Farm Update 08-21-19

The summer is just flying by, and it certainly doesn’t seem to want to slow down at all. I hope everyone has been having a good and restful time. When I head to the wholesale market I can see there are lots of people on the move, not to mention that the stand is busier than ever. Thanks to all of you who’ve come by, as I truly appreciate the support of the farm and the encouragement I get.

Around the farm work continues more or less unabated. The thunderstorms put a slight damper on field work, as does the regular rain, but I have plenty of other things to do to keep me busy. The last of the planned seeds have been started this week (Lettuce and Cilantro), though I may still wind up doing more for growing in the greenhouses.

What’s in the field is generally, with the exceptions of Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Potatoes, growing pretty well. I am expecting shortages of Lettuce over the next couple of weeks (I’ve picked some up from another farm to help cover the expected shortfall), and hopefully the next plantings will come along without delay.

The chickens are still doing their thing. I’ve been sure to let them into the outer enclosed area on the hotter days. They really like sitting in the shade of the trees, and I guess I would too, if I had the time.

The Gladiolus are coming in quite well right now. If you like them, don’t wait to get them. They’ll probably only be around for a few more weeks. Little sunflowers have also started blooming, though I have no idea if the replanted larger ones will grow in time. I guess we’ll find out together.

Can’t think of anything else to include at the current time, though I’m sure I’m forgetting loads. Hope everyone has a great week.

Farm Update 08-14-19

Can you believe I actually managed to get this update done ahead of time. Well, not really ahead of time, because they come out whenever I decide to do them, but you know what I mean. Besides, it doesn’t mean I’m caught up with all of the work that was backlogged, but that’s a whole other story.

Anyway, things here are still cruising along with some of the final season plantings going in the ground this week. The weird weather during July has caused a bit of an issue with Lettuce availability, but I should be able to get some each day, and the next plantings are coming along. Broccoli is another crop where there will be a gap in availability for a stretch of time (not sure exactly how long). I’m still trying to coax both the tomatoes and sunflowers to grow. I’m not sure what’s going with them, but they are giving me quite the business.

On the happier side of things, there are a few more Gladiolus to cut per day, and I was also able to get more of those large Raspberries. There are also some of the first Local Apples, a variety called Zestar, that will be on the tables this week. And lastly, I will have some, let me stress some, of my own Sweet Corn this week. The patch that grew is quite small, and I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’ll be picking each day until it’s done.

The chickens are busy clucking away and doing their chicken things. I’ve been letting them out of the secure pen and into the surrounding electric fence enclosed area so they can spread out a bit more. It’s always fun at night, because when I go to put them back in, I get a big dish of scratch grain, tell them it’s “snack time”, they all gather up behind me, and we have a little parade back into the pen.

Guess that’s about it for this update. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 08-08-19

Almost forgot to do the update this week, and was getting ready to go back out to work, so this will be a quite short update. For the most part things are still chugging along, and the usual routine being, well, the usual routine. There are some issues as well, mainly due to weather and fungal problems, but those are almost commonplace the last few years.

At the wholesale market this week I was able to find some really nice looking Local Sweet Corn, the first Local Tomatoes, some Local Blueberries, and for those who don’t mind things coming from a little further away, sweet-smelling Cantaloupe. Please be sure to check the What’s Available page for the complete list of, not only items like those, but also what I have ready.

Aside from those specific items, the chickens are doing well, the wild beasties are generally behaving themselves, the rain has not been overwhelming, the plants are growing, and I’m still standing. Hope everyone has a great week, and thanks again for supporting the farm.

Farm Update 08-01-19

Can you believe it’s August already? As the saying goes, the tide waits for no man, and in this case neither do the days passing by. The work on the farm is continuing as usual, and the backlog from the springtime is being trimmed down and should be fully eliminated by next week.

Since the rain a couple of weeks ago followed by the heat, the weeds have all turned into mini Jack and the Beanstalk monsters. Despite plastic mulch being used selectively around the field, the weeds are still taking over far more than usual. The funny part of dealing with the weeds is that they know I’ve planted something. I’ve tried experiments where I will set up a row, provide fertilizer and irrigation and virtually no weeds appear in the row for weeks and weeks. If I do the same thing, but plant a crop, the weeds grow immediately. Ah well, what are ya gonna do.

The chickens are generally doing well. They are adapting as best they can to the wild swings in temp, and egg production is holding steady at levels just off peak production. If it stays a little cooler I’d expect it to fully rebound in a couple more days.

This season has been pretty difficult for growing, and in addition, quite a few things are running late. Talking to other farmers, they are experiencing the same things, with most all crops running at least a little behind schedule. Please be sure to check out the What’s Available page to see this week’s offerings.

Hope everyone has a great week. See you at the farm stand.

Farm Update 07-25-19

What a difference a week makes. Just look at the temps this morning versus last week’s. It’s enough to make your head spin, and certainly enough to have an effect on the plants. The chickens are thoroughly grateful for the major drop in temps and as I thought would happen, egg production during the week dipped quite a bit, but is starting to recover.

The work around the farm, as always, continues unabated despite the weather. I mean it’s gotta get done, right? Anyway, the changes certainly keep life interesting and add a certain extra challenge. For those curious, I have begun cutting the backlog of work from the spring, as there is no way for me to make up any of the extra time at this point. What this means is eliminating certain plantings, and scaling back on others. There’s been a lot of field maintenance type work that’s been on hold that will now be the main priority.

As I said above, the chickens are much happier with the cooler temps and egg production is coming back to normal. I let them out of the pen yesterday, since I was working right nearby, and the had a great time scratching around in the tall grass and weeds in search of bugs, worms, and other treats. Sadly I can’t let them out more often, but there are just too many predators about.

Time for me to get back out to work. Be sure to check the What’s Available page to see what goodies you can find. My thanks to all who came by the stand and helped support the farm. Hope everyone has a great week.

Farm Update 07-18-19

While I find it’s amazing how quickly the weeks are ticking by, the routine on the farm continues. As I’ve been explaining to people about running three weeks behind schedule, there comes a point where tasks are simply scratched from the list of things to do, as they would no longer be required, desired, or needed.

So, as a result of the weather-induced late start, a number of plantings have been removed from the schedule. While I will continue to put as much into the ground as I can, I do know there are some things that simply won’t be ready in time, or, in some cases, plants that have been in the greenhouses too long.

With that said, I should still have enough either already in the ground or still going in to cover most demand, with any additional being filled in with stuff I get from other farms through the wholesale market. The exception will likely be Cut Flowers, which are still going to be in short supply due to the overwhelming demand this year. I’m still pushing the plants along as quickly as I can, and will cut as many bunches as I can per day.

For this week, I was able to get some more excellent fruit from the market, with Local Blueberries being the new addition. I was also able to find more of the fully ripe, large-sized Peaches that people seemed to like so much. As I’ve been mentioning to people at the stand, the fruit has been quite good this year, with the berries being the real star of the show. Please be sure to check the What’s Available page, to see the complete list of what I’m currently picking, as well as all the goodies I was able to get at the wholesale market.

Lastly, egg demand has remained quite high. The ladies are laying at full speed now, with most of the eggs weighing in at large size. There are certainly fewer XL and Jumbo this year, as compared to last, though I’m not exactly sure why. I suppose the swings in temp could be affecting it somewhat. And, if the current forecast holds for over the weekend, I do expect the predicted high temps of around 90F for Friday and Saturday to slow the chickens down for a couple of days. Production should come right back when the temps drop back down. And to anticipate the question – yes, egg production slows with radical swings in temperature.

So, I suppose that’s about it for this week. My thanks to all those who came by and supported the farm last week. Have a great week.

Farm Update 07-11-19

I’ve been sitting here a few minutes just staring at the screen, wondering what to write. In some ways, doing this is a bit harder than doing the field work. It seems like I’ve said all the things you’ve been reading in the past newsletters over and over again, and I certainly don’t want to do just that. At the same time, what I have to tell you is basically the same thing as those previous newsletters, with maybe a little difference here and there depending on which calamity occurs when, or what cunning plan the chickens devise to have an adventure. Ah well, since I don’t know what else to do, here’s the update.

Planting is continuing at the fastest pace I can manage. As I’ve been telling people, things are running about 3 weeks late, and that hasn’t changed. The work I’m doing now should literally have been done 3 weeks ago. Still, it’s continuing in hopes things will grow out (they should), and also because there is stuff for fall that has to be put in.

For those who have been waiting, I will be picking Snap Peas starting this week. Not sure how much there will be to start, but I will be picking them every couple of days going forward. The Cucumbers and Zucchini are not quite ready yet, but they’re getting really close. And as an added bonus, I will have a very small amount of my own greenhouse grown Tomatoes. Field tomatoes are still going to be a bit yet.

I’ve also been pushing the flowers to get more stems, so with some luck there will be more than a few cut flower bunches this weekend. Gladiolus are still growing, and not yet showing signs of sending out the flower stalk.

Based on the experience last weekend (yes, I know it was a holiday, but still), it seems the two best days to get eggs will be Thursday (when I have quite a few from the previous couple of days), and Monday. I’m a little surprised I sold out as quickly as I did last weekend, but they are really tasty eggs.

Looking at the time I’m going to wrap this up, as I have to get back out into the field. Thanks to all who came by last week. Your support of the farm is greatly appreciated. Have a great week.

Farm Update 07-03-19

Finally got a chance to sit down to get the update out for this week. It’s not going to be a long one due to how late it’s getting and how early I have to get up.

Anyway, I’ve decided to get a good selection of stuff to help fill out the stand for the holiday weekend. Please be sure to check the What’s Available page to see the complete list. For those who can’t wait to find out, I was able to get just a couple of flats of Local Strawberries. Get them while you can.

Around the farm the work is continuing at the fastest continuous pace possible. Things are still running about 3 weeks behind. I’ll explain in next week’s update what exactly that will mean going forward.

The chickens are doing well, though they do not like the sudden heat. This will likely cause a minor slowdown in egg production over the next couple of days, until they can adjust to the warmth. Until then, I’m making them as comfortable as I can, with extra water and a fan to help keep a breeze on them. Don’t worry, they’ll be fine as they had enough energy to stage a minor jailbreak. I got them rounded back up and put back in just as the turkey vultures arrived.

I want to thank all those who came by last week. Your support is greatly appreciated. Have a wonderful 4th of July.

Farm Update 06-26-19

Hi everybody. Can you believe how fast time is flying by this year, that it’s almost July 4th weekend. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not all some sort of Groundhog Day situation. Then I think back to the winter, and… yup, time is just chugging by.

Anyway, things on the farm are coming along. Things are still running about 3 weeks behind in a number of areas, but I don’t think it’s the kind of thing most people will notice, and I’ve worked hard to keep the plants growing even though they are going in the ground late.

There is, of course, a reason for this and it is without the doubt the rather poor weather conditions. Due to the rain/mud, coupled with the late start due to the frozen ground persisting well into the spring there has been some rearranging of plantings, a few losses (timing and conditions), and eliminations of some plantings (insufficient time for plants to grow). So far, the early potatoes have taken the worst hit, with losses of about 75% of what was planted.

Still, work continues and more and more will be available over the next few weeks. Besides that, the chickens seem rather happy, albeit somewhat demanding of treats. Egg production has hit full swing, and egg sizes are now in the “normal” range.

Also, please note that the stand schedule has now gone to the 5-day hours, which are the same as they’ve been the last few years:

Thurs – Sat — 10 – 6
Sun — 10 – 4
Mon — 10 – 6
Tues & Wed — Closed

Can’t think of anything else, though I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Hope to see you all at the stand soon. Have a great week.

Oh, I just remembered. I was unable to get Local Strawberries at the wholesale market, due to the rains preventing harvest. However, I am still trying to arrange to pick some up on Friday, so there is a slight possibility that the stand may open a few minutes late on Friday morning. Thanks for your understanding.

Farm Update 06-21-19

Ok, people. Let’s rundown this week’s update checklist.

Seeds Sprouting – Check
Plants Growing – Check
Chickens Chickening – Check
Rain and Mud – Ughhh

Things are moving along, though a little more behind schedule due to the “liquid sunshine”. I will have Local Strawberries again this week, along with some Sweet Corn that looks pretty good. I will also have my own lettuce, scallions, and kale. Be sure to check out the What’s Available page for the complete list of stuff for this week.

Despite the weather, most crops are still on track to be available at the usual time, though there may be limited availability for a bit longer than usual. Still, at least we’re not in the mid-west, where many farm fields are underwater or so saturated that they can’t be planted at all.

The schedule for the stand will be changing after this weekend, and be going back to the 5 day schedule as of 6/27. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you again.

Anyways, I guess that’s about it for this week. Hope to see you all at the stand soon. Have a great day.