Farm Update 10-11-18

Hi everyone. Well, peak foliage came and went very quickly this year, but those who were in the area last weekend had some very nice colors to enjoy. The upcoming weekend looks to see some much colder weather, with forecasts for the weekend showing the possibility of freezing temps and even some snow showers on Saturday morning. This will have obvious consequences for what will be available going forward.

For those wondering, the tentative last day is still October 28th, with the hope that I’ll be able to get something organized to extend the season a bit further. No promises though.

AROUND THE FARM
Preparations are being made for the coming cold weather, though there is only so much I can do to really stop it from damaging the crops in the field. We’ve been quite lucky to have not even seen a real frost yet this year, though the forecasts are indicating we may simply skip that and go right to freezing. So, I’ll be covering what I can, in hopes that it will prevent the worst of the damage.

The work on the greenhouses is still continuing, taking much longer than I anticipated, mainly due to other things popping up that require my immediate attention. Such is the nature of work on the farm. It reminds me of something said a while back on the show Alaska the Last Frontier, when Otto said he is basically forever stopping to do something, while on his way to do something, while on his way to do something, while on his way to do what was originally supposed to be getting done. It’s kinda like that.

IN THE FIELD
The last of the Sugar Baby Watermelons have now been picked. There will be just a few available this weekend. Also, if the forecast holds, expect this to be the last weekend where I have fragile crops like Peppers and Eggplant. Tomatoes from the field had already been slowing, and will likely end this week. There are just a few of the Tomatoes in the greenhouse that are coming ready, though I am pushing them harder now.

Other colder weather crops should be okay. And I will be picking up some items from other farms for this weekend as well. Please check the What’s Available page tomorrow to see the most up-to-date list of crops I’ll have for sale.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens are still laying a good amount of eggs. The eggs have been running slightly to the larger sizes, with the majority of eggs being XL.

The ladies seem to be enjoying the somewhat cooler weather, though they really still don’t like the rain. I guess it’ll be a bit of a shocker to them when the much colder weather comes in the weekend.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
As mentioned above, the tentative last day is scheduled to be Sunday Oct 28th. If you are looking to get any preserves for over the winter, then that’s the date you need to remember. And while I may yet have the stand open longer, the 28th is the last confirmed day to be opened.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 10-04-18

Fall is in the air. Or it would be, if it was actually cold this week. Of course, the cold temps this past weekend were just enough to push the foliage into changing, with the colors becoming more vibrant each day. Looks like it will be perfect timing for peak foliage this weekend with the holiday giving people extra time to check things out.

Due to the holiday, the stand hours will be extended this week. Hours for the week will be:

Fri & Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4
Mon: 10 – 6

AROUND THE FARM
The work on the greenhouses is progressing, but taking a bit longer than I had hoped. This is also leading to a delay in getting the cottage fixed up for a “winter” farm stand location. While I am still hoping to get it done, I am not making any promises.

IN THE FIELD
The cold temps, down to 35F over last weekend did cause some problems with the more fragile crops, though thankfully no frost. Basil looks like it took the worst of the damage, though there should still be some from the field available this week. Other items will be in somewhat shorter supply.

I’ll be digging potatoes as I can, though the on and off rain has been making the task take much longer than it should.

FROM THE COOP
All the ladies are doing well. The big excitement this week was the return of the hawk, which has been intentionally scaring the chickens. They at least know enough to take shelter in their secure pen and the coop.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
As mentioned above, there will be extra hours this week.

I have also gotten some additional items from other local farms, as well as some from even further away. Please check the What’s Available page for specifics on what I was able to get for this week.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 09-27-18

It’s been a very busy week so far. I’ve been doing quite a bit of work around the farm, as well as dealing with other farms in order to get some new items and fill in some stuff that I should have, but don’t due to issues with the weather.

AROUND THE FARM
I am finally attending to all kinds of work that had been put off over the course of the summer. Most of it is small stuff that wouldn’t be noticed unless you were around the buildings on a regular basis, but it is work that I’ve wanted to get done for some time now.

The new poly tunnel greenhouse is now built, though I do have to finish installing the equipment. I was waiting on some components until too late Thursday evening, so I’ll get them put in as soon as I can. I think the weather will stay warm enough for long enough that it won’t be an issue. I also managed to move one of the other greenhouses to a temporary storage location.

IN THE FIELD
More of the summer crops are coming to an end, so please be sure to check out the What’s Available page, as well as looking in the General Info section below to see what Locally Grown items I’ve been able to get for this week.

It looks like the Gladiolus are coming to an end. I am hoping to have some for this weekend, but I don’t think they’ll make it to Columbus Day. As long as we don’t get an actual frost (we came real close last week), there should be at least a few bunches of Field Flowers available.

There should be a few more Cantaloupes this weekend, and if I feel confident enough in picking them out, even a few Sugar Baby Watermelons. I found one the other day that had a soft spot, so I figured I’d try it to see if it was sweet. Short answer, yes it was. Been quite a few years since I’ve had watermelon.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens are chickening. Well, I’m sure you know what I mean. They are just being normal chickens, without too much added drama. The flock of wild turkey that wander about the property have been coming closer and closer to the pen, I’m guessing to check things out. Or maybe they smell the feed and want to see if they can get some too. Either way, the chickens aren’t quite sure what to make of them and usually start squawking in alarm while retreating into the coop.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
As I stated above, I’ve been working getting some items in from other farms to help fill out the selection at the stand. These items will all be labeled as “Locally Grown”.

For this week, I was able to get an additional size of Carving Pumpkin, as well as a very few White Pumpkins. The farmer who I’ve been getting the other pumpkins from was kind enough to hold some of the white ones aside for me. The same farmer also had some decorative Indian Corn bundles, which I also decided to get for the stand.

I got some Winter Squash (Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti), Broccoli, and Cauliflower to help fill in the selection of fall items.

For the fruit lovers there are several pieces of good news. I was able to get 1 flat of the last of the season’s locally harvested Blueberries. Like my Peaches, when they’re gone, they’re gone. And the last couple of items I was able to get are Hudson Valley grown Apples (Fuji and Cortland for this week).

The schedule is still the same as last week:

Fri and Sat 10 – 6
Sun 10 – 4

This will change next week due to the holiday, when I will also be open on the Monday, but more on that in the next update.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 09-20-18

Hi everyone. Apologies for the update coming late and it’ll be a short one, but I’ve been quite busy, even with the extra day closed. Seems right now like there are at least a million and one things to do, and every time I get a few projects done there are twice as many new ones being added to the list.

It’s also quite obviously moving into Fall as the trees up on the mountains are starting to change color. Given the current forecasts, I’m also expecting to see frost this weekend.

AROUND THE FARM
The new poly tunnel greenhouse is almost complete. I still have to get the equipment for it, but aside from that I just have to get the doors finished and it’s ready to start using. Based on the forecasts I’d say it’s just in time too.

Most of the other projects I’m working on are all back-of-house type things that most people won’t see, so there’s no point in going into them.

IN THE FIELD
As I’ve been telling people, summer crops will be fading out and fall ones will be coming in. Or at least as many as made it through the crazy weather that started in late July.

The pumpkin crop was so poor again this year that I have once again decided to bring in pumpkins from a local farm. They will be available starting this weekend.

Winter Squash (Acorn and Butternut) will be coming available soon as well, I just have to go through and see what’s ready. And for those who don’t want to give up on summer, it looks like I may have a few more cantaloupes. Peaches are, unfortunately, done for the season. I hope you all were able to get enough of them to be happy. There were only a few apples this year, so hopefully it’ll be a better season for them next year.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens have been a little off of late. They had been getting more and more agitated ahead of the hurricane remnants that passed by, but they haven’t gotten any calmer since it went by. They have been going at one another, pecking and fighting, enough so that I have had to separate some of the chickens into crates for a time as a sort of chicken jail. I’ve also had to take the time to make sure that two other chickens, who are being suddenly kept away from the feeders and waterers, are actually getting enough of each. I’m not sure what the problem is, but it is not a happy time in the coop.

Aside from that, the chickens are still laying at the same rate, so there will be a good supply of eggs.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
I can’t think of anything else to add for this update, except to remember that the hours had changed, and are now:

Fri & Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 09-13-18

With the number of leaves I see falling each day and increasing number of trees that are changing color, I’m pretty sure we’re past summer. Thankfully, we dodged a bullet last Saturday night and did not have a frost. That would have been quite bad. The longer range forecasts are also not currently showing low enough lows for a frost, but I think we all know that that could be changed at any moment.

AROUND THE FARM
Work is progressing on the next poly-tunnel greenhouse, with the frame now mostly built. A few more hours of work should finish that, and then it just needs to be skinned with plastic and have the equipment added.

Besides the greenhouses, Fall work is moving along. There is always quite a bit of maintenance and clean up this time of year, and it’s no different this year.

IN THE FIELD
Generally the crops that are in the ground are doing well. I’m still not seeing any Green Peppers, along with very few full-sized Eggplant. For some reason this year, they did not want to produce fruit, though the plants are large and healthy.

I know people are starting to think about the Fall crops. Once again, the Pumpkin situation is not happy. As much as I don’t want to, I am looking into bringing in Pumpkins again this year. Winter Squash seem to be fairing a bit better, with the exception of Spaghetti Squash, which were drowned by the rains in late July and early August (I’ll be working on contouring the land to keep that from happening again). The late season Cabbage and Carrots are growing, though not as quickly as I’d like. And last on the list are Potatoes, which aside from being unable to dig on a regular basis due to the wet weather, are fairing pretty well.

The Gladiolus are still in bloom, though they have been knocked about a bit by the weather. There should be solid availability this week, with the supply starting to fade after that.

Peaches will be available again this week, though the supply on the trees is dwindling rapidly. I’d think they’ll be completely done by next week. For those who are wondering, the Peaches have been fantastic this year, so get ’em while you can.

Remember, it is Fall so crop availability will be changing rapidly. Please be sure to check the What’s Available page from time to time to keep current.

FROM THE COOP
Knock on wood, things are going pretty well. The bald eagle decided to make several passes by the coop last week. The chickens thankfully know that they can retreat into their enclosed pen for safety, and did so as soon as they saw the eagle coming.

A flock of wild Turkey decided to pay the chickens a visit and see what was what on Monday. Neither group seemed to know what to make of the other, and eventually the chickens decided to start shouting for me to come and get rid of the bigger birds. By the way, it’s nice to see Turkey back around. The local flocks had taken quite beating at the hands of the Coyotes over the past few years. The flock that has been around the farm used to be 17 adult birds, but was reduced to 1 as of two years ago. The ones that paid a visit recent were 3 adult hens and 3 turklets (yes, I know they are called poults, but I prefer turklets).

OTHER GENERAL INFO

The latest batch of Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves is now available. For those wondering, I have no plans to make more jam for at least the next 3 weeks, as I have too many other Fall projects to complete.

The schedule for this week is the same as the last:

9/13 – 9/16
Thurs – Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4

However, in order to get the work done that I need to, as we head quickly into Fall, I’ve decided to cut the hours back earlier than usual this year. The schedule for the following weeks will be:

9/17 and beyond
Fri & Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4

I apologize for the short notice on the schedule change, but I had been trying to figure out a way to stay open on Thursdays.

Keep an eye out for other changes and crop availability.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 09-06-18

It’s before just daybreak, and another day on the farm is starting. The swings in weather this year have been a little on the wild side, and caused a good bit of mayhem with the crops and animals. Makes me wonder if the Farmers Almanac will be right about this coming winter. Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

AROUND THE FARM
Work is progressing slowly on the new poly tunnels I’m trying to get built. Between changing up growing methods like this, plus the extra work with seeding and potting the additional crops, not to mention still playing catch up after all the rains from late July (yes, there is still residual work resulting from dealing with all that water) I may shorten the farm stand schedule sooner than Columbus Day weekend. I’ll make a decision on that in the next day or so and post an update if there will be a change.

I’m also trying to secure temporary use of one of the cottages, so I can move the stand into an actual building once we get past pumpkin season. More on that in future updates.

IN THE FIELD
Some things are ending, or will be shortly, and other crops are just about ready. Looks like there will be a few Snap Peas for this weekend. They should produce much better next week though, so don’t expect piles of them this week. Other lettuce, besides Green Leaf, should be making an appearance again shortly as well. Winter squash are still going to be a couple of weeks yet, and the news from the Pumpkin patch is not so good. As much as I don’t want to, I may have to bring in Pumpkins again this year.

While sunflowers are now already done, the Gladiolus are blooming beautifully. I’m not sure how long they’ll last, and I’ll do my best to keep them going as long as I can, but if you like them, get them while you can. Dried flower bunches will be at least a couple of weeks from now.

FROM THE COOP
The ladies are generally doing well. I added some outside lights to their pen, so when I let them out in the morning, they can actually see where they are going.

A few are also still dealing with foot issues that developed as a result of the rains. I’m treating them as I find the problems and most all have made fast recoveries.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
Jam lovers please make note that Strawberry-Rhubarb will be available again soon. It is without doubt the fastest selling preserve I make, with the last batch selling out in 2 1/2 days. I am not sure how many batches of jam I will be making as we go into the Fall, so get them when they’re here.

The schedule has changed from the peak summer one to post Labor Day, with current hours being:

Early Fall Schedule
Thurs – Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4
Mon – Wed: Closed

Keep an eye out for further schedule changes and crop availability.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 08-30-18

Hi everyone. Can you all believe we’re headed into Labor Day weekend? The time has absolutely flown by this summer. Of course, my days have all been blurred together for some time now, and I have to rely on my trusty watch to tell me the day of the week. There is also a downside to the rapidly approaching month of September, as along with it comes the F-word. Instances will be here sooner than we all want them to be, according to the Farmers Almanac. Ah well, nothing like being almost completely at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Please remember, the farm stand schedule will be changing following Labor Day. The early Fall schedule this year will be:

Early Fall Schedule
Thurs – Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 10 – 4
Mon – Wed: Closed*

* (I am trying to figure out the best way to do some self-serve items on these days. More info in the next update.)

AROUND THE FARM
The new poly tunnels will have to wait another week or so, as there have been too many other priority projects that needed attention. And for the curious, general planning has already begun for next year.

IN THE FIELD
I’m not going to be speculating on Winter crops, so we’ll just have to see what comes of it all. After all the bad weather earlier in the season, I am NOT of the opinion that it will be a(nother) good year for things like Pumpkins and Winter Squash.

For the flower lovers, the Gladiolus are in full bloom now. There are loads of colors available as either single stem or bunches. The Sunflowers are still available, but they will probably only be around for another week or so.

I’ll be selectively picking Peaches for this weekend, though they are still firm as of now. There will not be many each day, so plan accordingly. I’m not sure what’s taking them so long to ripen.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens are clucking away. They don’t like this mini heat wave we’re having, but they stay in the shade, roll in the dirt, and are generally making the most of it.

There was another minor jailbreak the other day. Thankfully, I’ve been close by the couple of times this has now happened, and I was able to see how they accomplished their escape. One chicken had apparently learned to lean on and push against a specific spot on the fence that would open just enough for her to slip out. The other chickens would just mimic her actions and join in the adventure. The problem has been corrected.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
Please see the upcoming schedule changes mentioned above.

Keep an eye out for Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves for Labor Day weekend.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 08-23-18

Ugghhh, the weather. Hi everyone. I’m sure most all of you feel the same way at this point. Seemingly every time the forecast shows a few days of nice, a rain shower breaks into the mix within 36 hours.

AROUND THE FARM
New poly tunnel greenhouses are being added to the farm. The pad was put in on Tuesday, and the materials dropped off on Wednesday. I’m hopeful that the new tunnels will be operational by Labor Day, as they will allow me to continue growing crops well into the fall.

The little skunk has almost certainly moved on, as there has been no sign for at least the last two weeks. However, I recently discovered a family, yes family, of rabbits on the property. Thought there was only one, so was leaving it alone in hopes it would go away, but apparently it found a mate and they’ve had a litter of rabbitlings.

IN THE FIELD
There’s not much to say at this point, except the weather issues continue. Most of the crops left in the field have taken damage, including Potatoes, Winter Squash, and Pumpkins. If the weather improves, I’m hopeful, though not by much, that some of the damaged crops will still produce meaningful amounts. I’ll know more over the next couple of weeks.

The next round of Peaches will be at least a few more days before they are ripe enough to pick.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens are generally doing well. One seems to have an upset tummy, but is otherwise okay, and a total of four had to be treated for the Bumblefoot problems caused by the wet weather.

There was also a bit of a jailbreak this past Sunday. Somehow, I’m still not sure how, about 40 chickens wound up OUTSIDE their fence and wandering about the driveway, garage, and field. Good times were had attempting to corral chickens that have wanderlust.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
I know Labor Day is coming up soon, and this means changes to the schedule. I’m thinking that the early fall schedule (starting the week after Labor Day) will be Thursday – Sunday, and then after Columbus Day going to just Saturday and Sunday. At the same time, since the chickens are still laying at the same pace, I may put eggs and maybe some preserves out for self-serve Thursdays through Mondays. Feedback would be appreciated.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 08-16-18

Hi folks. This will be another brief update so I can get back to work.

AROUND THE FARM
Thankfully the rain seems like it will finally relent this week. As those of you who follow the updates know, there has been considerable damage done around the farm by the near constant rain and wet over the past three-plus weeks.

I’ll be working over the next couple of weeks to add more covered growing space. In addition to helping offset adverse effects of bad weather, the spaces should help me expand out the season by at least a short time.

The skunk that was lurking around for a time seems to have moved on. I’m not going to say for sure it’s gone yet, but there have been no sightings or signs of it in the past week.

IN THE FIELD
The fallout from the rain continues. I’ll try to give a better update on what it will mean as we move into the fall next week.

FROM THE COOP
The chickens are generally doing well. There has been a slight uptick in fighting, which I attribute to being stuck so close together due to the rain.

Additionally, the long exposure to wetter ground in the pen and now-fenced outside area where they play has led to some foot problems for them, with one chicken being treated for a condition known as Bumblefoot (a type of staph infection in the foot pad). The chicken, named Little Red (one of the little chickens I make sure gets extra food), has to have her foot cleaned and bandaged twice per day. It is getting better, and with the dry should heal up soon.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
It was recently brought to my attention that there might be some problems when it comes to contacting me by email. I can assure you all that when I receive email with a question or comment that requires addressing that I respond to it. There may be a delay, given the time of year, but I do respond to mail I get. If you have tried to contact me and for some reason I have not responded, it is either because I never got the incoming message, or my response was put in your SPAM folder. There was also a strange issue for a time with people who have AOL addresses, with the email first being returned as undeliverable, but resending the same mail to the same address and it went right through.

Also, there is one other item in this regard concerning voicemail. If you leave me a voicemail, please be sure to include a contact number in your message. If I happen to be in an area with no service, my phone does not usually log the number of the person who called, and I wind up with a voicemail from “unknown caller”, no listed missed incoming call in the log, and no way to reply.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.

Farm Update 08-09-18

Hi everyone. Shorter update for this week. While I’m going to try to be neutral to upbeat about things, you may find I’ll vent a little from time to time due to the weather conditions. Of course, as a farmer, weather is just one of those things you deal with, since I have neither a giant dome to place over the farm, nor a weather machine. As the saying goes – C’est la vie.

AROUND THE FARM
A juvenile skunk has decided to take up at least temporary residence at the farm. While not a direct threat to the chickens, it has decided to try to get into the buildings, so I’ll be trapping and removing it as soon as possible. They are generally nocturnal, so this shouldn’t be an issue for visitors, but please be aware of it if you decide to walk out into the field.

IN THE FIELD
Rain, rain, and rain. Same problems as before. It is supposed to dry out for the next few days, but at this point it almost doesn’t matter – damage done. I should still be able to get some of most items listed, though the lettuce selection going forward is still going to be quite limited in both size and number.

In the orchard, the rain has also continued to cause problems with the trees, although it is also my fault for not having thinned the peaches as much as I probably should. The fruit on one tree have turned yellow, and I am just waiting for them to finish ripening. Shouldn’t be too long now. Peaches – yum, yum.

FROM THE COOP
Chickens are doing fine. I was able to add another layer of fencing to their enclosure so they are able to wander outside the pen and coop. They are enjoying the extra area to explore, as it affords them the opportunity to find all kinds of things to eat. One chicken even managed to catch and eat a frog. I’d never seen a chicken eat a whole frog before, and didn’t think it would be able to do it in one go, but a couple of gulps and it was gone.

OTHER GENERAL INFO
Not much else going on this week. Additional plantings are still going in the ground, and given the mini greenhouses, additional seeds are still being started in hopes of having a much longer growing season.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.