don't forget to keep up with the potting on. Lots of little plants that want to be big guys:)

Time to get going here.

Have a good day,

Farmer John

Monday, April 20, 2009

Potting up

Greenhouse's are bursting and as we pot up from flats to 4" pots we need even more space. Fortunately some things are begining to go out into the field but realistcally it's a still too cold to be putting most things out. Some of the starts we put out last week are definately in shock and don't look too happy. They'll recover but it's really not optimal. So more tables we will build and hopefully the weather will continue to improve.

We have a few orders for starts that we have been delivering and a few flats going out today so that will help. Hopefully we'll move a bunch on Saturday for the plant sale/open house. Gorgeous starts this year. Absolutely stunning but they must now go. We'll start haredening off broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower today. I have nine 150ft beds prepped and waiting. I'll hit em with the flame weeder just prior to transplant to knock out the first flush of weeds. Brassicas grow fast and tall and generally out compete most of the weeds. This is good because I was bad and let some weeds go to seed in this space last year. Bad farming technique for sure. "one year seed... seven year weed" It's true, trust me, been there done that.

April is a wicked month in many ways. Fickle weather, taxes, lousy cash flow and the final push for last minute supplies makes for extrodinarily challenging days Basically we're beyond broke and have been hoping for a few CSA memberships to show up. I know times are tough and I'm not complaining, I've been impressed by how well we've done to date. But... there has been a big lag in sign ups this month. It's normal but we could really use a cash hit right now. If you're out there and reading this and you hav'nt yet signed up but you've been thinking about it. Please do it now. ( I know I sound like the pledge rcruits on NPR ) but this is how we make a living and would like to continue doing so. To do so we need your help by becoming a member.

Market starts the first Saturday in May. We'll be moving this year for the first month due to the fact that the new grass is not yet able to be walked on at the village green. We'll be set up on the steet at Prune Alley. It'll be interesting. Maybe it'll spark some type of permant foundation for moving in the future to escape the excessive charges the county parks dept has levied on the market. I know I'm not alone in my opinion of wanting to tell the county to shove it. Whoa partner better stop there, thats a whole nother story.

Take care,

Farmer John

Friday, April 17, 2009

Plant Sale, Farm Tour & Pizza

Join us on Saturday April 25th for our plant sale and farm tour. We have a huge amount of plants ready to go for your home garden. It's a great time to see the happenings of early spring on the farm. A peak into the back door as it were. Also I'll have the pizza oven fired up and will be selling gourmet wood oven pizzas. Come one come all. Have a pizza, take a tour and grab a flat of starts for an instant garden of bounty. We'd be happy to accept orders for custom grown flats as well.

As a side note, we are in need of plastic trays (Anderson Flats) and 4" pots. would love to recycle if any of you have any.

What else is happening? Alot! Its planting time. I'm working available ground and prepping beds as fast as the conditions will allow. Much of the ground is still too wet to work but we have managed to get in a decent amount transplants and have direct sown crops in our drier areas. We've been making restaurant deliveries since the end of March without a gap however, if the outside crops don't produce soon we'll have a gap. we really need some decent weather and it appears to be on its way.

The new potato field is coming along nicely and should be ready to plant by the end of the month. I'll be dry cropping these and growing them without the protection of a deer fence. we can normally grow potatoes without a fence. It's a risk though. The earlier you put them in the better as their are more attrative things for the little beasts to eat than potatoes (which are technically posinous)

Endless potting up these days. Thousands of starts coming out of trays going into 4" pots. Space is at a premium and the greenhouse's are bulging. As the weather turns these will be going into the fields. Hopefully many of you will be relieving us of flats at the plant sale!

Looking forward to seeing you all for a day of fun.

Keep well,

Farmer John

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weather Turning!

Yeah baby, it's a little cool right now and will be that way a bit longer but warm WX is on the way! We'll get this show on the road. Lots of plants in the greenhouses ready to go out. We'll have a big push next week to get them ready for transplant. Things are drying out and I'm working fields as the're ready. Space is always an issue but we're on top of it thus far. This past week I was able to direct sow about 19 beds of various items. Now we just need a little decent weather and we'll be off.

Market is coming up fast. I'm thinking if we get good weather we'll have a decent amount of produce. We'll have plant starts too (along with everyone else).

We're trying to get a jump on that one by hosting a farm tour/plant sale at the home farm on Saturday April 25th from 9:00 til 5:00. You'll have the very best selection of anywhere that day. I'll have the pizza oven fired up and will be selling pizza's too! As always you can ask us your gardening questions, we'll be happy to help. It'll be a fun day, hope you can make it.

Still accepting CSA memberships. If you want to support a local farm by becoming a CSA member, this is it. The time is now. April is a brutal month for a farmer. Cash reserves are zero and the bills still coming in with no end in sight. Things will begin to normalize in May but for now we've got a big hurdle to jump to make it through April. Please join us.

Take care friends,

Farmer John

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dude, Get the boat

Geez, First day of April was a doozey. First we started out with some rain which then turned to about an inch of snow and the just went back to steady rain all day and most of the night. One of those days when you just try to move forward and not let it get you down. We just went to the green house and potted up all day. Today will be the same but with a little less rain. I'm feeling fortunate that we have a at least a few outdoor beds planted out. Yesterdays rain will keep us out of the fields for a couple of weeks at least.

Despite the lousy weather will be making some deliveries today. Not much. A few greens, some radishes and turnips. Just trying to eek things out without coming up short for later deliveries or the first maket. We''l be clearing out a couple of beds in one of the hoop houses. we'll turn them under, re-shape and re-sow and hope we get a turn around harvest in 30 days for the first market? It's right on the edge. We might miss that timing by a week or so. It depends on the weather. The other option is to let the greens we cut, re-grow and come in for a second cutting. It works but there is a lot of chickweed in the beds. Chickweed actually makes a nice touch to the greens but the problem is it may start to bolt and then it's funky and takes way longer to harvest the greens. I like a clean slate.

I'm short on time today, gotta roll.

Take care out there and keep your powder dry.

Farmer John