Post by littleminnie on Jul 30, 2011 20:12:25 GMT -5
I would love to do my CSa more like that but how do you find the time? I am always so behind! I basically quit the market and added more CSAs. I still have one more slot to fill but no one has replied and that is ok. This season has been good except for onions and peas again this year. Melons and tomatoes are giving me a challenge too. We'll see. The tomatoes have bacterial spot but might get over it now as the weather levels out. Anyway, quitting market has given me about 8 more hours a week. I spend that evening weeding and I like the calmness of it! If I have extra produce later and catch up a little bit I can still go to market. I have no idea yet how I will do things next year.
From the sandy potato fields of Sherburne county, Windy River Eco Farm grows heirloom vegetables, flowers and herbs for Market and CSA. Been growing since 2008.
Post by 12540dumont on Jul 31, 2011 18:14:35 GMT -5
This is this week's CSA. Of course this is packed in a basket to give to a neighbor who scored me a farm fridge! Only real CSA folks get boxes.
This week three more folks tried to sign on. I only have room for one, so it's going to get sticky.
One of the ways I keep up is working 7/7/7. That means I start at 7am and quit at 7pm, seven days a week. My dear spouse helps on Saturdays and Sundays with things like tilling. My son is home from college (and may not got back) and is helping me with the strawberries.
My advice is to not plant too many small things. Cherry tomatoes take a long time to pick. I try to plant things that if I can't get them picked on the day, I am able to can/dry or freeze. So I select green beans that can be shellys or dried for later in the season. Today I froze a couple of pounds of strawberries. Last week I made strawberry roll-ups for the CSA. I save every other Saturday for canning. It helps extend the season. It also helps me start the season.
In early spring the garden is sleepy and having strawberry jam and dried tomatoes helps.
To get 'er all done, I never go out in the field without my tools, gloves, picking boxes, hat, etc. I put everything away every night so I don't spend an hour looking for my rake/hoe/snips. I clean up all my trays after picking and re-stack. I have a table ready for picking and packing.
I field pack anything I am able to. For example, when I pick green beans, I put the plastic bags in my apron. I count out how many I need for which group. I go down the row, putting a 1/2 pound of green beans all aligned in each bag. Under the basket, you can see the stainless steel picking trays. I got them second hand from a restaurant. I put the bags in them and fill as I go. Then they can go straight to the fridge to be packed the next morning.
Like Joseph, I wash only root crops and greens. Everything else goes unwashed. It takes me 1 hour to pick for each customer. So, I have to spread the picking over 2 days. I try to set up the boxes the night before I pick, and put anything in them that's ready to go.
This week, there were cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, torpedo onions, Tomatoes, tomatillos, cabbage, strawberries, corn, flowers, eggs and pickle relish.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jul 31, 2011 21:57:25 GMT -5
I also avoid planting/harvesting small things: peas, green beans, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, pickling cucumbers etc... except that I harvest a few of them for CSA baskets, and a few for market and charge really high prices. Or I offer them as u-pick where I give half the crop to the person picking in exchange for their labor, and then I put my share into baskets or take them to market.
I charge the same price for large squash as for small squash, since it's the same labor to pick a big squash as it is to pick a little one. People generally prefer to get larger squash for their money so I end up not picking smaller squash. They might claim that smaller squash taste better, but they are not willing to put their money where their mouth is.
I pick cherry tomatoes directly into pint baskets. I likewise do all packing directly in the field, or at the gate to the field.
Whenever possible I avoid highly perishable items like lettuce, spinach, and herbs.
Also I pick entire rows at a time, without regard to whether or not each individual is ready to be picked... For example I'll dig an entire row of carrots, and whatever gets harvested gets harvested. No time to fuss over individual plants. If they aren't ready they get composted or put into a box of seconds. Similarly I generally don't pick leafs from plants, I pick the entire plant. The one exception would be late in the season Swiss chard which has huge leafs by that time.
Also I don't weed rows that are almost ready to be harvested. I'll harvest the entire row and as long as I till it under before the weed seeds mature no harm is done.
Silt/clay, high-altitude, super-arid, sun-drenched, irrigated-desert garden. Cold radiant-cooled nights. ~100 frost free days. Grow most of my own locally adapted landrace seed. GDD10C ~1300. Subscribe to my newsletter to get notified about the publication of my new book about Landrace Gardening.
Yes, if you use enough garlic to pump up the flavor. PM your address; I'll overnight your starter kit of voles. Aww, why be stingy; PM all your neighbors' addresses as well; plenty to go around. This could be the most festive New Year since rabbits were sent to Australia.
"Yesterday is history; tomorrow is mystery; today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." E. Roosevelt "If the world is to end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today" Martin Luther
Post by 12540dumont on Aug 1, 2011 13:04:17 GMT -5
Okay, now I have another website I have to read. I love puff pastry. I have lots of strawberries to throw in them. I'm making strawberry ice cream today.
Steev, Hustle? Gee, you haven't seen me hustle. Besides, everyone knows it's more fun to pull other people's weeds. It instills that smug sense of self-satisfaction.
In a letter that Dr. Kapuler sent to me he gave me the following advice about voles:
Holly, We have had underground rodent problems for decades. When Dylana, my youngest daughter, and her partner Mario took over the field and most of the seed work, they acted to eliminate the gophers, moles, voles etc by burning chunks of elemental sulphur in the tunnels, igniting the sulphur with a torch and covering the emerging smoke (which is heavier than air and hence sinks into the tunnels) with boards. This provides sulphur which helps our crops and now there are very few rodents, hence we got untouched crops of beets and onions last year.
I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't mind my passing this advice along, as he is wonderful about giving advice. I had a banner pepper year last year with his help. Did I mention he's my hero?