Archive for January, 2012
Monday, January 30th, 2012
They say that patience is a virtue, and I have patiently been watching the onion trays hoping for them to germinate. Actually, I think I was being rather impatient really. Watering these trays of soil everyday, hoping to see a little green bud poke up through the surface, hoping that I didn’t do something wrong or that the seeds weren’t too old or anything. And sure enough on Monday morning I came in to cut some microgreens and all the little squares had come to life.
Matt and Jacy had their own business meeting this week, away from the dining room table/office and put this year’s crop plan down on paper. It is one thing to just be working week to week, and have the limited scope of what we are planting or seeding on a particular day, but to look at a whole season on paper really puts it in to perspective. Especially after you think you’ve gone over the whole plan, and then we jump over to the “new field” and there is just as much to do there. But as daunting as it may seem, it’s really just exciting to think about planting and seeding in the not too distant future. Sure, some snow would be nice right now, but I can feel myself yearning for soil and sun at the same time. If all goes to plan we should be planting by early April, and I joked that we could probably count on there being 100% chance of snow that week. But in reality, you could probably say that now with the same accuracy as this weeks forecast.
Work on the grant application has left many outdoor projects idle at the moment, and I have begun to delve in to the organic certification paperwork as well. The application itself is almost like a little seed that seems small and innocent at first, but is rapidly growing, putting on side shoots, getting bigger and bigger.
The showing of Queen of the Sun was last night, and was a good time. I was happy to see that the turnout of Bozeman residents for a movie about bee colonies totally eclipsed the crowd size for the ski movie I saw at the Emerson earlier in the winter. It’s an interesting film, and although it may sound cheesy, really made me grateful for being a part of what we do here, and for what a lot of people in this area are doing too. And I did go home and have spoonful of honey.
Since I forgot to put up a photo last week, I’ll put up an extra one this week. This is our
Friday, January 20th, 2012
After the ripping wind we had all Tuesday night, I was a little worried I would find one of the greenhouse roofs blown off and flapping in the wind, or something worse. But upon driving in on Wednesday morning everything was perfectly fine and calm, greenhouses standing tall and strong. We also saw some lower temperatures this week, but by Thursday we were still able to harvest some beautiful spinach and fill all of our restaurant orders. And once again no new new snow has fallen, despite the 100% chance of snow in the forecast.
I mentioned earlier how once we wrapped up with the CSA and the New Year began, we got back in the greenhouse and started seeding some new onions. But, what has really been the
biggest task at this time of year, has probably been the indoor projects. Matt and Jacy have spent a considerable amount of time these past few weeks working on a grant proposal that will be geared towards implementing new infrastructure here on the farm to further our season
extension capabilities. Meanwhile, also resuming work on the Organic Certification application, bookkeeping for the previous year, crop planning for two fields, going over some 30 applicants for next year’s crew, and making progress on the barn/house with more siding going up each week. I will be sure to talk more about the grant and the Organic Certification as they progress.
We had a visit this week from Dylan and Sam, two MSU students who are making a documentary about the local food system in Bozeman. They were out here over the summer for some footage, and have also visited several other farms and interviewed several other farmers in the area. Their film is called Bozeman Eats, and scheduled to be completed this spring. They will be presenting the film’s trailer next week on Thursday evening during the Bozeman Film Festival’s screening of Queen of the Sun. It is a film about the state of bee colonies worldwide and has been highly reviewed. It’s only $3 too! So go check it out, and pray for snow….
Thursday, January 12th, 2012
I forgot to mention it last week, but I wanted to say thank you for all the great comments and recipes posted with the CSA newsletters. And to those of you that were sad to see the weekly boxes come to a close, don’t forget the winter farmer’s market! It is at the Emerson, every other Saturday morning from 9-12. Since there was one last weekend, the next will be on Saturday January 21st. Last weekend Jacy’s table of chard, spinach, and microgreens sold out by 10:30, so get there early! Even though we’ve wrapped up the winter CSA and started planning and preparing for next season, we are still growing microgreens, and still have spinach alive and well in the greenhouse. And as the sun stays out a little longer each day, it should only get more productive.
We have continued seeding this week, tray after tray of onions and leeks. These early seedlings are slated to occupy the new space that we will be working this season. Matt and Jacy took a visit out to the new field this week, and took some measurements. As it turns out, the expansion this year will practically double the acreage under cultivation for us. The immediate result is a kitchen table full of notes and diagrams of field layouts and crop plans, but the end result will be earlier planting dates, earlier harvesting, and more of the food you love. -Neil
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
I have worked a couple of seasons now growing vegetables, but always came on in the spring, thinking I was showing up on day 1, for the beginning of the season. It’s not long after that arrival that you realize that while you might be arriving at the beginning in some sense of it, you have really missed a long pregrame. So now that I am here for it, I am going to try to post a blog entry every week, along with a photo, and keep you all in the loop a little about what is going on around here. It will be fun for me, hopefully at least a little interesting to those that check in here, and for those of you that join us in the field in the spring I hope that it helps to connect the dots from now until then.
Jacy’s CSA newsletter this week painted a perfect picture of how the farm production has both come to a close and to a new beginning at the same time. And so it seems fitting to call this week One. I have never really felt much change when a year ends and a new year begins, but around here it is hard not to notice. Instead of the long steady wind down of the fall, it is like the engine is getting fired back up again without ever being shutoff.
Some winter weather would really be nice. But, I have to admit I have been enjoying these warm days. We have taken advantage of the opportunity to get outside and do some preliminary field work, spreading manure over key areas of the fields that will benefit from the added fertility. One of the beauties of the greenhouse that is out in the field is it’s mobility. While it sits out there keeping the winter spinach warm and happy, we are able to prepare the area where it will house tomatoes, for example, in the coming season. And when the time comes we can move the entire structure on top of new soil. Along with getting the field ready, we have also already begun to start our seedlings. This morning I cleaned up the inside of the barn a little, stashed away the last few onions and shallots remaining, and went in to the greenhouse and began seeding more! It is a nice change of pace, but pretty crazy how the very end of this one vegetable has brought itself right back to it’s beginning… it’s sort of like a dog chasing it’s tail or something. It does feel nice to be tapping those little seeds into their new homes once again. Although it was just preliminary, and it didn’t seem like that much seeding yet, I found myself looking at the 20 or so flats I seeded and thinking about the fact that I actually went through some 7,000 seeds this afternoon . I wonder how many seeds we will actually plant this year…..? -Neil
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012