This Week on the Farm 11/10
There is snow on the ground! The farm looks very picturesque with the snow on the burr oak and covering all of the buildings. Wash goes nuts any time he is let outside. He runs circles around the buildings and bounds through the snow. He also tries to graze on the snow while he runs at full speed. It is hard to believe that it will be in the 50s this weekend.
We have been organizing the buildings and getting everything ready for the winter. Yesterday Tyler and his dad finished insulating the garage. We use the garage for washing and packing veggies when the weather is bad or when it starts to get cold in the fall. Next year it will be nice to have it fully insulated when it is 30 or 40 out and we are washing veggies.
The chicken coop is cleaned and organized and ready for February when it is time to start seeding onions. Right now the chicken coop is our main storage area. Eventually we hope to partition it and make half of it a cooler using a cool bot system that turns a window air conditioner unit into a walk in cooler. Once we have the cooler area we will need to have a new area to act as potting shed. We want to convert the bottom of the west barn into a storage area for equipment with a section that is closed off and used as a potting shed. It will probably be a year or two before we have the time to build everything.
Tyler has spent a good portion of his time trying to repair equipment that broke this summer or getting things winterized. Yesterday he drained both of the irrigation pumps so that there isn’t any water inside that might freeze and damage the pump. He is also trying to fix the gas blower/vac that stopped working in early July. he has narrowed it down to a problem with the carburetor. Hopefully he will be able to fix it. Something that probably won’t be fixable is the chainsaw I got him for his birthday last year. We took it in to get fixed and they said it will cost more to fix than the chainsaw is worth. We are going to pick it up from the shop and Tyler is going to attempt to fix it himself. All of this repair work, while frustrating, is good practice for him and will hopefully help us out in the long run.
I have spent the last week entering paperwork into the computer. We took a lot of notes and recorded a lot of information this summer partly to help us and partly because it is required by our certifying agency in order to gain/maintain organic certification. Records start with what/when/ how much of a crop is seeded and then follows the crop throughout the year. Fertilizer schedules, transplanting dates, when things were weeded and what was weeded, pest scouting, and harvest dates and harvest weights are all recorded to help us keep track of what goes on each year.
These records will help us determine how many seeds we need to plant next year compared to this year and when they should be planted. For example, we planted way too many jalapano plants this year for the number of shares we had. I can look back and say we planted 144 plants in 2011 and for 2012 we can get by with 72 plants. I can also see when the first batch of tomatoes was planted and say that next year we should plant 3-4 weeks later. This will hopefully prevent the plants from having to stay in the greenhouse for as long where they are more susceptible to disease. It is a very time consuming process, but in the long run it will help us maximize efficiency.
For those of you who like winter, enjoy the snow! For those of you who aren’t ready for winter, it will be in the 50s in a couple of days!