Monday, June 13, 2011

A new season, a new stage

though there have been a couple very summer-like days in the past month, we are still enjoying the last couple weeks of spring here in the D.  warm sunny days with non-stop activity, followed by cool well-deserved nights (i'm thankful every day that i have a child that sleeps well!). 

but the times (and seasons) are a changin and so is our little farm.  all beds are pretty much planted at this point.  we have 4 varieties of tomatoes in on Frederick (Green Cherokee, Sun Gold, Copia & Yellow Pear) and all our flowers (a really nice variety of cut flowers including but not limited to sunflowers, calendula, borage, snapdragons and zinnias).  also, scallions and leeks are growing on Elmwood (and they need a little weeding).

as those plants were going in, the head lettuce has been coming out for the past 3 weeks and if the summer weather will hold off a little longer we should have another couple weeks of harvest.  Yea, one succession plan that worked!!!

we do have a little free space which we're suppose to be planting mixed greens in, but its been a little awkward selling mixed greens right next to Brother Nature Produce, since salad/greens mixes are their "speciality".  not that i'm against competition but figuring out a fair price is tricky and we're all neighbors and friends and are trying to create a new food system model not just falling into the old one.  so i haven't quite figured that one out.

we also purchased another long bike trailer, so you'll soon be seeing two of us biking around with stacks of produce.  we are developing our bike trailer system for tomatoes and cut flowers, which both require a little more post-harvest care and can't just be thrown into a tub.  jack's got a design which involves a platform suspended over multiple bike tubes stacked with bread trays full of tomatoes...the idea is that the bike tubes will give it a little cushion...i think it could work but we'll have to do a test run before the tomatoes start coming in.  for the flowers, i'm imagining a covered wagon type set up.  they need to be upright in 5 gal buckets (with water) and not be in the wind.  again a test run is needed.

the biggest change here at Rising Pheasant Farms is the departure of Gwen.  Gwen has gotten a job with Compuware, which is looking to put in gardens/park space on the site of the old Lafayette building and possibly also the old Hudson building and Gwen will be heading it all up.  so that's really exciting for her, but its rare to find such a hard-working enthusiastic farmer like Gwen and she will be missed.  but with her departure we have an opportunity for a new team member with new ideas, skills and perspective, which is always exciting.  we are finishing up interviews this week and hope to have our new employee at the market with Gwen and I this Saturday or next (Gwen has been so kind as to stay on at market until our new person gets the swing of things).  so we'll see, a lot of great folks applied and its really uplifting to know that there are others out there that want to be a part of our little farm.

here's a couple pictures!
laying out beds on Frederick - 5/8/11
all beds planted & staking first tomatoes - 6/13/11

largest load yet!  thank god we're getting another trailer! - 6/11/11

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