If you has a CSA with us last year then welcome back! We missed you! We love CSA because it gives us a chance to see you every week and learn how you use our produce, poultry, and eggs and get some new recipes for ourselves!
If you are not familiar with CSA, there’s a rich history to it.
CSA Season is here already! It seems like just yesterday we were setting up our 2019 forms and getting things in order for the summer and here it is!
If you didn’t get a CSA this year but you have some questions about it we’re here to help answer them. Don’t be afraid to ask away at any of our pickup locations. We hope that your interest means that you’ll go with a CSA next year.
For those of you who have gotten a CSA this year you will be receiving information via email about what will be available on our table as well as pick up spots and times. These are listed below for everyone’s convenience as well:
STARTING PICK UP DATES
Wednesday, June 5, On Farm 4:30pm-6:30pm
Thursday, June 6, Rochester Public Market 7am-12noon
Saturday, June 8, Rochester Public Market 6am-1pm
Sunday, June 9, Brighton Farmers Market 8:30am-12:30pm
Monday, June 10, Thompson Hospital 2:30pm-5:30pm
Tuesday, June 11, Victor Central School 3:30pm-6pm
(Early Childhood School/District Office)
If you are reading this blog and aren’t familiar with our CSA we have one with choice. CSA members come to their pickup location and get to choose what they take home with them. We do not pre-fill baskets or bags. We want you to love what you get and get what you love so you will use it. We never want our product to go to waste and you don’t want to pay for something that you don’t like or won’t use.
For more information you can always keep tabs on our blog page. We try to update you as much as possible of what crops are coming up next and what other farm updates we have. We even share some of our favorite farmhouse recipes there too!
Officially it is spring but Mother Nature is thinking otherwise. Just the other morning we had a little frost on the puddles and scattered snow showers on and off. But all in all the ground is starting to firm up and the mud is going away (thank goodness). With any kind of luck we can start to get out in the fields next week and get a few early crops planted.
This week we officially wrapped up the greenhouse expansion project. Hard to believe when I first started vegetable farming my greenhouse was a whopping 10 x 16 feet. Then in 2004 we added on another 12 feet. That little greenhouse raised plants, dried onions, cured sweet potatoes, and stored odds and ends in the off season. The last few years we have raised plants in the high tunnel by the barn but it wasn’t ideal.
Peppers, tomatoes, Eggplant
More veggies and flowers
So this spring we tore down our little greenhouse to make way for a 20 x 36 foot greenhouse. It was a fun project and a nice change of pace. Last Friday we moved in onion plants and now its almost full (maybe it should have been bigger?) Peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant are off to a great start. Pretty soon we will be starting zucchini, cucumbers, melons, and a few flowers for our girls.
We started a little bit of machinery maintenance on the mulch layer. Plastic mulch is a very helpful tool for us for many reasons. It helps to warm the soil in the spring, keeps the weeds away, and makes it possible for drip irrigation. The plow points on the front were pretty worn out. I was able to get a new set at the farm supply store in Penn Yan (another story someday). I cut the old ones off and got the shiny new on, greased her up and now she’s ready to roll. On the rainy days I can chip away at the rest of the fleet.
Garlic is well on its way already. They look like little soldiers standing in a row. Garlic is a great crop to make you feel good. Always the first out of the ground. It can get snowed on, froze, and rained on but it doesn’t care, just keeps growing.
The meat chicken business is in full swing. We are butchering the first batch of spring next week and then starting the beginning of May we will have fresh every week until fall. We get chicks every other week and right now we have three groups going. It’s amazing how they grow so fast!
But did you know that post office ships the baby chicks? They come from a hatchery in Pennsylvania that ships them Tuesday and we usually get them the next day. But you should see the looks on peoples faces when you have these noisy boxes of chicks!
We are hoping to get some of our direct seed crops in the field next week.Peas, radishes, and carrots are the first guys to be seeded outside. They don’t mind the cooler soil temperature. We also have a whole bunch of transplants to squeeze into the high tunnel and caterpillar tunnel.
Bok choi, kale, chard, beets, broccoli rabe, and scallions will be the first transplants of the season. I’m sure they won’t all fit inside and the rest will be transplanted outside. We use the tunnels to get a jump on the season and have more variety on the tables at the market. Next to follow are potatoes and onions but they will have to wait until the following week.
Still have time to sign up for the Summer CSAand we are very excited about the new Victor pickup location. Check us out at the markets Rochester Public, Saturday and Brighton, Sunday.
Looking through last year’s crop reports can be telling sometimes.
It’s somewhat of a personal Farmer’s Almanac. We send out crop reports on our email blasts to alert our friends and customers of what’s happening in the field. If you have a CSA with us or if you frequent our table at the markets we attend then you’ll want to know what to expect as the summer months progress.
Looking back to last year is fun too.
This last week of really cold temperatures is enough to make you want to run south. But looking at these old crop reports made us realize that spring is coming soon! Not only that but the sun has been much warmer this last week than it has in months. It’s coming but it seems like it’s taking forever.
Here’s a few crop reports that we put on our blog from last year.
Here’s a few that might be interesting to you and of course, get you a bit excited for this year’s growing season. We can’t wait!
These three are from July of last year. It will give you an idea of what to look forward to, especially if this is your first CSA with us!
The fast approaching spring can’t come soon enough for many of us. But maybe these crop reports are more than just teasers. They really are time capsules into years past. We now have the internet and this web blog to thank for them being public, but this is nothing new for farmers and nothing new for a lot of us who have kept journals and diaries.
It seems like I get that question fairly often and certainly more folks are wondering than are actually asking, so thought I would share a bit about our winter season.
Winter is little different story for us compared to other farms because two of our ‘summer season’ farmers markets continue throughout the winter and I have a local restaurant delivery route all winter long. Between harvesting greens from the high tunnel, washing produce from storage, and taking care of the poultry we stay fairly busy.
Definitely, not summer time busy but steady nonetheless.
The first task of every winter is to order seeds.
Can’t grow vegetables without them! But before you can start placing orders you need to know what to get. I take inventory of what I had left over from the previous year and that gets the ball rolling. Then I have to look at the transplanting and seeding schedules from the previous year to see if I need to make any adjustments. I read through the stack of seed catalogs vying for my attention looking for improved or new offerings. Finally, I have a baseline of what I need and can start ordering.
Did you know that we purchase seeds from four different seed dealers?
One of the dealers is located right here in Rochester, NY. A few tweaks to the order may occur based on seed production availability or talks with the seed company reps and then the boxes start arriving. Funny thing is that even though I mostly place one bulk order with each company, they never send everything at once so it’s a steady trickle of boxes for the next 4-6 weeks, always with a surprise element of what each box actually contains!
This week I was working on getting some fields plowed for early crops.
I usually do this in the fall but it was so wet and muddy I could not get it done. Then after Christmas I started working on it and a part broke on the tractor. By the time the part arrived, Siberia had set in and the ground was frozen. Luckily, we had a February thaw and I got a chance to get back on the tractor. I finished the field that I started and got another one going. Unfortunately now it’s too muddy and I will have to wait till the ground gets a little freeze on it. There is a fine balance between muddy and frozen which can change within a few hours in the mornings and evenings.
By the time the part arrived, Siberia had set in and the ground was frozen.
Another big winter task is getting all the accounting figured out for 2018 and meeting with the accountant. It usually takes a few weeks to get all the information into QuickBooks, and compile all the reports that the accountant needs to file the taxes. It’s not my favorite job of the year but a very important one.
After the taxes are all done and filed I can start working on machinery maintenance. All the tractors and RTVs need oil changes and service. Usually as you go through the machines you find little issues that need to be fixed. Then we start looking at the other equipment that gets used throughout the season. For the most part these are all tasks that we work in as time permits.
We finalized the plans this week to have a CSA pickup location in Victor, NY.
Victor Central School asked if we would be willing to setup on their campus Tuesday afternoons this market season, June-October. This will be a great opportunity for us to grow the CSA program and provide our products to the Victor area. (We did attend the Victor Farmers Market for several years from around 2005-2012.)
The sure sign of spring is getting the greenhouse ready for the first seeds. Around mid March we start early transplants of beets, chard, and tomatoes. Then every week after that the planting continues until July.