Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 Crop Report

We have done this for a couple of years running and a few people have said they liked it.  So, here it is!  The annual crop status versus crop goals post.  We will continue to update this post as the harvest season continues for as long as we pay enough attention to do it.  I suppose you could say it will get updated as long as we enjoy doing it. After all, you can see the last update for 2016 was November 4 and there were still some crops coming in (but not too much).

All numbers with * are subject to change as the season continues. Updated 10/9/17

Green Beans
   goal -500 pounds                                                 
   2017: 377.2 pounds *                                             2016: 499.8 pounds
   goal - 500 pounds                                                   
   2017: 764.2 pounds *                                               2016: 210.6 pounds
and yes, this is a record for those of you who might be curious after our Things Farm Records Are Made Of post.
   goal - 3000 fruit                                                       
   2017: 1672 fruit                                                         2016: 3023 fruit 
   goal - 3000 head                                                     
   2016: 2926 head                                                        2016: 3176 head
Bell and Sweet Peppers
   goal - 3000 fruit                                                     
   2017: 1162 fruit *                                                       2016: 3749 fruit
   goal - 800 fruit                                                     
   2017: 1099 fruit                                                         2016: 868 fruit
   goal -  500 pounds                                                 
   2017 -  339.9 pounds *                                            2016 -  868.6 pounds
   goal - 350 fruit                                                      
   2017 - 137 fruit                                                      2016 - 541 fruit
   goal - 2500 bulbs                                                 
   2017 - 1381 bulbs *                                                 2016 - 3205 bulbs 
Winter Squash
   goal - 600 fruit                                                  
   2017 - 991 fruit   *                                                  2016 - 938 fruit
Snow Peas
   goal - 150 pounds                                             
   2017 - 126.9 pounds                                             2016 - 134.8 pounds
   goal - 1500 pounds                                             
   2017 - 1095.2 pounds                                           2016 - 1597.4 pounds
   goal - 300 pounds                                              
   2017 - 302.9 pounds *                                           2016 - 122.0 pounds
   goal - 350 pounds                                             
   2017 - 355.0 pounds    *                                       2016 - 245.8 pounds   
Pok Choi
   goal - 250 pounds                                              
   2017 - 265.9 pounds    *                                      2016 - 268.0 pounds
Snack Tomato
   goal - 2000 fruit                                               
   2017 - 2479 fruit    *                                            2016 - 2207 fruit
   goal - 150 pounds 
   2017 - 165.7 pounds *
   goal - 200 pounds
   2017 - 434 pounds
   goal - 150 pounds
   2017 - 201.6 pounds
   goal - 800 fruit
   2017 - 881 fruit  *
   goal - 750 head
   2017 - 527 head  *
Tomato (slicer or larger)
   goal - 2000 pounds
   2017 - 1827.5 pounds *
Cherry Tomato
   goal - 2000 fruit
   2017 - 3539 fruit *
   goal - 600 root
   2017 - 983 root *

This doesn't show all of the crops we grow, but we have added a number of them to the list this year.  I didn't quite feel like taking the time to put in 2016 numbers for some of the new ones - but that could change if I get a wild hair to do it.

The Good

We've already talked about the broccoli in our blog this year.  And then, we talked about it again in a post that also included discussion about our snack tomato crops.  It's just natural for a person to want to discuss something that is going well.

This has clearly been a good year for brassicae family crops on our farm.  The cabbage led the way by setting a farm record for most weight of produced, marketable heads and this was followed by the broccoli showing us enough side shoot love that we broke that record as well.  The cauliflower has followed suit, but it looks like we won't quite break the 200 pound mark. 

We feel like we can attribute some of this outstanding production to our own efforts and choices, but we also have to admit that it was probably just a darned good year for this sort of crop on our farm.  The cool August helped a fair amount.

The Good Enough
Most of our crops fall into the "good enough" category this year, which is perfectly fine with us.  In general, the quality has been very good to exceptional with the yield being reasonable, but not exceptional. 

The green beans are a good example.  The taste has been fantastic and the amount of green beans has been enough to keep our farm share CSA customers happy.  But, we don't have much extra beyond that this year.  Some of it is due to an issue with the wet weather in late July and some has to do with the time intensive nature of green bean harvest.  Because we lost the summer crop in Eden, we are stuck with a heavier load in the Fall - when we have less help to harvest.  Such is life.

In fact most of our crops are producing 'enough,' which is a nice thing to be able to say.  But, we would be lying if we didn't have our disappointments.

And the Ugly

Our biggest disappointment has got to be the field melons this season.  We really believed that we had the system figured out with these.  And, frankly, we still do.  However, they ran into the buzz saw that is field E1.  E1 has a history of making us feel like idiots and it did not fail in doing that this season as well.  We still got melons from the high tunnels, but it sure wasn't the bonanza we had dancing in our heads at the beginning of the year.  For those who are curious, we are permanently retiring E1 from annual vegetable production now.  We've "moved it" out of production and put cover crops and poultry on it to rehab it in the past.  But, there just is some bad karma going on there - so we're going to do something very different there starting this Fall.

Other disappointments have tended to be warm weather crops this season.  The cucumbers were less than they usually are and the field peppers have really had a tough time of it.  But, in each case, there is the potential for redemption even at this late date.  The third succession of cucumbers (a gamble) is actually starting to produce.  If we can keep the temps above 40 degrees F, we should get a nice little bump in that yield.  Similarly, the field peppers have fruit that are approaching readiness.  It won't be what we hoped for, but it will be better than what we've had thus far!

And Crops with Potential
It is still very early to report on all of our crops.  Three-quarters of the potatoes are still in the ground (which is not abnormal for us) and the winter squash is just now approaching readiness (also not abnormal).  Both have the potential to be reasonable crops, though we do not expect super high yields.  The 75% of the onions are still in the field after a late start and are approaching readiness as well.  We don't think they will be super big, but the taste thus far has been extremely good and the numbers should be fine.  There is plenty of season remaining for kale, spinach, lettuce, turnips, choi and other cool season crops.  In fact, it is often surprising how much comes in during the month of October.

Feel free to check in on this post every so often and see how we progress with our harvest.  And, if you have questions, feel free to post them!

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