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Archive for the ‘Farm Update’ Category

It has been a long time since we’ve posted. The season has gotten away from us, once again. We’re reaching and moving toward the height of the abundant farming season. Crops are growing fast as long as we keep things watered and weeded. We’re in the time of the season where the days are long and there is little downtime or space for rest. On the flip side, to be surrounded by such plant abundance and growth and fecundity is completely spectacular. Our senses are aroused in so many ways and we watch our son run through the fields picking kale and strawberries with such joy. Crops are coming along nicely — we’re still running late on planting, so we’re pushing the season by planting more summer crops hoping for a longer summer season this year — maybe into October? We’ll be starting the Grants Pass Growers Market this Saturday and will continue at our Ashland farmers’ market as well. Figuring out how to be in two places at once is interesting, but we’ve got enough help this year to make it work. Enjoy the long summer days and check out our Facebook page for regular updates and pictures of the farm.

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Josh prepared a whole bunch of new ground for planting this past week thanks to the great weather we had last week. It was so warm! Melissa even got to hop on the tractor and till up a 1/4 acre. That was fun. We plant our hoophouse on Thursday with the first of the greens and deliver one more winter CSA box on Friday then we’ll be moving our focus into planting, seeding and beginning markets in mid-March. We have lots of room in our summer CSA program, so take a look at our brochure and let us know if you have any questions!

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New Look

We hope you aren’t thrown off by our new look. One of our big projects this winter is to improve our blog and website to make it easier to understand the products we offer, where we sell, and how to contact us. In the weeks to come, we’ll be adding some new pages, so look for those. We will have information up soon about our 2010 main season CSA program. As well, we will be posting information soon about jobs and internships with Barking Moon Farm this growing season. We will be looking for 3 interns and a couple of hourly folks, so stay tuned for job description and application information.

We delivered the 3rd winter CSA box this past week and most everything did okay in the big freeze of December. We did lose some things like chard, celery root, arugula and some winter squash, but we are still going stong with lots of sweet carrots, greens, onions, potatoes and other storage crops.

We’ve begun checking things off the enormous list of tasks to accomplish before markets begin again in March. Some of the big projects include building a new propagation house (the pad is in, we’ve mulched and seeded around the base and pipe bending and construction begins later this week). We’ll begin fencing another acre at our leased property in a couple of weeks (yes, we keep growing in acreage….) Other big projects include: crop planning, pack-out expansion with extended roof, gravel & more tubs, and upgrading our irrigation system. This week, we begin the first round of salad greens and other early greens in the greenhouse for the first deliveries and markets in March and April. I can’t believe we are already going back into the greenhouse. June is going to be here before we know it!

We’re looking forward to a new year and growing season full of creativity, joy, abundance, community and lots of veggies!

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Ahhh, fall

We just love fall around here for so many reasons. The farm starts to slow. The weather shifts. The trees change colors and our valley is full of oranges, yellows and reds. We are canning and putting away fruit and veggies for the winter. All of the storage crops are harvested for the year including potatoes, winter squash and onions. Farmers’ markets come to an end, which gives us a needed break from waking up at 4am twice a week for 8 months! Stew hens and meat chickens are butchered and thrown in the freezer. Firewood is delivered. Tea consumption goes up. And we are allowed more free time to reflect on the past season — our successes, challenges, goals for 2010 — and we are freed up to spend more time pursuing other interests, which is a nice respite from the mania of the growing season. We are continuing through the winter this year with our winter CSA program (already full — wow!) and we will continue to provide produce to stores and restaurants as availability allows. We are excited about the winter CSA program this year and hope this is something that can grow in the coming years. Once again, we offer all of you Barking Moon Farm faithful friends and customers our deepest gratitude and thanks for your support of our farm this year.

Pumpkins and various winter squash.

Pumpkins and various winter squash.

I love rutabaga -- a stalwart vegetable!

I love rutabaga -- a stalwart vegetable!

Red & yellow storage onions curing in the barn.

Red & yellow storage onions curing in the barn.

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Where did September go?

It has been awhile since I’ve posted. The busyness of life got a hold of me. So, what’s new at Barking Moon Farm?

Let’s recap:

1. We just ventured into the last 5 weeks of our CSA program for 2009.

2. Traveled to Springfield, Illinois to present at the national Small Farms conference (this is for my other job as an Extension agent). Interns successfully ran the farm and Josh telecommuted for the first time ever! Met a ton of southern US extension agents and farmers. Very cool.

3. Finished the last greenhouse seeding for 2009! Woohoo!

4. Harvested hundreds and hundreds of pounds of winter squash. Pumpkins are next.

5. Began harvesting the first of the fall crops — cauliflower, broccoli, kale, napa cabbage.

6. Prayed for rain a couple of times. It is way too dry here!

7. Started promoting our 2009- 2010 winter CSA program. A blog post to come on that.

8. Hit our highest ever monthly gross sales in August.

9. Talked to 114 folks about our farm at the 2009 Eat Local dinner at Roxy Ann Winery, while they ate our salad greens.

10. Josh gave a tour to 25 enthusiastic folks on the Ashland Food Cooperative farm tour.

11. Got really excited about winter!

12. Broilers are growing fast and doing well. They are grazing on old spring kale beds. Should be ready for slaughter in 2 weeks. No predator losses yet.

13. Survived the first power outage of 2009 on an extremely hot day. It was quick and the cooler and water started working promptly after about 2 hours.

14. Discovered that recordkeeping is key for success.

15. Finally, amazed at the amount of food we have produced on this farm in such a short period of time. Next year’s goal: weigh every single harvested crop for a total weight of food harvested and sold.

That’s about all I can remember from the last few weeks. Here are some pictures taken at our leased property the other day.

View of zinnias and fall cabbage.

View of zinnias and fall cabbage.

Everett eating daikon straight from the field!

Everett eating daikon straight from the field!

Tender fall kale ready to harvest!

Tender fall kale and rutabaga.

Farmer Josh sampling daikon.

Farmer Josh sampling daikon.

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Abundant August

It has been an abundant month for Barking Moon Farm in so many ways, not just food! Lots of hard work and long days mixed with wonderful eating (when we have time to cook all this beautiful produce) and laughter. We have the best farm crew in southern Oregon, especially Mark & Cameron, our two apprentice interns who are amazingly positive and hard-working each and every day! Thank you to them for everything!

We’ve been staying busy on the farm picking vegetables almost constantly throughout the week when we aren’t going to farmers’ markets,  making produce deliveries, washing eggs, irrigating or planting fall crops. This time of year, the crops are demanding much attention — beans, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, eggplant, peppers, potatoes — all must be picked or pulled every few days keeping the crew’s heads to the ground as they pull all this beautiful food from the farm to your table. It is easy to forget how plentiful and abundant August and September is and how easy it is to exhaust ourselves from long days. I think Josh put in a 17-hour day the other week. He’s been practically running around non-stop for the last few weeks trying to manage a crew, markets, orders, plant, irrigate, etc. etc. Luckily, our family got away to the coast last weekend for a teaser vacation. Short, but sweet.

Come see us at market anytime on Tuesday or Saturday. Or, the Ashland Food Coop will be bringing a bus to our farm on September 19th, so check in with them about making a reservation.

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Farm Pictures

As promised, here are more pictures of the farm. All taken by Khaliqa Rogmans. I hope to get pictures up soon of our other field where most of our summer crops are planted.

Me, Josh and Everett giving the tour of our farm.

Me, Josh and Everett giving a tour of our farm.

Josh talking 'bout the farm.

Josh talking 'bout the farm.

Purple kale.

Purple kale.

A view of our tomato house.

A view of our tomato house.

The salad mix beds.

The salad mix beds.

Symmetry. Not sure what Josh is talking about.

Symmetry.

Showing off one of the hen houses.

Showing off one of the hen houses.

Tim, from Dancing Bear Farm, checking out the nest boxes.

Tim, from Dancing Bear Farm, checking out the nest boxes.

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