Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

It's Fall and I cannot believe how fast this year has gone. It was and continues to be a very busy year. This weekend marks the last outdoor farmers market of the season for us. It's the last of 22 weeks. Next week we move inside to the Odd Fellows hall. A welcome move but one that signals transistion into the season close. We stay there until Thanksgiving. I'm having mixed emotions. I'm tired and looking forward to a slower pace but I'm excited that things are going well and want to keep the flow going.

We're still pretty busy keeping up on things here. We've been prepping beds and direct sowing the last crops of the year. Things like arugula, and other assorted Asian type hearty mustards that we use for salad greens throughout the remainder of the year. Also a little spinach, turnips, both hakurei and purple tops and French breakfast radishes as well as a bed of ciopolini onions for next summer. I'll continue setting and sowing beds for another couple of weeks as long as the weather holds. Some of these act as an edible cover crop but we have also begun sowing our tradtional cover crops as well. I normally use the "soil builder" but it has alot of rye in it and I find that the rye is really tough to get rid of in the spring. This year I am using oats and Austrian field peas with some common vetch mixed in. I'm hoping that will work out better.
I also use fava beans as a cover. They don't always make it through the winter but if they do I do let them go to make pods for harvest which is a debatable practice. I also direct sow fava's again in February, the same time we sow peas and our first successions of hearty salad greens.

It's been quite rainy here, in fact so rainy that our pond has already re-filled. This is the earliest year I have ever seen that happen. The plants are responding nicely. The leafy greens like kale and chard are especially loving it. Simply put, they are spectacular. Our little island is quite verdant at the moment. What's not liking the rain is the strawberries. Between the yellow jackets and the rain they are all but goners. Our July 1st sown peas have come and gone. I'd call it a success. Not a huge harvest but a job well done. Deer broke through the gate this week and finished off what was there but failed to touch the other crops. (note to self: peas are an effective trap crop for deer) The pole beans sown at the same time will be harvested for the first time tomorrow. Could have sown those way earlier. Bush beans would have been a much better choice. The winter squash is looking good. Better than expected frankly and I'll be watching them closely for signs of rot with all this rain. It won't be much longer. Second succession of corn is just coming on right on schedule. Soon we'll be saying goodbye to our old friends squash and cukes. It's been bountiful and we will miss you. And of course lets not forget TOMATOES. You know, those funny gangly things in the hoop houses we've been doting over since Friggin February. It's not been spectacular by any means until this week. They are on. I have a feeling we'll peak this week and then they'll begin to wane faster than normal. Get em while there hot peeps.

There's lots more to tell about but this is getting long. I'll save it for another day.

Kepp well,

Farmer John

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Happens in September?

I stopped in my favorite coffee joint (Enzo's) yesterday for refill and an aquantince says to me "well I guess your happy to be over the hump" At first I thought he was talking about the recession but quickly realized he was talking about the season. Ironically I had just come in from an early morning planting session. Most folks don't realize That we pretty much operate on a year round schedule. Of course things are slowing down but we still have lots of good weather left and late summer/early fall is a wonderful time of year to grow many things and of course harvest much of the later maturing and holding crops like potatoes and winter squash.

Yesterdays direct field sowing included mixed Asian salad greens, lettuce, chervil, cilantro and several beds of assorted mustard greens. I still have a few open beds and will put in spinach, spring onions, radish, turnips and more mustards.

We also still have lots of starts in flats that need to get in the ground and hopefully be sowing more flats of things that will wind up in the greenhouses's as the tomatoes come out. Speaking of tomatoes, they are actually coming on pretty strong at the moment. It might be a better harvest than I expected.

Trying some new cover crops this year. Tritacale, vetch and Austrian field peas. Nixing most of the rye as it is tennacious and hard to get rid of in the spring when we are trying to expedite field work to have beds ready to plant ASAP.

Time to get going.

Farmer John

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Big Bad Son Of A Bitch

Good news / bad news; Bad news is my Cub Cadet tractor broke down big time. I think the tranny went. Dealer quoted me $4,000 to fix so you know that means at least $5,000. I mean really have you ever paid what they quoted? The tractor only had 1500 hours on it and I had already had to do a clutch job at the tune of $2700.00. Long story short, I'm done with Cub Cadet/Yanmar.

Good news; I just took delivery of my new John Deere 4320 48 horsepower turbo diesel mfwd tractor. It is one bad ass machine. It was time to step up to a bigger/better tractor anyway. The new setup is going to change my whole operation to a more efficient platform. I'll now have the horse power to more easily break new ground and with the edition of a new 42 inch bed shaper, we'll be changing our layout scheme which will allow us to improve on what we've been doing. So it hurts to spend money, but in the end I feel like it's a wise business move.

Everything else is cruising along just fine. Sales volume has remained steady and production although is slowing is keeping up with demand. I'm still planting for fall and spring and have begun to cover crop a few areas. We have just two more outdoor markets and then we move inside the Oddfellows hall for the remaining markets up to Thanksgiving. So I'm planning to make sure we have product to sell. I have my fingers crossed on the winter squash and pole beans. Both could use a couple more weeks of summer. I' d say it's a 50/50 chance. They'll either make it or not.

Time to roll out, take care all,

Farmer John

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Please note we are making a change on our phone system. Due to the excessive cost of keeping this line I have made a decesion to cancel it. Please contact us at 376-5994 or my cell at 622-6433 or contact us by e mail or facebook.


We are having a good year here on the farm but we are paying too much in expenses. My main tractor just went down and I am having to buy a new one so I'm super concsious about cutting back on excess expenditures. Although business has been good it is normal that we experience a gradual slowdown starting about now. The more we streamline, the more it enables us to keep our prices competitive.

Take care,