Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April Newsletter

Reluctance, Anticipation and Ambition
Every month of the year marks a transitional period for us at the farm.  There was a time when I wouldn't have agreed with that statement - until I realized that every time I set out to write the monthly newsletter, I found myself wanting to write about how things will change during the month.  So, here we are - in another month of transition.

The end of March and beginning of April has many similarities to the end August and beginning of September.  There is a profound sense of reluctance to move on.  In August/September, we are realizing that many of our crops are coming to an end, though there is always plenty to deal with into December.  There is regret for things that didn't get done and a realization that certain things cannot be fixed until the next growing season.  March/April is when we realize our 'other' season is coming to an end - just when we were really getting into the rhythm of doing things differently.  There is regret for things not completed and certain things cannot be fixed until the growing season reaches its conclusion.
On the other hand, we do have a sense of anticipation for the good produce that is to come.  There are days where we can put in an honest effort of labor and see the rewards of jobs well done.  We look forward to being outside for longer periods of time and being warmer while we're doing it (sometimes much warmer).

And, yes, there is ambition.  It is there, even if we might have trouble focusing that ambition on the new season that is coming.  Is it possible to be reluctantly ambitious?  If it is, I think that might be right where we are.

CSA Promotion
We need CSA members and we are kicking off our 2018 Spring Campaign: #PathstoProduce2018.  We would like you to join us this year.  For those of you who have already signed up or who have contacted us, thank you!  We will be sending information as we approach the season and we will keep you informed.  This year we are trying to be more flexible with payments to help everyone out with their budgets.  At the same time, we have expense we need to pay - so let's get the sign ups going!

Our next post will introduce the blog post/Facebook post promotion theme for 2018.  Above is a sneak peak!

Need to know what the CSA options are: Here they are!

Picture of the Month/Weather Whythards
Winter decided that we didn't need most of our snow until we reached the month of March this year.  The farm received somewhere around 17 inches of wet snow on the 23rd and 24th of the month.  Of all things, Rob and Tammy were away for that weekend, which left poor Caleb to deal with the farm in the immediate aftermath.  Happily, he was able to dig his little car out and get back home.

The snow melted fairly quickly, though we still have a little bit here and there on the farm as of April 2.  The good news about "warmer" temperatures and lots of cooler moisture?  Well, you end up with a nice hoarfrost most times that happens.  The fog/clouds didn't leave until mid-afternoon, so I had a few opportunities to try to catch some neat pictures of the farm.

Highest wind gust for March: 35 mph
Highest temp for March: 54
Lowest temp for March: 12
Snowfall: 17 inches (est)
Rainfall: .15 inches

Farm News Shorts and Announcements

  • We have had one Wartburg Service Trip group at the farm in March and may have one or two more at the farm this month.  The first group helped us cut down some brush, pick up trimmings from our fruit tree pruning and lay down plastic on what will be a new veggie plot.  Tune in next month when we report on the other group efforts.
  • The hen chicks are now on the farm!  About sixty (or so) little ladies arrived in the mail last Thursday and, of course, the weather went and got really cold on us!  This appears to be a tradition for us.  Get chicks, weather gets cold.  The birds are in the brooder room where they get plenty of heat to stay healthy.
  • The first batch of broiler chicks will arrive in a week and a half.
  • Speaking of broilers - last year's broilers are now sold out!  We have a few stewing hens available.  But, until we process batch #1 of broilers at the end of June, we will have no more broilers for sale.
  • Plant starts - do you want some?  If you want some, you need to speak up so we know to start them for you.  As per our decision last year, we will not be holding general plants sales.  However, if you are one of the people who has relied on us for plants over the years, you need to say something if you want us to start them.
  • Our plant starting shelves hold peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, kale, broccoli, flowers, tatsoi, komatsuna and various other items.  We have a huge planting list to start in a about one week.  And, Valhalla has tubs with started lettuce, spinach and onions.  It has begun.
There be tubs of spinach, lettuce and onions in that building!
April Calendar
You may notice that the first item on our list is a Flash Veg and Egg Sale.  We anticipate that this will be during the first week.  We have some greens that will need to be harvested, but we have to respond to the weather.  Tuesday does not look like a good options.  But, hey!  This is the nature of a "Flash" sale - it happens when it happens.

  • April 5 (Thus) - Flash Veg and Egg Sale
  • April 12 (Thus) -  Egg sales Waverly and Cedar Falls
  • April 24 (Tue) - Egg sales Waverly and Cedar Falls

Song of the Month
Here we are, on the cusp of a new growing season.  It only seems right to have a song titled "the Precipice" by the Classic Crime as our song of the month:

Time to Have Pun
We've noticed in the past that there are a number of characteristics different potatoes exhibit.

For example, there is the potato that makes all the other potatoes do what it wants.  That's a dic-tater...
Every once in a while, we get one that seems to be tainted by the negative side of the force - also known as - Darth Tater
We also find some that are very helpful, we call them facili-taters.
The common-taters just keep talking, but you can find them everywhere you look. 
Once in a while, we find a potato that was cut by the potato digging tool.  Depending on how badly it destroyed the potato in question, you might say it was a decapi-tater or an ampu-tater.
If potatoes could talk - would they yell "Im-a-Tater!"  And, if they did, would you assume that they were trying to act like someone else?
The medi-taters always seem thoughtful and others balk at being pulled up out of the ground. Silly hesi-taters!
And, finally, all of the little ones that we find when we dig up the rows - they must be speck-taters.

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