Thursday, February 25, 2010

Starting To Look Like Something

Things are taking shape around the farm. Definately looking like something is happening. Primarily in the hoop houses where we have at least a couple hundred flats growing. Nothing too major, lots of greens, herbs and aliums. No tomatoes or peppers yet, but soon. I like to hold off just a bit. If you plant them too soon then they just get leggy and in my experience you'll wind up harvesting at the same time whether you planted them in January or March. I suppose if you are using lights and heated greenhouses you could have them sooner but at what cost? It's not really what I'm into. There are plenty of other crops that fit the natural seasonality.

Deliveries have picked up and the over-wintering crops that made it through are looking good. I'm seeing things wanting to bolt sooner than normal and many of the plum trees are in full bloom right now. Our record warm February has us at least two weeks ahead. Even the grass needs to be mowed already! The weather for Early March is looking closer to normal ie. cool and wet. Still, I'm planning on a warm spring and hot, dry summer. This time of year can be difficult emotionally speaking. Mother nature teasing you with warm sunny days then the next, cold, windy and wet, as if the sun never did or never will shine again. You just have to be patient. Lots of talk on the streets between garders and farmers too. What are you planting? and so on. It's hard not to get too excited. Proof positive I still love my job.

There is also just a ton of work to be done. Firewood as always (next years) lots of clean up, fence building, repair, equipment maintenance, spring tillage and more. We have a new batch of baby chicks and so they'll need a new spot to reside. I'll need to move the coop soon and give them a new area. Might have a new round of piglets in soon as well. It's a busy life but good life.

CSA: Thank you to all of our returning members. renewals have been very consistent this year. In fact, almost daily. This is good not only for the money side of things but for the ego as well. (people actually lke what we do enough to pay for it?) All kidding aside, thank you. We really need cash flow this time of year. March and April are normally a very difficult months to cover and often there is a lag in CSA renewals and new sign ups at that time. I think because the people who really get it send their payments early and then for a majority of others it's not on their minds until spring is here in full force. So Thank you! I am grateful for your support. We are off to such a great start this year, I'm hopeful for an amazing season. Please do spread the word. If you like what we do, please tell your friends and neighbors and urge them to become a member.

For all of you home gardners out there. Keep up the good work and don't forget us when it comes time to buy your starts. We will be having our Spring fest/plant sale at the farm again this year probally around the third week in April. Last year was a blast and great success. This year will be even better.

Take care,

Farmer John

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What's happening at MRF?

Well, lots. The greenhouse is practically full of flats filled with starts. It's always so exciting when the first seedlings emerge signaling the start of a new season and another notch in the belt of the promise of a good farming year.

Focusing this year on streamling operations and keeping detailed records to determine the true cost per crop of what we grow. Increasing the bottom line by tightening the belt on expenses as opposed to continual growth. I would like to see an increase in sales but that will not be as important as cutting back on expenditures.

This year feels like it holds much promise. The weather has been mild an I'm going with the predictions of a warmer than normal summer. We'll perhaps grow more heat loving crops than in years past.

Seed orders are just arriving and things will be ramping up quickly in the next couple of weeks.

We still have openings for the next earth to plate dinner on the 27th. Give a shout if you would like to come. Cost is $50.00 per plate plus gratuity.

More to come later.

Take it easy,

Farmer John

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We Have A Date

The next Earth to plate experience will take place on Saturday February 27th at 6:30 PM. We're about half full right now and this event will sell out fast so please contact me ASAP for a spot.

Wow! Can y'all believe this weather? Beautiful... we are truly blessed. I just about have the propagation house filled with newly sown flat trays. Looks great. Just yesterday I noticed the first new seedlings of the year ( baby Chard ) One of the other greenhouses has been direct sown with spring greens and is just starting to germ as well. Also some of my overwintered salad greens out in the field that looked like had been killed from the December frost are actually recovering and looking like they'll make it. There's a decent amount of food in the field right now. I have just begun harvesting again after a few weeks off. It's good to be getting back into a groove. There is alot to do this time of year. Lov'n it!

Keep well,

Farmer John