Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Farm Report

A quick farm report to keep everyone up to date.

Farmers Market in Waverly 
We will be attending this Saturday's market in Waverly.  We will have plants one last week.  We will also have lettuce, asparagus, kale, eggs and chard.  This will be the last gasp from the Spring high tunnel planting (for the most part).

Cedar Falls Sales Friday?
Who is interested in us coming down with some lettuce, asparagus and kale on Friday?  Maybe some plants if they are still needed?  We are considering it.

Why selling stuff now?
The high tunnel is a 30 foot by 72 foot piece of real estate.  It is about the only thing, other than the asparagus patches, that can produce right now.  There isn't really enough to do regular season shares from this, but there is too much for us to just sit on.  So, we'd like to sell it.  And, it won't just sit there and wait either.

Iris Festival?
We're not sure.  We planned to reschedule for Sunday of this weekend.  But, if the rains don't stop anytime soon, our place will not be fit for visitors.  Please bear with us as we wait to see what Mother Nature has in store.  We'd like to hold the festival, but we also would rather not hold it when conditions make the entire event difficult and unpleasant.

Staying in Touch with Everyone
 We apologize if we aren't reaching everyone in a timely fashion.  We're currently struggling a bit with all of the rain.  Weather extremes wear us down and make it hard to have the energy to do everything.  We'll get there, but we ask for patience AND for reminders.  Do not feel bad if you are reminding us of things, we will appreciate kind nudges if they are needed.

The ducklings arrived today.  They are pretty cute when they're this age.

Broilers and Hens
We're having a difficult time getting the broilers out on pasture - and once they are - we're having fun keeping them dry and avoiding hypothermia.  We built a new shelter and have been modifying both that we have to handle the excess in rain and wind.  We did some crawling around spreading hay a couple nights ago and managed to save the day.  Today's rains, however, has water creeping up to the shelters.  We've made a few more modifications and hope we won't be forced to do an evac of the whole thing.

Workers on the Farm
We have had a chance to have Brittney, Tyler, Elliot, Kailey and Denis on the farm so far this season.  Thanks to all of you for your efforts so far.  Rachel and Chase will join us next week if all goes as planned.  All of our workers are part time and have varying schedules and they all bring various talents.  We are honored to have them join us.

CSA Regular Season
We are certain we will be starting at least one week later than our normal start.  It is possible it will be later than that.  OR, we may do one week and skip one - or alternate between Cedar Falls and Waverly.  We just have to see what survives this deluge and figure out what we are allowed to do by soil conditions.  We appreciate your patience.  Either way, we still intend to get you 20 weeks of produce - and we fully intend to do our best to provide you with our best effort to bring you excellent vegetables.

Lake Front Property
First - our normal disclaimer - we are not trying to say we need to be the focus of attention and we're not trying to bring all of you down.  But, we feel we need to report what is going on to you.  It is all part of being a local producer of food with a connection to the community.  So - hey community!  We're having a rough time of it - but we intend to deal with it, move on and do our best to succeed anyway.  We appreciate your support, we may need to lean on you a little so we can stay positive on days like this when it is very hard to do so.

We'll show some pictures later.  But, you likely knew our fields have been very wet all Spring.  We've barely had a chance to get into them to plant.  The recent batch of rains leaves us surrounded in water. Our cold frames (where we keep many seedlings) were under water at 8:30pm today and we had to go pull out all of the the trays and put them on carts, etc to get them out of the water and under shelter.  Too early to tell if we have some losses on that front.  The old hog pit in front of the Poultry Pavilion is actually overflowing.  We've never seen that before - not even in 2010 or 2008.  On the plus side, we have yet to have the erupting toilet and water seeping through our basement floor that we had in 2010.  NO!  That is NOT a challenge. 

What are we doing about it?
We are working at finding ways to extend plant ability to stay in trays.  We may even find ourselves transplanting things we normally don't transplant into pots or larger sized trays just to keep them going.  We're planning on digging up and transplanting some of the kale and chard plants in the high tunnel if the fields dry out to allow it.  We're also looking at changing our field rotation to allow us to use the fields that dry out fastest for crops that need to get in. 
It is likely we will not plant sweet corn this year, we simply can't give it the space.  And, frankly, we may not find the time to put it in. 
We're beginning to look and see if there is a source for more seed potato in case the current planting rots out on us.  We did plant most of the potato seed as whole potatoes in part to try to avoid more opportunities for rot.  We hope that works.  And, we're modifying plans to figure out what trays of seedlings should be planted to adjust for the weather and to adjust for losses up to this point.
Assuming this weather pattern has to have a stopping point, we will get into the field and we will get things planted.  We're doing what we can to be prepared for that moment.  Until then, help us to hang on.

1 comment:

  1. Update: The rain came so fast and so much that it created Lake GFF - yes most everything here was underwater. The water was so high in fact (how high was it?....) that the VERY slight slope from the garage to the high tunnel resulted in water rushing under the center door of the high tunnel and through the tunnel, creating erosion IN (!!!!!) the high tunnel (which is generally supposed to be considered a desert). The sides of the tunnel sometimes get damp due to wet soil on the outside but the entire tunnel is a muddy MESS today. The good news is it will dry soon, unless we get MORE heavy rain (anyone looking SW??. Crops in there will survive, but since that is supposed to be our "go to" place to work when it is nasty weather, we are now looking for even higher ground to try to work on.

    Oh yes, one more update - and Rob may cover this later, Lake GFF flooded the seedling area (in front of the building slab) causing us to have to move all the seedling trays to cart and other temporary locations because the trays were under water. THAT is a lot of water.



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