Busy, busy, busy! We are busy planning and planting for the fall, winter, and early spring, keeping starts and new plantings wet in the heat. We have a lot of decisions to make in the next week or so as we plan our second season of growing year round. We learned a lot throughout last year, and we are happy to be able to apply first hand knowledge to the plans we are making this year. We are excited to plant some of the things we didn’t get to last year, things like chicories and parsley root. We are taking extra care with our parsnip planting, using soaker hoses to keep them nice and wet, and
while we do this really trying to keep the bed clear of weeds to facilitate a good start on these, they take almost three weeks to germinate! We are so happy with the increased amount of potatoes and onions already growing for winter harvest, and we are discussing and evaluating storage options for the winter.
We have decided not to plant in the new field we planned to use for fall/winter. This field needs more work to be a good growing space, and in the end, it will be better to do that work before trying to use it. Things will grow better in the old field, and although we had hoped to switch to rotating back and forth seasonally, the truth is that our main field’s soil is continually improving, rather than degenerating, so we have relaxed about using it this intensively. On the other hand, our lower field is looking great, and although our plans for growing pumpkins/tomatoes there weren’t realized this year (mostly because of how behind in time we got with that week in June that took me to Nebraska), we are going to get to use this for fall planting, and the soil is lovely. The water rises here right around the first of the new year, so this space will be filled with roots, roots, and more roots that we will harvest for cold storage both for the CSA and restaurants, but also for fall feed for the pigs and winter treats for the goats. Next year, we will likely do pumpkins and tomatoes there as we planned to this year. That looks especially promising after how well our tomatoes did in a similarly wet spot in the main field this year!
We are also beginning to make plans on the new greenhouse for next winter. After going back and forth between putting up a more permanent plastic hoophouse or a glass greenhouse with a foundation, we finally decided on building the glass house with a modified passive solar design. We are so blessed to have help with the designing of this from a fellow farm member and Monday farm helper. Andre continues to learn more and more and building as time passes on the farm, but it is always so reassuring to have a helping hand, especially a very smart and hard working one.
This week has also so quickly brought us into summer squash craziness, and for the first time ever, we have harvested these both today and on Sunday in order to keep up. We will check out the quality of those picked on Sunday, and will not give them out if they do not still seem super fresh, but we are committed to nice, mid-sized zucchinis and summer squash this year, aiming for consistent sizes for the CSA and market. With warm weather and the nature of these plants, sometimes overnight and especially a day or two can result in a mammoth squash. And although these are great for the little
piggies, there will be plenty of those by the end of summer squash season!
And as I mentioned last week, it is time for a farm open house and CSA potluck! We are busy with various summer plans just like the rest of you, so we ended up deciding on AUGUST 8th as the date for our first get together of the season. Mark your calenders, and don’t worry if you already have plans, we will definitely host another get together in October as well! And as it is the time for summer activities, we encourage you to check out the upcoming fundraising concert event on August 1st to benefit the efforts of Waste Not of Yamhill County, a group working against the landfill expansion as well as for alternative methods of waste disposal that could be employed at the existing dump. For details about this upcoming event, visit http://www.wastenotofyamhillcounty.org/.
This is an issue that is of vital importance to our community, so whether or not you can attend the concert, do take some time to become familiar with the efforts of this great