Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Farm News for April

It is mid-April and you know what that means?

No?  Neither do I.  So, instead of pondering that, we'll just do a GFF Newsletter!

Spring CSA

Well, it has been a cold start to the year and you may have guessed by now that this weather has made it impossible for us to grow for a Spring CSA that delivers in April this year.  If you are signed up for Spring, we are not asking you to pay us anything in advance.  If you have already done so, we have applied the payment to the regular season.  So - as we have produce in May (maybe late April) we will contact people on our Spring CSA list and give details on what we have and how you can acquire it.  Essentially you will be able to opt in (or out) each week during this period until the regular season starts in June.

Obviously, we're not happy about this, but it is the best solution in response to the weather.  It will reduce some stress on us to simply sell on a week by week basis this Spring and work to have a strong regular season CSA.

Our soil was ready in the SouthWest plot this weekend.

Regular Season CSA Slots Available

We currently have 97 slots reserved in our CSA.  We need to get to 120 and were willing to go higher than that to support adding Tyler Albers to our growing program.  So, if you have been considering joining us, now is the time to let us know you want to be a part of the program.  If you have already joined us, many thanks.  Now, tell some friends they should also take the leap!

At present, we should be able to accommodate twelve more members at our Cedar Falls pickup and nineteen in Waverly.

Billing on its Way!

Finally!  They are in the mail and heading your way.  You will find a SASE in the mailing so you can easily remit payment.  If you see anything amiss with contact information or billing, please let us know.  Rob is a decent accountant - for a farmer - but that doesn't mean mistakes don't occur.

For those who wonder why the billing has been slower than usual, it has, in part been because sign ups have been slower than usual  We try to do the billing in one session.  So, we were waiting to hit the 90 subscriber mark to make the effort of setting up and doing make it all worthwhile.

Events Coming Up!
  • April 15 - Rob presents at St Paul's Senior Lunch
  • April 17 - Rob presents at Ai Wen's UNI class
  • April 26 - Tammy presents at the Health Fair (the W)
  • April 26 - UNI class tours farm
  • May 4 - Tom Sawyer Day - Move'em or Lose'em Perennial Dig
  • May 15 - State Dream Big Grow Here contest in Iowa City
  • May 31 - Iris Festival at the farm
The High Tunnel build is on hold due to the weather.  We'll let everyone know when we are going to do this.  Technically, we had been hoping to put it up next week.  But, we haven't been able to get the excavation work done and have no building on hand.  so....

Listen for Us on KUNI

Once again, we have connected with Iowa Public Radio to show our support for what they do and promote our farm at the same time.  So, it won't really be US talking on the radio, but it will be a radio spot we're sponsoring.  I know, you were hoping to hear our dulcet tones.  Well, sign up for a CSA share and you'll get that every week!

No, we are not adding horses to the farm.
GFF Adds a Horse Trailer to the Arsenal of Tools

This headline seems like it should have appeared on our April Fools post.  But, it is true.  The picture above gives you the 'proof.'  It is a small trailer and it has alot of holes in it.  But, you can't have everything.  The intent for this building is to provide us with a mobile poultry building.  In particular, we're hoping it will serve as a brooder (for chicks) for our first meat chicken batch this Spring.

I hope it works out.  (How's that for a vote of confidence?)

In any event, this was Rob's gift to Tammy at a recent auction.  She said she wanted it.  So, he got it for her.  Romantic, isn't it?

Soil Workable for a Moment in Time

This past weekend when the temperatures were VERY nice and warm, we went out and checked the SouthWest field.  This area is the best drained and quickest to reach a workable state.  Sure enough, it had just reached that status, so we trotted out there and tried to prep a few beds to plant spinach, arugula, mustard and radish.  We got it prepped and got the seeder out.  And, it started to rain (and hail - more on that later).  The precision seeder we have does not tolerate wet - so we had to stop.

We *might* have gotten some spinach in.  We'll see.

Rob needs to lose some weight, the whole world tilted for this picture!
 Oh Hail!

So, we got some pea sized hail on the farm along with rain.  So, since our day outside was being terminated, we decided we should run an errand or two to prepare for some upcoming events.  We hopped in the truck and headed towards Cedar Falls at about 7pm and ran straight into a nasty cell of hail.  We estimate the hailstones were around 2.5 inches in diameter (maybe more).  The result - a cracked windshield and some sizable dents.  Our timing couldn't have been much better.  However, we are very grateful that hail stayed away from the farm.

On the other hand, we haven't appreciated another dip into cooler temperatures.  We hit 21 degrees F on the farm last night.  Booooooo!

But, that must mean....

We Have Hen Chicks!

Yes, the hen chicks have arrived.  Yes, they are cute.  Yes, we have them in the garage to keep them warm again this season.  We don't know how the weather knows when we're getting chicks.  Maybe Mother Nature reads our website and checked out our schedule?

 Move 'em Or Lose 'em Perennial Dig

We are planning on trying to salvage the last of the perennials that are in the field south of the high tunnel.  That area used to be our beautiful perennial flower beds.  Sadly, our work on the farm precluded weeding these.  As a result, there are still iris, day lillies and other perennials out there that we'd like to salvage.  If you are interested in joining us, we'd like to identify what we can and move them to other locations on the farm.  Also, we will gladly let you take divisions of some of these plants as a reward for your help.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact us so we can plan for your participation!

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