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 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 08-14-19

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 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 06-21-19

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.

Farm Update 06-14-19

The word of the day is – STRAWBERRIES!

I was finally able to get hold of a couple flats of locally grown berries. They smell awesome, and it’s all I can do to keep from chowing down on them, as I LOVE strawberries.

Anyway, back to non-strawberry reality. Work on the farm is chugging along. The weather, as usual these days, is far from cooperative, but it is what it is. More and more crops are going in the ground despite the conditions, with only the most fragile being held back. Why, you ask. Well, just a couple of days ago the morning low temp was 38F. That’s more than low enough to seriously damage a good few things, and stunt others.

By the way, have I mentioned how much I like having greenhouses? Just thought I’d throw that out there. Not that anyone asked, or anything.

As those of you who came by last week saw, I was able to start cutting some flower bunches. I should have at least a few more this weekend as well, and even got a few more trays of flower starts from Kerns to meet future demand. Also, for those who follow flower info, the Gladiolus have started poking out of the ground. It’ll be a while before they are ready, but figured I’d give people something to look forward to. I’ve also pre-started a bunch of sunflowers, but they’ll also be a bit yet.

The chickens are clucking away, laying lots of eggs. Average egg size is still getting bigger, and is finally approaching “normal”. Thankfully, the predators have been keeping a distance. I guess significant amounts of gunfire (yes, I do still routinely have to shoot at predators) will do that.

To answer a specific question I’ve been getting in regards to predators, given the Memorial Day weekend sighting of the mountain lion up the street – I am FULLY capable of defending myself from predators, and have had to do so on far too many occasions over the last few years. I have basically stopped recounting my encounters with the wildlife due to the frequency of occurrence.

Getting back to farm info in general, and it looks like a good few crops will be on schedule, and a few will be a bit late due to the late plantings. Please be sure to check out the What’s Available page for the most up-to-date list of goodies.

Hope to see you this weekend. A big thanks to everyone who came by last week. Your support is truly appreciated.