Friday, August 24, 2012

News of the Farm

Consider what follows to be a newsletter of sorts.  We've had so many things stack up on us that it will take a while to even sum up!

Summer Festival at Genuine Faux Farm
August 26, Sunday.  Starting 3pm.

Come enjoy an afternoon and evening at the farm. This is a family friendly, no work event. Potluck. We expect to begin the feast around 5pm, but we'll be ready for you starting at 3pm. Goes until everyone leaves OR the farmers fall asleep, then we ask you to quietly leave the premises in an orderly fashion. Bring some outdoor games to share. We'll give tours to the interested. 

NIFFP Farm Crawl
September 9, Sunday.  1pm to 5pm.

Genuine Faux Farm is one of several area farm destinations in the 2012 Farm Crawl.  In the tradition of the very popular farm crawl in the Knoxville, IA area, farms make themselves available for interested persons to see what they do and how they do it.  Visit this site:

GF7 - Genuine Faux Farm Fall Festival and Fetid Fruit Fling
Saturday, October 6.

Poultry News

Now taking reservation for ducks.  They will be processed end of September.  Price in prior years has been $6.50-$6.75/lb.  We must gather our cost information to determine whether we can hold the line on this price or not.

Now taking reservations for turkeys.  Processed end of October.  Price has been $3.75/lb.  Similar comment to above. 

Laying Hens Part I
We will be 'retiring' a batch of our older laying hens.  They no longer lay consistently.  As we separate these birds out, we wanted to give interested parties a chance to purchase a mature bird or three for your own little flock.  We will not guarantee much for egg laying.  However, if you wanted to give a small flock a try, it is easier in many ways to go with one of the established birds to see if you like it or not.  If interested, let us know.

Laying Hens Part II
We have ordered an incubator.  In an effort to make lemonade out of lemons, we're going to try to hatch out some of the eggs that we have heretofore been throwing away.

Laying Hens Part III
We anticipate getting the ladies moved to their new room this weekend.  Wish us luck.

Laying Hens Part IV
We are looking at one more week of the great 'egg embargo' due to the spraying.  At that point, we anticipate making eggs available for sale again.  It is likely we will have a drop in production with the stress of the move, etc.  But, it is better than having zero eggs available.

CSA News
Expected Upcoming Share Amounts
The past couple of weeks have seen a wonderful spike in produce.  We have been proud to bring you full and varied shares of produce this season and having this nice little spike *without* some key items due to the spraying has been gratifying.  However, we have not been immune to the drought or the shortfalls the spraying has caused/will cause.  As always, we will do our best to keep your bags and boxes full of good, quality produce.  But, we would be remiss if we didn't tell you that we expect a bit of a drop off in the next few weeks until Fall crops start to mature.  Note - don't get too worried either - we're being cautious and keeping you informed of what we are seeing.  Details in crop news below.

Thanks to our Farming Friends
Scattergood Friends School Farm has been ever so gracious in donating peppers and eggplants to us so that we can get you some of these items.  We will also work deals with Grinnell Heritage Farm and G It's Fresh.  Both are also certified organic and run by excellent people.

Fall Membership Drive for 2013 CSA
It feels far to early to be starting to say this.  But, if we don't, we get surprised by the end of the season.   Typically, we begin taking deposits to reserve CSA spots for the next season in September.  We are 95% certain we will return with our CSA program next year.  The 5% uncertainty is simply a nod to the facts of life.  If you are too certain, then you aren't considering all possibilities of what can happen.
In recent years, we've opened reservations up for current CSA members for a period of time prior to throwing it open to all comers.  This year is different.  We'll open reservations to all, but we will keep two lists.  Those who are returning members get priority for CSA slots.  Those who are new will be first come first served for slots not taken by returning members.
We will announce when sign ups begin.  Please wait until we open sign ups, as we will be prepared to do the necessary tracking at that time.

Crop News

The tomatoes started to ripen on us quickly this week.  Thus far, the crop looks pretty good.  This means a couple of things.
1. If the crop goes as well as it looks like it MIGHT, we will be advertising tomatoes for sale to those interested in freezing/canning.
2. Again, if we have the crop for it, we will also begin appearing at the Saturday Waverly Farmers' Market with veg for sale (primarily tomatoes of course).  We will also bring extra to the Tuesday market and make them available for sale (as much as the space in the truck allows).

Another note on how the spraying event changed things for us.  We had a large number of salad sized tomatoes in the high tunnel.  They were just getting going at the point we were sprayed.  This explains why the CSA did not get as many tomatoes as we had hoped earlier.  The tomatoes were there, we just couldn't give them to you.  Rob picked 100 Jaune Flamme tomatoes, ripe and beautiful, several days ago -off two plants in the high tunnel.

Green Beans
From the "are you kidding?" files....  We have harvested 781 pounds of green beans this season.  We harvested another 44 pounds from the high tunnel after the spraying to get a sample (and then threw it into the compost).  We estimate we lost another 300 pounds in the Southwest field and high tunnel because of the spraying event.  Unfortunately, the southwest and high tunnel were the succession that were supposed to sustain us for the next few weeks.  We are not sure the older plantings will do much from this point on out.  But, we'll try to keep them picked and see what we get.  A very late succession has germinated in the field.  Here's hoping.

We crossed the 3000 unit mark for cucumbers this week.  That marks a respectable season for the Genuine Faux Farm, but no where near normal capacity.  In 2010, we pulled in over 7000 marketable cucumbers by the end of the season.  The real reason for this success is the inclusion of Boothby's Blonde and True Lemon cucumbers.  They look different, but CSA members are finding out that they taste great.  And...they are a winner for the farm during a dry season.  While the standard green cucumbers have been running at 30-40% normal production levels, these have done well.  As a result, we've been able to get the CSA some nice cucumber numbers for the year - and some of each type to keep all tastes satisfied.  Another winner has been the open-pollinated variety named "Parade."  We like new discoveries of this sort.

We are watching the plants carefully.  They do have a limited production period and we know we are approaching the age where succession I will drop from peak production.  We just hope it will not be a crash.  We will be attempting a late planting in the high tunnel and the field.  Seedlings are in trays ready to go to the fields.

Other Farm News
Looking for a New Truck
We have to admit that we've been lucky to have Grover (our truck's name) for as long as we have.  Some of you know that 5-6 years ago a building came down on him and we thought we'd lost him then.  But, he still carries use around with our produce when we need it.
However, if you look carefully at the back bumper, you may have noticed it is no longer level.  A visit to a mechanic/body shop told us what we didn't want to hear.  There are some major structural problems looming and we can no longer rely on this truck for more than a couple of months of work - and we certainly cannot tow anything.
While we aren't really ready to make this purchase, we know we have to.  So, the process begins.

Change in the Guard
The time of year has come yet again where most of our work crew goes back to school or otherwise moves on.  This, of course, includes Tammy going back to her real job at Wartburg College.  We've been through this every year, so we have ideas as to how things have to change.  But, again, it is important that people recognize a few things when this happens.  We'll do our best to not make it apparent that there are fewer workers on the farm.  But, we do ask for understanding when the number of hours in the day do not allow Rob to complete all tasks.

We say good-bye to Anden Drolet, who has worked with us for three Summers.  We wish him the best and are proud of his work as crew leader this year.  Jordan will continue to work for a while into the Fall around her school schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Tammy Faux5:39 PM

    What to do when life gives you eggs you can't eat? Guilt-free incubation! Yes, now we can finally try hatching chicks without worrying that we are cutting customers short. 42 eggs are incubating now and updates will follow leading up to the possible hatch on or around Sept 16th. You know the old saying about not counting... well, we are trying not to PLAN on getting this to work, but WOW would it be fun! Tammy


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