Friday, August 3, 2012

Time to Begin the Recovery - Project 2

Problem 2 - Crops unavailable to Farm Share CSA or to sell due to spraying

Heck - WE will not eat them either.   Status is this - we won't know for another 10 days what the tests say about contamination.  So - at the very least, we cannot count on anything for that period.  We have pretty much concluded that tests showing any levels of contamination will result in our condemning the crop for the season.  We will only change our mind if someone with proper credentials can convince us that the food is perfectly safe for anyone, regardless of health, age, etc to eat.  So - our operating assumption is this - we lose these crops for the season.

Our goal - find ways to replace the crops we lost so
   a) we give a good faith effort on behalf of our CSA Farm Share members to replace lost production
   b) we provide our farm with an opportunity to earn late season income with new crops.  (we do this at some level anyway...but this is a modification to the original season plan)

Action Plan
    1. Make certain current crops are 'clean' so that weed pressure, etc does not reduce these crops.  Improve water delivery system to these crops.
    2. Clean up some border areas and the garlic area to make the Fall production plan work better.
    3. Make a final assessment of our winter squash crop.  We are 90% certain this is lost due to draught conditions exacerbated by weeds and our poorest performing field.  It is possible that a weed crew may find a hold out area that could still succeed. 
    4. Pump up the Fall production plan.  Add in more Fall green beans, dry beans and peas.  Since they are legumes, even a failure to reach maturity gives us value as a plow down.  Run Fall carrot, beet, turnip, rutabega, radish, daikon, etc and other root crops at higher rates that previously planned.  Set up water delivery for each.  Increase the kohlrabi and cabbage plantings for the Fall.  Get the Fall pok choi and chinese cabbage stronger runs.  Take some gambles on some Fall greens that we would usually wait a little longer on, such as arugula, mustard greens, collards.  Fall broccoli, cauliflower, etc already planted in trays - assess if we should increase or run with what we have.  A gamble run of summer squash, zucchini and cucumber are started and are already germinating 24 hours later.  All of this requires that Rob evaluates his rotation plan so that changes do not impact future crops.  Many of these additions are gambles - if the Fall is warmer and longer, we win.  If it is not, we don't win.  We are working no more detail that is probably beyond what anyone wants to see here.
5. Prepare the Fall high tunnel location.  This includes removing some asparagus transplants (and getting the new asparagus bed ready for them), plowing in the cover and soaking the area down with water.  This was already on the docket for this week - but we have a few more things on that docket now.

What you can do to help us if you desire:
1. For the most part, we could use some help cleaning up some areas with respect to weeds/unwanted plants.  Don't take this wrong - but if we get help with the 'less skilled' tasks, then Tammy and I can spend more time on the 'skilled' tasks.  Or maybe it is more accurate to say that we could use help so that we can spend time on the things that require more decision making as the task is being done.
2. We have some poles to pound and fencing to tie up if someone wants to help, but can't stand doing vegetation removal.

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