Farm Update 05-15-20

Hi everyone. Let me start off by providing the most important news. The farm stand opening will be delayed until June 12th (6/12/20). The decision to delay the opening is not being made lightly, but given the extreme cold, and continuing snowfalls, I am simply going to need more time to get the springtime work done. I don’t want to have a repeat of last year’s backlog of work.

Additionally, the farm stand schedule, starting 6/12 will be:

Fri 10 – 6
Sat 10 – 6
Sun 10 – 4

This will be the operating schedule for the entire season, including for July and August. I sincerely hope that the shortened schedule will still work for most people.

In regards to the CSA-style boxes of veg I mentioned previously, I am still planning on doing them and will have even more information about them posted in the next update. To provide a little more color about them, they will be boxes of mixed veg (mine or brought in depending on availability), suitable for 2 people for a long weekend or so. The generic list of items (which may change or vary slightly) in a box:

Lettuce
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Green Peppers
Zucchini
Russet Potatoes
Broccoli
Carrots
Onions (Yellow and Red)
Garlic
Scallions
Celery

The boxes will be for pick-up only, and be available on Fridays (note – depending on demand and requests, a second order/pick-up date might be added). Orders would have to be placed online and pre-paid, with a cut-off of Wednesday evening (probably 10pm-ish). Beyond the boxes, I am also planning on offering a number of additional items for pre-order and pick-up, including other veg, mushrooms, bags of kale or spinach, 5# bags of red or yukon gold potatoes, preserves, honey, maple syrup, and maybe eggs too. But like I said, more info will be coming in the next update.

In regular farm news, the greenhouses are quickly filling with plants, the chickens are doing their thing and have just started laying, additional projects are being worked on, and I’m generally staying bundled up, because it’s damn cold outside. I am also working on getting a small meat chicken operation up and running (more info on this in a future update).

Lastly, when you come to visit the farm you will notice a number of changes, and some new (hopefully temporary) rules. These changes are not being made by choice, with the most impactful not as a result of either federal or state mandates, but rather insurance company requirements.

There are now multiple sets of gates to limit access to the farm. DO NOT open or pass through a gate that you have not been authorized to go through.

Aside from the farm stand area, all farm buildings, greenhouses, structures, and animal pens will be strictly off-limits.

While I used to maintain extra insurance policy coverage so people could wander around the field, the provision was removed, so this means no walking in the field this year. I really liked being able to let people walk around and check things out, so hopefully I’ll be able to get this coverage again in the future.

I think that’s about it for this update. A special thank you to all those who provided feedback to the questions in the last update. My apologies for the delay in opening for the season and for the imposition of the new, hopefully temporary rules. And if you need additional information, or have questions please feel free to contact me.

Farm Update 04-21-20

Hi everyone. I hope you all have had a generally nice winter and that you are all currently healthy. I’d like to start this season’s updates by thanking those who have gotten in contact with me to check up and make sure I’m doing okay. I sincerely appreciate your concern.

In regards to the farm, the work, as usual, continued through the winter, albeit at a much slower pace. I was able to get a couple of days off this year, which was quite nice. At this point work has been ramping up into the normal springtime craziness, with a little added difficulty due to business closures, reduced hours, and the lack of availability of certain items. That being said, I have most everything I need to at least get into full swing for the season.

Now, there will be some changes for this season, and I am not talking about just in relation to the current health issues. The one that will be most impactful will be a change in the farm stand operating hours. I have not yet finalized the schedule, and I am doing my best to figure out changes that will be the least disruptive. The pending schedule will likely be included in the next update that should come out in a couple of weeks. The schedule will also depend on what the feds, state, county, and local officials dictate.

There will also be changes to the crop lineup, which will be posted to the site on the 2020 Crops page. The biggest change is that I will not be doing bunched field flowers this year, however I will still be planting Gladiolus and Sunflowers. And for those who will invariably ask, yes, I will be planting Sweet Corn.

Other changes will be the addition of one new greenhouse and the conversion of two older ones (and maybe two new ones) to field use as hot house tunnels for attempted early crops of Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Zucchini, and String Beans. I say attempted, because there are no guarantees when growing things here on the mountaintop.

Chickens are due on April 27th. Once they get settled in it will hopefully only be a couple of weeks before they start laying regularly. Given the number of people who have contacted me about them, I will start egg sales as soon as I can. I have not started any kind of list, nor do I intend to, so please hold off asking to be added to one. If this changes it will be noted in a subsequent update prior to being implemented.

I’m also looking at bringing in some other grocery type items to compliment the offerings at the stand. Not the easiest thing to do, given that I’m a tiny, seasonal operation, but I’m working on it. I would appreciate feedback on this, not so much for specific items, but more if it would be of any interest at all.

So all that leads me to some questions, for which I really do need feedback. Given the current virus concerns, I am considering shortening the general open schedule for the stand even further and having one day be for pick ups only. This would be for pre-ordered “CSA-style” boxes of mixed veg, with the ability to add other grocery items, eggs, maple syrup, honey, and preserves to the order. I need to know if there is enough interest in this for me to take the time to set it up, since I would have to create a virtual storefront in order to make it work. And along the same line, since I can currently get produce from the wholesale markets, would there be enough interest for me to start a once a week online order for pick up right now. If you would, please email me at farmer@scribnerhollowfarm.com with what you think of these ideas, and/or if you have any other general suggestions or comments.

Aside from all that there are the usual goings on about the farm. My annual visiting Canada Geese (Bonnie and Clyde) have returned again this year. I also have a more recent, semi-regular visiting hen turkey, who I named Henrietta. She is quite interested in the farm, and takes every opportunity to peek into and conduct thorough inspections of all the buildings that are opened up during the day. Other animals have been fewer and farther between, with the coyotes only making rare, unwelcome visits.

I suppose that’s about it for this update. Looking forward to getting your feedback and eventually seeing all of you sometime soon. Take care.

Farm Update 10-10-19

Well, the final weekend of the 2019 season is upon us. I hope most of you got to take in the foliage over the last two weeks, as it’s mostly done here now (at least in most of the Jewett valley)

With Halloween approaching, don’t forget to pick up a nice carving pumpkin, or grab a bunch of gourds for fall decoration. There are still a whole bunch of different Local Apples. I was able to dig potatoes this week, and will continue to do so over the weekend. I was able to harvest Red, Yukon Gold, Adirondack Blue, and mini White Potatoes. Be sure to check out the What’s Available page for the complete listing for the weekend.

Oh, and I was able to arrange for some of my sister’s Magic Cookie Bars. Last chance to get them until the late spring.

For those who regularly get eggs, I will definitely be keeping the chickens until about the middle of November. If you would like to get eggs after the stand closes, please contact me at the number shown to the right and we can arrange a time for pick up. The same goes for people looking for preserves.

The schedule for this last week is as follows:

Fri 10/11 — 10 – 6
Sat 10/12 — 10 – 6
Sun 10/13 — 10 – 4
Mon 10/14 — 10 – 6 (Last Day)

Hope to see lots of you this weekend. Have a great week, and fun holiday.

Farm Update 10-03-19

The end of the season is rapidly approaching. Just these last two weeks to go, and probably not a bit too soon, given the forecast temp for Friday night/Saturday morning is 31F. I fully expect it to be the usual 5 – 7 degrees colder here than whatever the forecast predicts.

The effects of the earlier freeze, there’s not a whole lot left in the field to pick, but I’m doing what I can. Sadly late-planting Potatoes, much like the earlier ones, do not look like they did very well. I did find a bunch, and will continue digging as the weather permits. Please check the What’s Available page for more specific listings.

Pumpkins, both orange and white, along with decorative gourds are available.

The schedule for the final two weeks will be as follows:

Fri 10/4 — 10 – 6
Sat 10/5 — 10 – 6
Sun 10/6 — 10 – 4

Mon 10/7 – Thurs 10/10 — Closed

Fri 10/11 — 10 – 6
Sat 10/12 — 10 – 6
Sun 10/13 — 10 – 4
Mon 10/14 — 10 – 6 (Last Day)

Beyond the 14th, eggs and preserves will still be available by advance order and scheduled pick up time. I’m currently planning on having the chickens until about the middle of November.

To answer the question I get toward the end of each season – yes, I am planning on being here again next year. Next week’s will be the last regular update for the season. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support of the farm.

Farm Update 09-26-19

There’s good news, and there’s bad news (and this news isn’t related to the farm, so don’t worry). The good news is, as a result of the very early freeze we had last week, the leaves are turning, and they are beautiful colors. The bad news is, at the rate they are turning and falling off the trees, peak leaf-peeping will likely be done on the mountaintop by the end of this week.

Around the farm, things are also wrapping up very quickly. The big announcement, which some heard about last weekend, is the stand will be closing two weeks ahead of the previously planned closing date. The new last day of season for this year is going to be October 14th, which is the Monday of Columbus Day weekend.

I will be keeping the chickens for a time after closing, to stockpile eggs for myself, so there will be eggs available by advance order. You can reach me by phone or text at the number listed to the right. What preserves I have left will also be available.

There are pumpkins. Not as many as I’d like to have, especially of my own, but I have Munchkin, Pie, and Carving pumpkins available. Sadly, due to the freeze, the planned U-pick pumpkin patch will not be happening this year. Let’s hope for a better time next year.

I keep adding Local Apple varieties as they become available. This week’s new Locally Grown additions are Fuji and Fortune (a tangy-tart cooking apple). And I made sure to get more Macoun apples, just to keep everyone who likes them happy. They seem to have a very large and devoted following.

Looking ahead, I see that the long range forecast is currently calling for low temps right down around freezing for next weekend. Given the difference from the forecast temps to what they actually are on the ground here, I think it may well wind up being a hard freeze. In addition, there have been lots of wild apple and acorns this year, and the old rule of thumb is when those trees produce prolific fruit it will be a much colder and longer cold winter than usual. Time to finish stocking up on firewood.

I guess that’s it for this week, though I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of stuff I meant to mention. Hope everyone has a great week.

Farm Update 09-20-19

30.6F…

It took me a minute to process that number when I saw it on Thursday morning. 30.6F on Sept 19th. Not much better this morning either, with the weather station currently showing 32.7F.

My apologies this update didn’t come out yesterday, but I got a little sidetracked. It took me a little longer than I thought it would to catalog the damage from the temps, and when I finished, I simply wasn’t in the mood to write anything.

Long story short, about 60% of the non-hardy plants were outright killed by the freeze, while the rest took major damage. Some of the sturdier plants also suffered from the cold, with even some of the cabbage plants showing damage to the leaves. Plants still in the greenhouses were fine.

Given the widespread damage done to so many things so early in the fall, I may wind up changing the last day of season, bringing it forward a couple of weeks to Columbus Day Monday. I’m not sure just yet, but will be making a final decision soon.

I still have a good bit of stuff available now, so please check the What’s Available page for the current list.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Farm Update 09-12-19

I think this will be a very short update this week, as I don’t have much of anything new to pass along, other than the schedule change for the fall.

The weather, despite the random odd day, has cooled off considerably, and even to the point that there is a small possibility of frost tonight. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

The selection of crops is slowly dwindling, though there will be quite a few varieties of Local Apples, for those looking to try something a little different. I was able to get some more Blueberries and Peaches, but no Strawberries this week. For those with a sweet tooth, I also arranged with my sister to have Magic Cookie Bars for the weekend.

That’s pretty much all that’s new and different. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 09-04-19

Labor Day is here and gone, and I can hardly believe it. As strange as this may sound, it went too quick. Ah well, such is the way of the world. Now to move onto the fall work, and then get ready to put things to bed for the winter.

Apples, more specifically Local Apples are the order of the weekend. I was able to get Honeycrisp, Gala, Macintosh, Zestar, and Initial. For those who can’t let go of summer just yet, I was able to get some Peaches, Strawberries, and Local Blueberries (pretty sure these are ending soon). I’ll also have a bunch of my own stuff, so please be sure to check the What’s Available page to see the complete list for the weekend.

The stand schedule will be changing after this weekend, and will go back to Friday – Sunday. This week the stand is still open on the summer schedule (Thursday – Monday).

Thanks to everyone for coming by and supporting the farm. I hope those of you who were here for the summer had a great time, and that everyone has a wonderful week.

Farm Update 08-28-19

Labor Day weekend is here, whether we’re ready for it or not. I suppose I am, though there is still so much to be done. Despite the very low temps we had last week, 37F according to the weather station here on the farm, there was no smell of fall in the air. I think that’s about to change soon, given the number of leaves I’ve recently spotted coming off some trees, but the it’s not here yet.

I was able to dig some of the later-planted potatoes this week, so I will have some more Adirondack Blue and also some Red Norland. Not great harvests (that is pretty much the trend this year), but I’ve got some. I should have some Sweet Corn for over the weekend. Besides that there’s not much else new that’ll be ready this week on the farm. Please check out the What’s Available page for more specific information.

The chickens are doing their thing. They have been enjoying some time in the outer fenced in yard, where they can really forage around and check things out, not to mention scratch more effectively for worms. Despite my best efforts they still do not want to lay Jumbo sized eggs. Guess I can’t blame them, given the sizes of the eggs they have laid.

I took a look in the pumpkin patch, and in spite of the poor growing season there do seem to be at least some pumpkins. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they keep growing.

There are still Gladiolus being picked each day, and I also have Dwarf Sunflowers available. The larger Sunflowers are suffering the same problem as the others, and just don’t want to grow beyond a certain point.

Some of the preserves are running low or are almost gone for the season. They are also listed on the What’s Available page for those interested. I am not planning on making any additional batches this season, as I just do not have the time.

That’s about it for this update. Thanks to all those who have come by and supported the farm. Hope everyone has a great week and a happy and fun-filled Labor Day weekend.

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.