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Archive for the ‘Crew’ Category

We’ve been busy around here. Planting, weeding, harvesting, marketing, watering, more planting. It has been go-go-go for the last couple of weeks. Plunging forward with our heads to the ground.

Our new intern Mark arrived this last week and now, we’ve got our full crew in swing for the season. Wow! What a difference it makes having one more pair of hands around here. We were done harvesting by 1:30 pm and done washing by 5:00 yesterday. That’s a turn for the better. On harvest days, we’ll sometimes be harvesting into the evening and washing and packing until dark. This was a nice change. Josh and I actually got to take showers and eat dinner at a reasonable hour! Yeah for efficiency!

We’ve planted all of our onions and leeks at the new leased ground — a whopping 10 beds, or to put it in perspective, more than a mile of onions and leeks — 6,000 feet. We are going to be up to our ears in onions and leeks this year. Besides some minor crop failures and pest problems this spring (we’re out of the honeymoon phase), things are proceeding well. We’ve got some major planting hurdles to get over in the next few weeks — lots of summer crop planting, potatoes (still haven’t gotten those in), and carrots, carrots, carrots. We’ve had a bit of a hard time getting carrots off the ground this year, but we’ll have them eventually. We just won’t have them probably until July.

The hens have been very happy on nice, new pasture. The eggs are unbelievable in color because of it. They are also very productive. We are up to our ears in eggs bringing on average 60 dozen to every market!

The Saturday Ashland market has begun. Come see us! It starts today.

We harvested the first of the scarlet red turnips yesterday. They are one of our favorites and have turned out very nice this spring.

turnips

Also, here’s Josh and Mark harvesting radishes in the hot mid-afternoon sun.

radishes

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Back from vacation and the list of things to do is long. The high tunnel is almost done. With help from neighbors and friends, the plastic should go up on Tuesday. This is exciting because our salad greens, spinach and bunching greens are ready to go out. We are already behind on our planting dates and greenhouse work and it isn’t even March! That said, our two new awesome apprentices arrive on the equinox, so it will be nice to have some eager, helping hands on the farm.

We are finishing up our renewal forms for our og certification. We’ve found two acres to lease next door for the poultry and are still looking for leased land nearby for vegetable production. Any ideas? We realize we’ve maxed out on our two acres here and want to have another five to start doing some rotations with cover crops and veggies.

We had some enlightening conversations with fellow farmers this past week and finally figured out an alternative poultry feed. It is going to take a bit more labor as we will have to mix all the ingredients ourselves, but we are pretty excited about the option. It should cut our feed costs significantly. More on that later.

The oat and pea cover crop is filling in nicely with all the moisture and warmer temperatures. It really does seem like spring is right around the corner. I’ll get some pictures up of the new high tunnel in a few days!

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Productivity

It has been a productive week here on the farm. We finished planting a new 1/4 acre section with endives, escaroles, radicchio, kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, head lettuce and more cutting lettuces. We also direct seeded more carrots, beets, arugula, radishes and turnips.

Here’s a picture of me planting kohlrabi.

Patrick and a hired worker, Pearl, weeded quite a few beds this week to catch us up on our weeding and Josh finally mowed, so it really is starting to look like a vegetable farm around here. All the crops are looking really good except for some gopher withdrawl, but because we have planted so much of everything, we can deal with some of that loss. We have been trapping and caught one the other day and Luna has been pulling her weight on the gopher front as well.

We took some much needed time off this weekend after a big push this last week. It was nice. We have another big week ahead of us as we need to plant 8 beds of potatoes and 10 beds of sweet onions, storage onions and leeks. Phew! We also have to finish transplanting mustards, endives, lettuces and fennel before we move on to more seeding, etc. Patrick has urged us to try a few new things around here that we might not normally grow, so that’s fun. We are going to try our hand at growing quinoa and see what happens. We don’t have much experience on that front, but we bought some excellent seed from Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, OR, so we’ll see where it takes us. Pretty soon we’ll be into planting and seeding our summer crops including basil, beans, melons, squash, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes and zucchini!

Our CSA begins May 15th. We are up to six members with two possible families still dangling out there. We will also be starting the Medford growers market on May 15th, so we will be at two farmers markets per week soon!

Here’s Josh moving irrigation pipe–one of the many daily jobs on the farm!

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Well, we have planted our one acre and we are full! The field is covered in white remay. It is sort of a strange view. I wonder what the neighbors must think. We are desperate for more room, so Patrick and Josh are going to start fencing the other two acres right away. Josh is going to borrow our neighbor’s tractor tomorrow and till up a new area outside the fenced and planted field so we can direct seed a bunch of stuff. We’re taking our chances…

Oh yeah, Patrick has arrived and he is great! We hope he is feeling at home and enjoying the work so far. It is so nice to have some other energy here on the farm not to mention an extra hand!

We are planning to go to the farmers’ market next week. Yikes! We’ve got fifty dozen eggs in our refrigerator that we must get to the people. We are also hoping to take: tatsoi, cabbage, kale, salad mix, onions, leeks, and arugula along with our potted herbs like lavendar, sage, and nettle. The weather better start cooperating here. It has been so cold! It seems like nothing is growing.

Here’s our banner that is at the Sign Dude printing right now. We worked hard on it, but we really like the way it turned out. We hope you do too! -M

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