There is a reason for tractors.

8 03 2010

Trying to obtain a tractor for a couple hours worth of work is proving more difficult than I had anticipated. I need to pull about 15 beds. I have been tilling everything by hand with a hoe, but the work smarter not harder mentality is nagging at my current work ethic. Lots of plants need to bed down shortly. Direct seeding a large first round of veggies is ready to happen.
There are still lots of spots in CSA that need to be filled, and are looking for people to enjoy this season’s bounty with us. There are other obtainable markets for fresh produce, but we really feel that the CSA is the best way to advocate closing the system on consumer producer relationships.


Our family

11 02 2010

Once again, after the advice of many of our friends to include a family photo in the brochure, we totally left it out. They told us,” a CSA connects the members to you, and including a family photo in your brochure would strengthen that connection.”
The truth is we really don’t have any recent family photos. Maybe using the timer function on the camera is a little beyond us. There are tons of pictures of Sadie, and she is a great representation of her parents. However, she doesn’t quite represent the hard work we do to make the CSA happen. She will learn soon. So to everyone who wanted to see more of our friendly faces in the newly released brochure, I apologize. We will get some good hard working pictures of us as a family on the blog soon.

Hot Hot Heat

28 07 2009

Man, it is super hot here at the Mud Puddle (the car thermometer said 105 yesterday). No puddles to speak of right now. We are working hard to make sure that the plants and animals, and us, get enough shade and water throughout these long days of intense heat. Lucky for us, we can go and jump in the river to cool off. Not so for these poor plants…

Anyway, we weeded this morning around the brassicas that were planted a few weeks ago. In this particular row, we have a ton of volunteer tomatillos and peppers coming up, so they had to be pulled out gently enough not to disturb the kale and chard sprouts. While the adults worked on that, Sadie chased Cornelius ’round and ’round, and trampled some lettuce. We hope it grows stronger due to encountering some baby delivered adversity. God decided to lay in the shady patch of lettuce as well despite the “No dogs in the field” rule. What’re you gonna do? At least he didn’t tear it out of the ground, I guess.

I am done with my Saturday rotation at the winery, so I will be back to doing markets again, which I am excited about. I can’t wait to see how much stuff we have been producing recently, and to check in with all our CSA members and make sure everyone’s expectations are being met. We already have ideas on how to improve for next year, but I want to hear what the paying customers think, too.

Selling Time

4 04 2009

We are now setting up our booth at Wooldridge Winery today. This will bring some needed attention to us in the area. Hopefully people will be interested, and we will get some more CSA subscribers.

not archimedes.

31 03 2009

The greenhouse is filled with starts.  In the middle of april tomatoes will be planted there.

Chickens have doubled in population.  We now have all these new chicken types: barred rock, black sexlink, light brahma, and speckled sussex, and golden wynadottes. Our two coops have been consolidated into the newer field coop.

Hops have been trellised using our natural surroundings.  Straight up a tree.

Irrigation is layed out.  Not perfectly, but there is water to the crops.  The crops which we seeded in Febuary, we are now planting.

Now we have a lot of marketing to do to get the CSA shares sold this year.  This upcoming weekend we are setting up shop at the Woodridge Wine release.  To everyone who is going to be out drinking wine in the beautiful Applegate Valley, and at Wooldridge Winery; stop by our booth.  We will be there on Saturday and Sunday.  On Sunday we will also be at the CSA Barn Dance at Hanley Farm in Central Point.

Slowly Gaining Speed

12 03 2009

I went to another monthly meeting of the League of Women Farmers the other night. This is such an inspiring group; I love when we do farm tours. We went to Whistling Duck Farm, which is one of the longest running, most successful farms around here. Mary and Vince have been hard at work doing what they do since 1992! We wandered through their fields and Mary told us about how they do their cover crops, (which is definitely something we could use some pointers with) and looking down their 500-600 foot rows it dawned on me that we can do this.

In one of the classes I have been in recently, someone said, “It’s not rocket science. It’s just growing vegetables.” Everyone laughed, of course, but this is one of the main reasons I am out here doing this; I had the same thought in Chicago. “It’s not rocket science. How hard can it be?” Then I got out here and found out about water rights and farm insurance and succession planting and the cost of seed and irrigation line and fencing and how hard it is to do what we do without a tractor. There are a lot of impediments involved in the just growing vegetables part, so it is easy to get lost in everything else.

But this time of year is great because all we have to do is start seeds and watch them grow. There are row after row of soil blocks in the greenhouse with little sprouts coming up out of them. It is so awesome to see. We don’t have quite as many as Whistling Duck, but they also have quite a few more acres than we do.

Our neighbor who has an awesome tractor came over and turned over the rest of the field for us to start using for vegetable production and for planting forage for our chickens. Chad planted crimson clover into it to get a head start on all the newly uncovered weed seeds that will germinate quickly.

We moved all of the chickens from the backyard coop to the field coop. This was part of the master plan, but we had to hurry it along because one of the chickens escaped (we aren’t sure how) and the puppies killed it. So rather than let them get used to killing chickens, and us losing all our current layers, we relocated them to the field house. Now we just need to get another CSA membership or two to pay for the portable electric fencing we want to use to pasture them effectively.

Speaking of our lack of CSA memberships, we would like some opinions. Why do you think people aren’t signing up so far this year? It is not just us; a couple of the other women farmers and I were talking about it Tuesday. There is a general shortage of CSA customers across the board. Yes, yes. The economy sucks. But this is food, not designer handbags, as my mom said. What is holding people back from buying into the farms so far this year? Or do we all just need to chill and give people some time?

Check This Out

3 02 2009

February, the checks for this years CSA memberships started trickling in. We really need this money to get all of our shit together and prepared to serve our customers this year. We have one check in hand, and got a call this morning about someone signing a check to give to us. This early money will help us get our much needed supplies.
So far we have been scrounging together what money we have to purchase the equipments that are a must. An item that is a must in efficiency for our farm is a soil blocker. We purchased one from FedCo last night and it should be here in a week or so. A soil blocker reduces the amount of waste, and increases planting efficiency by not having to use pots. With pots we have to wash them, and sanitize them every year to ensure healthy plants, they are flimsy plastic that break and put into landfills, and plants in pots may not have nearly as healthy roots. A soil blocker also improves the amount of pots/blocks can be made at once, and since the plants are not longer in pots the do not have to be removed from those pots before being planted outside.