This Week on the Farm 3/16
It feels like Spring is finally here! We have had a couple of gorgeous 50 degree days here on the farm. The snow is still here in patches, but the forecast looks promising for this upcoming week and we may be snow free by the time Tyler’s parents make it back from Florida!
We have two exciting marketing events coming up next week. For those of you in the Madison area we will be at the FairShare CSA Open House at the Monona Terrace this coming Sunday, March 23 from 1-4PM. This is the second year we will be participating and last year was super fun! New this year at our booth- CSA t-shirts!! We designed our new farm shirts and not only will we be wearing them, we will have extras for sale at the event.
For those of you in the Fox Valley, we are really excited to be part of the CSA Open House at the Appleton Public Library on Tuesday, March 25 from 3:30 to 6:30PM. This is the first year they are putting on the event to get the word out about CSAs that service the Fox Valley. Please stop by and say hi!
On to farm news. This is the first year that we are totally on schedule for our greenhouse seeding!! Given that we have a 4 and a half month old and only one of us is really able to be outside working at a time, this is actually really exciting. Given how well our germination chamber is working, we may actually be slightly ahead of schedule since crops are germinating much faster than in previous years. Our big greenhouse is already over 2/3s full. As of today we have red onions, yellow onions, sweet onions, three types of leeks, purple scallions, three plantings of normal scallions, Brussels sprouts, and two types of kohlrabi in the greenhouse. We are also growing some flowers from seed for hanging baskets that will be for sale later in the year and some flowers for the planters on Lincoln Ave (the main drag) in Rio.
Tomorrow we start seeding broccoli, cauliflower, collards, two types of kale, and our first plantings of head lettuce. We are starting the broccoli and cauliflower earlier this year. We have had problems with them heading out the past couple of seasons and after doing some more research we think we have been transplanting them outside way too late in the spring. Part of this has been that the fields have been too wet to get into to work last season’s crop residues/ cover crops in and part of it has been we thought it was way too early to plant tender crops outside. Six weeks before the last frost date seemed ridiculous, but we are ready to try anything to get a good crop. Hopefully it isn’t a super late spring and we are able to work the fields in a timely fashion.
Over the past week we have had a lot of help stop by to give Tyler a hand on the packing shed project. Since our last blog post the siding along the south wall is up and the smaller pass through door has been built. The ceiling over the main packing area has been covered with plastic to prevent any dirt from the upstairs filtering down and over 3/4 of the ceiling now has the OSB hung. Tyler is hopeful that he will be able to get the last of the OSB up by midweek when he has to return the drywall lift that he borrowed from his cousin. It is really looking nice and as soon as the ceiling is painted it should be a lot brighter. Washing and packing boxes this summer/fall is going to be sooooo much nicer!
We finished up filling out our annual organic certification paperwork last night. The paperwork is really set up for farms that don’t grow 150+ varieties, so it takes a long time to fill everything out. But we are done and are now just waiting to have our inspection scheduled. Hopefully they come out in late April or early May like they did last year. That timing was really nice because we had time to take an afternoon off to show the inspector around the farm and go through our paper trail of seed packet/receipt through to harvest dates/poundage numbers.
Only four more days until the official start of Spring! If you haven’t gotten your paperwork in for your 2014 share, now is the perfect time!!!