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.

Farm Update 09-22-22

Just a shorter update this week, since I can’t really think of a whole lot to write about. The weather has most definitely moved toward fall, and what is forecast for this weekend should leave no doubt about that.

The crops in the field are all now winding down, and with the likelihood of a freeze in a day or so I’ll be working to get what I can out of the field. There’s not too much left at this point, though I am still trying to get Potatoes out of the ground. In what is a rather cruel twist of fate, I actually need it to be dry for about five days or so in order to get them dug out, and since the rain has restarted it just hasn’t been dry enough. Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti Squash are all being harvested, as are Pumpkins.

Fresh and frozen Broiler Chickens are available again this week. Last week’s Broilers were on the smaller side, with this batch looking to be 4 to 5.5lb.

Most types of Preserves are still available, but supplies are getting low. I’m currently out of Strawberry-Rhubarb, but plan to make more before the end of the season. If others run out between now and Columbus Day weekend, it is unlikely I will have time to get them made.

As a reminder, the last day the farm stand will be open for the 2022 season will be Monday, October 10th.

That’s it for now. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 09-15-22

The weather overall doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do just yet, whether we’ll see a little more warmth, or if it’ll tip over and finally go into fall. I suppose it may just wind up being one of “those” kinds of fall and winter, but honestly, who knows.

I was able to get one last round of Peaches this week, but this is definitely the last of them. Local Blueberries have come to an end for the season.

A number of warmer weather crops in the field are winding down. Sadly, flowers are on that list. The colder mornings the last few days have affected them quite a bit, but as of now, they are still going. Surprisingly, it looks like there may even be a Gladiola or two.

Winter Squash are finally coming ready, though it appears that Acorn Squash did not fare as well as the Butternut and Spaghetti Squash. Pumpkins are already being picked, and I did also secure additional local ones, as I’m not sure I would have enough of my own.

The Laying Chickens are doing well and producing a good number of XL eggs, but still virtually no Jumbo eggs. I think I’m going to have to talk to a feed specialist about this to see what changes I can make for the future. Speaking of feed, and as I expected, the prices have started climbing again as this season’s grains begin to enter the supply chain.

The Broiler Chickens are all coming up to weight so I have begun processing again. There are smaller ones available this week and as we go forward they will be getting bigger each week.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Preserves are currently sold out, but it is on my list to make. The only other one running low right now is Cranberry. If you are thinking of stocking up on any quantity of preserves for the winter you may want to check with me soon.

I think that’s it for this week. Thanks so much to everyone who has come by and helped support the farm. Have a great week.

Farm Update 09-08-22

Labor Day has come and gone, so I guess this means the end of summer is truly here. Of course, as usual, this does not mean the end of the farm season is here, as crops like Potatoes, Winter Squash, Apples, and the anticipated fall crop of Pumpkins are just ramping up. According to my calendar, the farm stand will be open for five more weekends, with the last weekend for the season being Columbus Day weekend, and the last day being Monday, October 10th.

Before we get to the end, however, we still have a bit of time and a whole bunch of stuff to get out of the field. Additionally, there are still chickens to raise, slaughter, and process, and loads of eggs to collect and box.

Back to this week though, and the good news is PEACHES. Yes, the wonderful Peaches from PA are still available along with Nectarines from the same orchard. There will be Local Blueberries and new additions of Local Bartlett Pears and Local Golden Supreme Apples. I was also able to find some nice looking Mango at the market this week.

Unfortunately, the Broiler Chicken have not yet come up to a suitable size. I weighed quite a few to see if I could process even a few of them, but they are just not big enough yet. There is still frozen chicken available, though the birds I currently have are on the larger side.

After a number of weeks, and a considerable amount of damage done, woodchuck #6 has met its end. Dealing with all of them this year has been quite difficult and rather challenging. Hopefully, that will be the last of them for the season. Of course, having dealt with the woodchuck menace it was rather inevitable, at least as these things go, that the Coyotes would return. There are at least 2 packs that have recently reappeared in the areas to the West, which is the opposite side of the property from where the farm stand is located. There were “encounters” earlier this season, but given the dwindling rabbit populations, the Coyotes may once again become a handful, or even, as was the case a number of years ago, a serious danger to life and limb.

Lastly, the flowers are all rapidly approaching, but not quite at the end for the season. The Gladiola, with the possible exception of a few, are otherwise done for this season, The rest of the flowers took a bit of a beating from the much needed rain, but should be pickable for a little while, which realistically means either when a frost happens or a windstorm blows through the area.

I think that’s everything I needed to cover this week. My thanks to all those who have come by and helped keep the farm going. Your support is greatly appreciated. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 09-01-22

I don’t know if it was a fast or a slow summer, but Labor Day weekend is upon us, so there’s not much point in being too concerned about it. Anyway, it’s not like this particular weekend will result in anything different about the work that has to be done on the farm. Still, I hope all of you have been able to have a nice, and if possible, relaxing summer.

The rain we had on Tuesday went a long way toward bringing the ground conditions back, closer to where they should be in regards to soil moisture levels. Of course, the weeds absolutely loved the rain, so there’s that. Most of the crops responded well, with the exception of the Cucumbers, which suffered a second round of whatever it was that affected them in late July. The only ones that look like they will be producing for the next few weeks will be the Persian and maybe some more Japanese Cucumbers.

It looks like there should be good amounts of Peppers and Eggplant this week, and the Winter Squash are coming along, but not quite ready. I’m not sure about Pumpkins yet, but have already made arrangements if I need to supplement my own supply from other local farms. Tomatoes continue to ripen very slowly, so I’ll be taking some actions in an attempt to kick the ripening into high gear.

Fruit fans can rest easy for another week, as there are still Peaches to be had. According to the broker at the market, Peaches should be available next week too, but that may be all for the season. It was pretty much the same news about Blueberries.

Flower lovers have been flocking to the field to snap pictures amongst the blossoms. So far, the flowers seem to be holding up well, but the Gladiolus will likely be finishing this weekend.

The Broiler Chickens are getting bigger, but are still too small for this weekend. Slaughter and processing will hopefully begin next week, and there will be Fresh Chicken available for the following three to four weeks. As a follow-up reminder, if anyone has interest in getting a number of Broiler Chickens for over the winter, please talk to me as soon as possible. As of now, I have only heard from a couple of people and will be setting aside birds from the current batch to meet the orders. If there is enough interest, I will get another round of Broiler Chickens for processing some time around mid-November.

That’s most all the news that directly concerns operations at the farm, but brings me to an issue that has come front and center due to the actions of New York State politicians. The New York State government has passed a law that severely impacts gun owners and all citizens of the state, and regardless of how you may feel about guns, this law could very easily affect you as well. The next time you come to the farm you will notice a new placard, MANDATED by NY state law, that clearly states that lawfully possessed firearms are allowed on the property. Failing to display this sign, but having anyone on the property, with or without my knowledge, carrying a concealed weapon, or firearms for hunting later in the season, would result in me being charged with a FELONY crime and subject to 9 years in jail. This law is blatantly unconstitutional as it clearly violates First, Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment Constitutional rights, but as of September 1st, 2022, will be enforced by police around the state. This post, and other changes to both the website and signage at the farm serve as notice that all LAWFULLY possessed firearms are permitted on the premises. I am making this statement UNDER DURESS (due to the active threat of state-enforced violence), and UNDER PROTEST (due to the clear violations of Constitutionally protected rights).

That’s it for this week. I hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend, and my sincere thanks to all of you who have helped support the farm.

Farm Update 08-25-22

September is approaching quickly, and there are still some crops that are just taking their sweet time to produce anything. In addition, the availability of certain crops at the market seems to be getting a little worse, whether it be local crops or the ones from California. Regardless, I’ll do my best to keep as full a selection as I can. On the happier side, the rain we had on Tuesday was great, though we obviously need a whole lot more over time.

In the field, the Tomatoes are coming along, with Grape Tomatoes now starting to ripen in greater numbers. I’ve also been able to get some more Tomatoes harvested out of the greenhouse, though fewer than hoped. The Cucumbers, which suffered fairly severe damage to more than 90 percent of the plants, from something that blew in on the wind, are only now starting to re-grow and set new fruit flowers in greater numbers. The next planting of Lettuce is also now showing signs of better growth, but will still be at least a couple of weeks before it’s big enough to pick.

There is an additional variety of Local Apples this week. Gala Apples will be at the stand, along with Honeycrisp and Zestar. I was also told the Local Blueberries should be continuing, so long as the weather cooperates, for at least a few more weeks.

The chickens are generally doing well, with the Laying Hens are being their usual selves, by continuously demanding treats whenever I walk past the pen. Though this last week has been a little rough for the little Broiler Chickens, with a number of them suffering injury and health issues. Right now, it looks like it will be about 2 more weeks before the chickens will be big enough to process. As we move into fall, I figure I should probably ask if there is any interest in Broiler Chickens for over the winter. I’d need to get orders for at least 70 chickens for me to get one more batch. These late season Broilers would be ready some time around mid-November. If you’re interested, please either get in touch, or come by the stand and let me know at some point in the next couple of weeks.

That’ll be it for the update, so thanks for taking the time to check it out. Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Farm Update 08-18-22

Let’s start off with what is currently the most anticipated news – Local APPLES are now available. There are just two varieties for this week, but you have to start somewhere. The two types are Early Honeycrisp (a new, early producing version of the regular Honeycrisp) and Zestar (an early sweet/tart variety). While I’m sure the news of this season’s apples is welcome by many, there is also the realization that it must be getting closer to fall. Well, from the extended forecasts I’m seeing, it looks like we’re still going to be seeing summer for at least a while yet.

Overall things are doing pretty well on the farm, and yes, I literally knock on wood every time I say something like that. There are still issues with some crops (specifically Cucumbers and Lettuce), but nothing too major.

As of now, I am once again planning on trying to dig Potatoes this week. Events last week prevented me from being able to get to them. The Tomatoes are also coming along, albeit more slowly than preferred. I will likely have a few that can be picked for the weekend, so keep an eye out for them. There should also be some mini Eggplant as well as several different types of Peppers. Be sure to check the What’s Available page for the full listing for this week’s offerings.

The Local Blueberries are still coming in, but the berries are getting smaller, so I expect they will be finishing in a couple of weeks.

The Flowers are still producing wonderful blooms, so if you want to take any pictures of them this will probably be the week to do it. While Gladiola are also still blooming, they are approaching the end of their run. I’m also working on getting some bunches of Statice together for dried flower bouquets, which will be ready at some point after Labor Day.

Lastly, for those of you who are tracking events beyond the farm, please be sure to check out the latest farming news coming out of both Idaho and California.

That’s all for this week’s update. Many thanks to all those who have come by to help support and keep the farm going. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 08-11-22

Over the last couple of weeks quite a few people have asked me if I’ve ever seen the stream (the East Kill) running as low as it was. I had seen it lower, but it was many years ago. However, over the last few days, the stream now appears to have dropped to the lowest level I can recall seeing. As of right now I can still draw water from it for irrigation, but I’m paying close attention to how much I draw at any given time. Relief does appear in sight, as the long-range forecast is currently showing a potentially prolonged period of rains for the middle of next week.

As usual though, work on the farm continues regardless of the weather and conditions. The main challenge now, as it has been every year at this point, is trying to keep the weeds in check. I’m slowly losing ground to them, and it’s made me consider a new strategy for next year – one that will NOT involve the use of hundreds of gallons of herbicide.

In the field, the Tomato plants have quite a few green fruit as of now, so it’s just a matter of them turning. I may be able to pick a few here and there, as I have already been doing with the Tomatoes I’ve grown out in the greenhouse. Something has seriously affected the Cucumbers over the last week, with the worst of the damage affecting the slicing and pickling varieties. I’ll be picking what Sweet Corn of my own that I can for the weekend for Saturday morning, otherwise Locally-Grown Sweet Corn will be available. Flowers, especially Gladiolus, are in abundance right now. Lettuce is between plantings and will be unavailable for at least a couple of weeks. This is due to several factors, including greater than expected demand, the high heat level causing bolting to flower, and the woodchuck incident in the greenhouse earlier in the season. And lastly, I am planning on digging some Potatoes later today.

Despite the heat over the last few weeks, the Laying Chickens are doing their thing. The Broiler Chickens, which right now are still less than 2 weeks old, actually love the warmer conditions. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered what rivals the speed of light, it’s little chickens zooming around their pen. It’s truly incredible how fast they can move when they are this small, versus their lumbering waddle as they get big.

If you’re looking for melons, there will be both Cantaloupe and Watermelon. I was also able to get Black Plums for this weekend, and will of course have the great Pennsylvania Peaches, Local Blueberries, and Canadian Strawberries.

For those curious about my predator/pest interactions they currently include:
Black Bear – 1
Coyote – 3
Red Fox – 2
Woodchuck – 4
Skunk – 1
Raccoon – 1

That’s pretty much all I can think of to include for now. Thanks very much for helping support the farm and for reading these updates. Hope you all have a great week.

Farm Update 08-04-22

So it looks like today is going to be a bit on the warmer side, with a good portion of the next week also running into the 80s, and accompanied by the possibility of thunderstorms. This is causing a bit of turmoil for my schedule, and will change some of the things I was planning to get to, including for this weekend.

Over the last week, woodchuck number 4 and 5 arrived, caused a fair bit of damage, and then seemingly disappeared. This is an odd occurrence, as their arrival was quite late, as is their current absence. They may still be here and appear again at any time, but so far, trapping has been unsuccessful (Note – the woodchucks this year seem to prefer apple over cantaloupe, should you need to deal with them). I suppose I’ll find out if they’re still here by locating sudden, extensive damage to an area of the field. I did also trap and eliminate a skunk that was attempting to get into the laying chicken enclosure.

The crops in the field are doing pretty well thus far. Irrigation has been called for on an almost daily basis this past week. As much as I don’t like having to deal with thunderstorms, the accompanying rain will be helpful right now.

The Peppers and Eggplant are coming along nicely, and I’m pretty sure I saw a few hot peppers that looked ready to pick. The Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage are not doing as well, so I have no idea when, or if they will be ready. There will be a gap of at least a week before I can harvest any more of my own Sweet Corn, and it will still be on the smaller side due to the plants stunting from springtime cold. Potatoes will not be dug until next week.

As far as general operations go, I will be processing Broiler Chickens again this week. These will be the last fresh ones from the early round of chickens, with there being a gap of at least three, maybe four weeks until I’ll have fresh ones again. Frozen whole and half chickens are also available.

For the flower lovers, Gladiolus are now blooming in larger numbers, and I’m doing what I can to keep Field Flower bunches available. The types of Sunflowers I planted this year are also doing well, usually with multiple types available.

I think that’s about it for this update. Thanks very much for helping support the farm. Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Farm Update 07-28-22

So, based on the current forecast, it looks like we’re going to be seeing a bunch of thunderstorms. Let’s hope there won’t be too many storms, so I can continue with the fieldwork, and when necessary, spray the field.

There will be Fresh Chickens (whole and half) available this week, and then a few next week before a delay until the next batch are big enough. And yes, I will be keeping my schedule a little more open just in case the next batch grow as quickly as these did. The next round of Broiler Chicken will be arriving on the farm on August 1st.

As was hoped, the change in feed for the Laying Chickens has worked, and they are producing a good number more XL-sized eggs, although interestingly there are almost no Jumbo.

Crops in the field are doing well so far, and the weeds are, of course, outpacing all of them. Peppers and Eggplant have begun to set flowers, and while it will be a week or two before any can be picked, they are at least that far along. The Tomato plants have set quite a few fruit, and will need to be fully trellised in the next week (hopefully the forecast thunderstorms hold off). The next round of Radish should be just about ready for this week, but I’m not going to promise it. And lastly, it appears there is some of my own Sweet Corn, which I will be picking for this weekend.

Conditions in the wholesale market, as I have discussed with quite a few people at the stand, remain rather chaotic, with wild swings in both availability and pricing. That said, I was able to find some reasonably priced, albeit more expensive than last year, Avocado and Cauliflower.

That’s all I’ve got for the update. Hope all of you have a great week.