Farm Update 07-27-23

It’s a bit hard to believe that we are almost halfway through summer already. I mean, I certainly feel it, but time really seems to be flying by. And speaking of time moving quickly, there are trees here that normally start dropping leaves in mid-August that have already begun to do so. I’m not sure what that may foretell this year, but the way things are going, I’m not taking it as a good sign. Let’s move on to what’s going on around the farm.

In the fields, and in spite of the sudden, major rain on Tuesday, most plants are doing pretty well. I have lost a considerable amount of the Sweet Corn from the second planting, and am still losing both Cucumber and Zucchini plants to an as yet unidentified pathogen. Not to worry though, as there are still more than enough plants. As a matter of fact, if you are a pickle maker, and are interested in getting larger quantities in the next week or two, please get in touch as I can currently offer a discount for bulk purchases. Beyond that, there will be a good supply of Snap Peas and String Beans, and I may finally be able to harvest the field planted Basil, though that is still a bit of a question mark.

The flower lovers will be rejoicing with news that the Gladiolus have started to bloom. There will probably not be a huge number for this weekend, but as we all know from the past, once they start, there are usually lots blooming in short order. I will also be trying to get regular flower bunches picked again, as there appear to be enough other types ready that I can make nice bunches.

In the coops, the Laying Hens are clucking away and doing their usual chickening. The eggs are now mostly Large size, and I am still working on tweaking the feed to get more XL and Jumbo, which I know are in great demand. The Broiler Chickens are also doing their thing and are making their best attempt to eat me out of house and home. It truly is astounding how much a small critter can eat in a day. This week, there will be both Fresh Whole and Half Chickens, and Frozen Whole Chickens. As I’ve been telling people who asked, as of now I am only planning on getting one more batch of Broiler Chickens this year (they will be arriving on August 8th), and they should be ready around the third, or perhaps the last week of September. If you normally get chickens for over the winter, please keep this in mind.

That’s it for this week. Thank you to everyone who has come by to help support and keep the farm going. And saying that leads me to one last thing, of which I have been forgetful the past couple of weeks, and that is a big Thank You to JR for a very generous donation made to the farm, which will support of ongoing operations. So, with all that said, I hope you all have a wonderful week.

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Farm Update 07-20-23

It’s amazing just how quickly the summer seems to be rolling by this year. I do hope all of you are getting to enjoy it, and given the weather the last couple of days, are taking in some nice sunshine.

With the change in weather, and break from the rains, the fields have begun to dry a bit. I say a bit, because, due to the total amounts of rain we’ve had, the ground is still more or less saturated. To date there have been some losses from the weather, mainly one of the Sweet Corn plantings, but also Cucumber, String Beans, and Zucchini.

Cucumber harvesting is now picking up, and if you make pickles there will be a good supply of Pickling Cucumber, at least this week. There will also be Japanese and Persian Cucumber available. I picked a bunch of String Beans and Snap Peas, and the plants seem to be doing well, so keep an eye out for them.

From the wholesale market I was able to get some Local Plums this week. I also went ahead and got some more Avocados, even though the price is quite high right now. From what I’m hearing and seeing, Avocado prices will probably just keep going up from here on out this year. I was also able to find some more Bing Sweet Cherries this week, and got my hands on Local Tomatoes. A greater amount of Pennsylvania Peaches was acquired for this week, so we’ll see how that goes. My current understanding is that he orchard has a decent, though a little less than average crop this year. While the amounts going forward may be less, as of right now and barring a major disaster, the peaches should be around for the full season.

In the coops, the Laying Hens are doing a wonderful job. Strangely, they’ve been very well behaved and are up to virtually no mischief. It’s weirding me out a bit, as they usually up to something, so I suspect a major event in the near future. The Broiler Chickens have come up to size and the processing has begun. There should be 28 birds available fresh for this week. The ones already processed are between 4 and 5.25lbs, and the next round look to be about the same, so there will only be Whole Chickens available this week. Also, as of right now, I plan to process chickens for the next two weeks, so they will be available fresh during that time. For those looking further into the future, the next round of Broilers should be arriving as day-olds on August 8th, and should be ready sometime mid to late September. As of now, I am not planning a third round, so for those of you who get birds for over the winter, please start thinking about how many you might like to get.

I think that’s it for this week, though it feels like I’m forgetting something. Anyway, I’d like to thank all of you who have been able to come by and help keep the farm going, and I hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 07-13-23

Things are moving along rather quickly these days. While the weather has thrown things into chaos (time-wise), it hasn’t been too bad overall. Still, I would be much happier with a little more sunshine. Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s seemingly always something to complain about. Isn’t that why you’re reading this update, to see what chaos has befallen the operations? Yes, I am joking so let’s move on.

In the field the crops are still growing. They’ve taken a bit of a hit here and there from rain damage, mainly growing a bit slower, though also with some fungal issues now showing up. At this point it’s still under control, but the longer-range forecasts are not necessarily promising. The behavior of the deer this year is rather interesting. They are still jumping in the field and eating all sorts of things including tomato plants. Now that makes this interesting is that tomato plants are toxic to deer, so I’m not really sure why they’re doing it. It’s not the first time, but it is more common this year than I’ve seen before.

In the coops, the Laying Hens are doing just fine. They still constantly complain that they want more treats, but aside from that are generally behaving themselves. The Broiler Chickens are getting quite big given they are only 5 weeks old. They will not be available this week, but the plan is to process for next week, and then the following three weeks. There should be a good range of sizes when I do start processing.

Thankfully there have been no animal interactions this week. The behavior of the animals is still rather odd though, and I do recommend being a bit more cautious than usual should you encounter any of the larger animals in the area.

It’s a bit of a shorter update this week, mainly because I have lots to get back to doing. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 07-06-23

Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth of July and got to enjoy a little of the fireworks that were going off all over. Or perhaps your 4th was like mine, and you were sitting with scared pets/animals. Regardless, I hope everyone had a nice time.

So, the biggest news this week is – PENNSYLVANIA PEACHES. Yes, the now annual favorites are once again available, and while they are still in the firmer stage, they are juicy and have a good flavor. Additionally, Local Sweet Corn, which given it’s the first picking and is on the smaller side, is now available. I was able to find some very nice Washington state Sweet Cherries. Other highlights – Local Blueberries and Local Raspberries are available this week. As I mentioned to quite a few people, Local Strawberries appear to be all but done, so I went ahead and got the Canadian Strawberries that I usually carry a little later in the summer.

My own crops are coming along, and I may even have a couple of handfuls of String Beans this week. While I was hopeful that Cucumber and Zucchini would be ready, it appears they will be another week before I can start picking. Additionally, Snap Peas have begun flowering, so they should not be too long before I can grab some off the plants. Early Potatoes will still be another couple of weeks, so long as I can keep the Colorado Potato Beetles in check.

The Broiler Chickens are getting bigger quick, but they will still be at least another week, and possibly two. The Laying Hens are doing a great job, and are also more or less behaving themselves. The hens are both rather demanding of treats and eating so much feed that I’ve had to limit how much I put in the feeders, as they were eating almost twice as much as usual. I guess they just love the new organic feed I got for them.

In other news, I had another rather interesting run-in with a bear while doing work back at the house. The odd part is that not only did it take quite a bit of encouragement to make the bear go away, but after running a short distance it turned and started coming back toward me. This is the second such type of bear encounter this year, with them continuing toward me, and according to neighbors is not unique to me, as they also needed to provide extra encouragement to stop the bear from advancing. So for those of you who encounter bear on or around your property, please pay a little more attention to their behavior than you otherwise might.

I think that’s it for this week. Thanks to everyone who was able to come by last week, as your support is greatly appreciated. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 06-29-23

Welcome to the official start of the summer season. Please note that this week, due to the July 4th holiday, the farm stand will be open extra days, with the full schedule for this week being:

Fri (6/30) 10 – 6
Sat (7/01) 10 – 6
Sun (7/02) 10 – 4
Mon (7/03) 10 – 4
Tue (7/04) 10 – 4

In terms of general information, the weather has now become an impediment, with the extended overcast conditions contributing to much slower plant growth. That said, things are still growing, and there are crops that will be producing shortly. The Zucchini and Cucumber are now flowering and should start setting fruit in a week or so. Kale is now big enough to harvest, though there will be limited amounts to start. The Snap Peas and String Beans have not yet begun to blossom, so it’ll be at least a couple of weeks for those.

As for items brought in, there are a few more local crops that became available this week. Local Strawberries will be available, though I was only able to get a few flats. Sweet Corn, currently from New Jersey, will also be available but in limited supply, and I may be able to get Connecticut Sweet Corn at some point over the weekend. Just as a heads up, the Sweet Corn is quite expensive this year, as is most of the fruit. Local Raspberries should be available shortly. For those waiting on news of the Pennsylvania Peaches, they will be available in the not too distant future, though no specific date was yet given.

The Laying Hens are doing well, and are producing at full speed. The average egg sizes are also still increasing, so there should be more XL and Jumbo, though still not huge amounts per week. The Broiler Chickens are getting big in a hurry, but it will still be a couple more weeks before they will be ready.

One last item, which is more of a request. Due to the higher credit card and other electronic payment fees, I am asking, if at all possible, to please pay with cash. With the prices of most items near or already at all-time highs, I do not want to have to increase prices just to cover the increased additional fees incurred by electronic payments. I will, of course, still accept electronic payments.

That’s it for now. I hope you all have a great week and a fantastic July 4th.

Farm Update 06-22-23

So, let’s start with not exactly bad news, but just news. I was unable to get Local Strawberries this week. Yes, yes, I know. They should be available, and to some extent they are, but the weather this past week didn’t cooperate when it came to ripening the current batch, and there were simply not enough for the berry farm to wholesale out.

With that news out of the way, let’s do a quick recap of what’s been happening here, and what will be happening in the near future. For general news, the work on the farm is continuing along with the usual animal encounters and equipment breakdowns one would expect. As side note, the first bear sighting of the year was made on Wednesday, 6/21, and the small bear, probably 1 or 2 year old, was quickly shooed back into the woods.

Crops are still being planted, and the ones in the ground are generally doing well. The exceptions to this are the Cucumbers, with the Pickling Cucumbers suffering the worst. Not sure what caused the problem, but it seems to be environmental and likely related to something in the rains we got last week.

The news from the market was that regional Sweet Corn should be available for July 4th weekend. Additionally, more and more local crops will be coming available over the next 2 weeks or so. I was able to get a good supply of Local Snap Peas this week.

The Laying Chickens are doing a great job, and are more or less behaving themselves. They still cause the usual amount of mischief, but nothing worthy of noting. The Broiler Chickens are growing at a tremendous rate right now, and will likely be moved from their current home to their main coop next week. If they continue on at the same rate, then Fresh Chicken will be available around mid-July.

Regarding the schedule for the July 4th holiday weekend, I have decided that the farm stand will be open extra days to accommodate the extra long holiday. The stand will be open 10 – 4 on BOTH Monday 7/3 and Tuesday 7/4.

That’s it for now. A big thanks to all who were able to come by this past week and help support the farm. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 06-15-23

Hi everyone, I hope all of you are doing well. As I’m sure many of you have figured out, this is the opening weekend for the farm stand. The general schedule for this season will be the same as the last couple of years:

Fri & Sat 10 – 6
Sun 10 – 4

I’m still debating what the hours for the upcoming July 4th weekend will be, and will probably make a decision after talking to people this weekend.

Work in the field is progressing fairly well. The rains have slowed things a bit, but quite a bit is still being accomplished. The weather has been interesting to say the least. A small piece of weather info from over the winter, my weather station, which since 2015 had recorded a record wind speed gust of 55mph, recorded an increasing series of stronger and stronger wind gusts, with the eventual new record for the station being set on March 16th, with a recorded wind gust of 97.5mph. Like I said, interesting, because at the time there were no announcements from the NWS about severe winds. The silver lining is, at least it didn’t happen during the middle of the summer.

Anyway, the work continues, as does the tending of the animals. I have both Laying Chickens and Broiler Chickens right now. The Broilers will be available sometime around mid-July. The Laying Hens have been doing a great job, while also being up to their normal mischief, and are producing bigger and bigger eggs each week. There should be a good supply of all the egg sizes, except Jumbo, which are always fewer and farther between. I have switched to a new organic feed supplier for the Laying Hens and am currently very pleased with the results.

Most of the Preserve types are now made and ready, with the exception of Cranberry. It’ll likely be a couple of weeks before I get to making it. I will have some Honey on hand, and am coordinating to get Maple Syrup.

There will be a pretty good spread of items at the stand this week, including some Locally Grown veggies. As far as the complete list that I’ll have, please check the What’s Available page for specifics. Much of my own stuff will still be a few weeks away, but there are a few things ready for this week. Next week, I should be able to get Local Strawberries, and if the weather holds up there should be at least New Jersey, and maybe even Connecticut Sweet Corn for July 4th weekend.

While I’m sure I am forgetting to mention things, as my brain is being drawn in too many directions at once with all the things I have to remember to do, I think these are all the major points I need to announce for this week. Looking forward to see you all soon. Have a great week.

2023 Spring Update

Welcome to the eighth season of the farm. I hope everyone has had a nice winter and spring. I’m sure a good few of you have noticed the lack of earlier Spring updates. Well, that’s because for the most part it’s just been operations as usual here on the farm, and I find it rather tedious to just keep repeating the same old thing over and over again. That said, it certainly is time that I let everyone know the opening date – Friday, June 16th – this season.

To provide the abridged version of goings-on:
– Seeds have been started in the greenhouses since early March.
– Nice weather in March allowed me to get an earlier than usual start on field work.
– April bad weather stopped most of the outdoor work.
– Availability and logistical issues with chickens (both layer and broiler) have been an ongoing problem

As far as the chickens go, I do have the Laying Hens who are already producing eggs. If you would like to purchase some before the farm stand opens, please text or call 518-728-9344 to arrange a time to come by.

Given the continuing frosts, fragile plants will not be going in the ground until after Memorial Day weekend, while others have or are already being planted. As is usual, even after I open the stand, in the beginning most items will be brought in from other farms, both Local and beyond.

That’s it for now. When I have more news, or in the immediate lead up to opening, I’ll be sure to get you all another update. Hope everyone has a great week.

Farm Update 10-05-22

It’s coming down to the wire now, with just this weekend to round out the season. It also looks like the leaves will be right around peak color for the weekend, at least in the Jewett valley. And the weather sure has gone from summer to late fall/early winter with the temps as low as they’ve been. Thankfully the forecast for the weekend was updated and is now no longer calling for possible snow showers on Saturday morning.

Please note that the farm stand will be OPEN on Monday 10/10 from 10-4. This is also the last day the stand will be open for the season.

In the field it’s now a matter of getting things ready for winter. The weather has made it virtually impossible to dig any additional Potatoes, though if I can get them out of the ground in a timely fashion I may pack them into 5 and 10 pound bags and send out an update, so be sure to check out the What’s Available page and keep an eye out for future updates. As had been the procedure for a number of years now, I will keep the What’s Available page updated until a little before Christmas, so if there is something you would like to get that I still have, please feel free to get in touch to arrange a time to come by the farm.

There will be Fresh and Frozen Chicken available this weekend, and this will be the last of the Fresh Chickens for the season. The Laying Chickens are doing great, and about half of them will be around on the farm until some time in December. The rest are being re-homed to a farm I’ve dealt with in the past, since they are looking for extra hens, and in December the others will join them at the other farm.

As of right now I have all the types of Preserves except Cranberry, and I don’t think I’ll have time to make it before the weekend. I was able to get the Strawberry-Rhubarb made last week, and it sold quite well. Many of the other Preserves are running low; so if you are looking to stock up, don’t wait. Again, after the stand closes, you can always check the What’s Available page to see if I have any what you may be looking for, and then get in touch with me.

That’s it for this week. I would like to thank all of you who have come by and helped support the operation of the farm. Have a great week, and if I am not going to be seeing you until next season, have a wonderful winter.

Farm Update 09-28-22

It’s coming down to the end of the season. Two more weekends left to go, and from what I’m seeing in the long-range forecast, it will be just in time. To be more specific, the last day the farm stand will be open for this season will be Monday, October 10th (Hours: 10 – 4), which is the Monday of Columbus Day weekend. As I’ve been doing for the last few years, I will continue to update the What’s Available page until right before Christmas, for those looking for Preserves, Eggs, or what frozen Chickens I may have left.

As was mentioned above, the current forecasts are showing temps cold enough not just for frost, but the serious possibility of a solid freeze over the next few nights. A heavy frost this time of year isn’t really surprising, given this is a mountaintop area, but a real freeze this early would be a little bit odd.

Given the forecast temps, I am doing what I can to get as much out of the field as I can. I’m still having some difficulty getting the Potatoes dug, because the ground is now so wet, but I’m hoping to be able to get even more dug out for this weekend and the next. The cold temps will also end almost everything else in the field, including the flowers, which have hung on far longer than I expected.

This week there are some different Apple varieties, with the appearance of regular season Macintosh Apples, plus Fuji, and Empire. I was also able to get some more Bartlett Pears, since they have been quite popular.

As of the time of the writing of this update, I have not yet been able to get the Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves made, but I should be able to get them done before this weekend. Unfortunately, I will not have time to make any more Cranberry before the stand closes, though I may make some if there is any interest.

That’s it for this week. Please make note of the farm stand schedule and hours mentioned above. If you have any questions about product availability going forward, you can stop by, text, call, or email. Hope you all have a great week.