Friday, October 22, 2010

Progress Made

Colder mornings, shorter days and tired farmers are making it a little more difficult to get all the things done that need to be done. We are getting there though. We got a good chunk of our garlic in this week. Four 220ft beds of garlic, Each bed has three rows, so that's about 2600 row feet and we still have about that much to put in. We basically ran out of space. I'll have more beds prepped by Monday if the weather holds through the weekend. We're planting Susanville, Nootka Rose and Red inchelium which are softnecks and then Spanish Roja which is a hardneck.
Obviously hoping for a good garlic year. We had a nice crop this year despite loosing about a third of our planting to rot due to excessive spring rains.

Most of our open space has been cover cropped and now put to bed for winter. We'll be finishing our potato harvest soon and geeting that ground tilled and cover cropped too. The best potatoes for us this year turned out to be the Russian Banana Fingerlings. Nice yield and good quality.

Today is a market/restaraunt harvest day. It'll be a long one and the forecast is calling for showers through out the day.

Kids and fam are up. gotta roll,

Keep well,



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well Now

A nice change in the weather forecast for the pacific northwest. Mild and dry conditions prevail into the forseeable future (another three days at least right?). Regardless, yesterday was brilliantly brillant. Our fall and winter crops are very much appreciating the sun, Maybe my late planting of broccoli will work after all.

Things are looking pretty good. We made our first delivery of Kale and Chard to the grocery store (Island Market) this week. I don't know for sure, but this is the first time to my knowledge that the mainstream grocery has stocked local produce. We are also delivered to Orcas Homegrown Market. This is a good thing for us. It helps keep us busy as things are trending towards slowing down. It also keeps our name in front of people; marketing 101. My goal is to make at least one delivery per day. Does'nt matter how big or small, just one a day.

Sales at the Saturday indoor farmers market at the Oddfellows Hall have been robust as well. Lots of folks showing up with the sole intent of buying local food. It's awesome and the variety has been stunning. Lots of goodness! If you hav'nt been, do check it out, It's worthy.

Lots of field work happening. Mowing, tilling, ripping and cover cropping mainly. This nice weather sure makes it pleasant work. I was able to collect a large pile of leaves yesterday and formed up a new compost pile. I love making compost heaps with the tractor. It's always time well spent.

We'll be making a final tomato harvest here real soon. I would like to get the green houses cleaned out and planted with our winter lettuce transplants. Perhaps I am too late but it's hard to take out the toms after putting so much effort into them. Obviously we want to maximize the harvest, especially in a lack luster tomato year like this one. I say lack luster somewaht with jest. Although they were late, the harvest actually turned out to be quite substantial. We still have very nice tomatoes on hand and have more than we can sell at market which is quite perplexing. We sell our heirlooms at $4.00 lb. This is about $2.00 less per lb than the market and we still bring boxes of them home. That works for me though, I turn them into the most delicious tomato paste you have ever tasted. (Yes paste, not sauce) I guess it's not that big of a surprise we don't sell out. Honestly (and I will definately take crap from the other growers on this point) I think tomatoes are over-priced. In my world they would all be $3.00 lb and people would stand in line to buy them and we would sell twice as many and everyone would be happy happy.

Oh well, I'm still happy anyway. Are you?

Keep well,

Farmer John

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Keepin On

October is here. Things are slowing down now for sure. Still tons of product coming out of the field, just fewer customers. A tad bitter sweet. I'm tired and looking forward to a slower pace but I still want things to keep rockin. Honestly I like it when things are chaotic and cranking. It keeps the energy up.

Our Saturday markets are now indoors at the Oddfellows hall from 11:00 til 2:00. I love the Odds. Oh sure it's harder to set up because we have to haul evrything in by hand but it' got a good feel to it and people do come out to buy. I also like the shorter time frame. In, do our business, and out.

No shortage of farm projects either. Still harvesting three times a week and doing lots of field/tractor work. Getting cover crop in and setting beds for garlic. At our driest site, I am ripping/tilling and setting dry fallow beds that are essentially non cover cropped so we can get a jump on early re-tillage and sowing of our early crops in February such as peas, favas and greens.

Loving the new tractor. It's opened the doors to a whole new system. Dammit, I should have stepped up along time ago. The John Deere just runs circles around the Cub Cadet and having the wider stance with the R1 ag tires is the only way to go. Of course now I'm looking at some new implement purchases. One being a mechanical transplanter and the other being a potato digger. It's non stop but those two implements would help us out tremendously.

Time to go. i gotta finish the market harvest and load the truck.

Keep well,