Genuine Faux News of the Farm
Vol 3 Issue 5 - May 2007
We are now entering the season where we feel as if we are perpetually on the edge of being hopelessly behind on our task list. The reality, of course, is that vegetable growing has very specific timetables that can easily be set back by weather events. As a result, we'll just do the quick and dirty approach to newsletters this month.
There will be no recipe or variety of the month in this newsletter, nor will their be a Rob or Tammy Recommends section. Please forgive the likely increase in typos and poor word choices - after all - I've been around chickens and they can't spell either.
Our first Tom Sawyer Day was successful and, hopefully, enjoyable for all who participated. Tomato plants were transplanted, leaf mulch was spread, downed branches were picked up and snow fences were rolled up for the season. A big THANK YOU to all who participated. Good food was enjoyed at the end of the day as was a pleasant bonfire and starlit skies.
We are considering trying to do a Tom Sawyer Day each month of the growing season. However, you do not have to wait for such a day to arrange to come out, see the farm and/or lend a helping hand. Contact us and let us know if you are interested.
We did not have time to schedule another formal Tom Sawyer Day for May, but will do so in June. We would be more than happy to entertain individuals or small groups who are willing to do a little work on the farm. Tasks include (but are not limited to) potting peppers and eggplant, planting onions, planting tomatoes, painting, making tomato cages, taking down and putting up fences, and the ever-popular and consistently needed weeding tasks. Please let us know if you, or a group of you, would like to come out and spend an hour or two at the farm.
Vol 3 Issue 5 - May 2007
There have been some major changes for the Waverly Farmer's Market this season. You may have noticed the front page story in the Waverly paper that outlined some of these changes.
Instead of markets on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday - the market is now on TUESDAYS and SATURDAYS.
Our Saturday location is now on First Street, near the post office and behind Keller's Furniture store.
Our Tuesday location is in the Collegetown Square mall.
Many thanks to the City of Waverly for hearing our request to move to what appears to be a much better location for vendors and customers of the market.
May is when planting begins in earnest. The last frost date in our area is typically accepted as being May 15. So, we can begin planting seed that has germination periods that extend to that date. .
At the time of this newsletter writing, we have planted potatoes, peas, summer squash, zucchini, lettuce, radish, spinach and beets. Next up are green beans, dry beans and lima beans. Onions are being transplanted as are brassica plants. We will be waiting another week before putting our tomatoes into the field. It will be approximately two weeks for the peppers to be transplanted. The winter squash and melons should be planted in late May.
Once May is over, we will be done with the majority of our spring planted crops. However, some shorter season crops are seeded on a semi-regular basis throughout the summer (depending on weather and existing rows) to extend the production season for you.
Chicks (both turkeys and chickens) are growing rapidly at this point. The meat chickens are already out in the field and are beginning to check out the greens and insects they can find. The turkeys have had their first tastes of the outdoors and have already found holes in the fenceline we knew we had but hoped they wouldn't find.
Our mulch crop (grass from the lawn areas) is growing rapidly and requires many hours on the tractors harvesting. The dandelion crop this year is tremendous. I'm not sure we mean that in a good way. The addition of a second tractor has made the effort of keeping things mowed and tilled doable this season. The increase in gas prices, on the other hand, has been a bit less pleasant.
May is also a time of some extreme weather conditions. Strong winds are fairly common in May, making it difficult to do work and adding stress to the plants in the ground. Rains can be heavy and temperatures can easily range from too cool to expect anything to grow and so hot that the plants ask you to install air conditioning.
And, May is also a time where bookkeeping is important, yet difficult for us at the farm. Please be patient as we do our best to stay on top of everything! We'll get there - that's what the rainy and extremely windy days are for..
Do not forget - we have a CSA gathering coming up this Memorial Day - May 28. Festivities are scheduled to commence at 5pm. Bring something to grill and something to pass. The iris peak this year should fall at this time - but the late cold spell has severely limited the bloom. But, we'll still enjoy the day!
3 Issue 5 - May 2007
We are pleased to announce a new pickup location for our CSA (and a new farmer's market). The location is the Hy-Vee parking lot on University near K-Mart. Markets will be Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm. .
Ok. Not all of them. But two that we've been hearing lately.
Have you finished your planting for the year? / Is the garden in?
No. And we will not be done with planting until late June or July. In order to provide our customers with late season crops such as lettuce, spinach, radish, peas and other items, our planting season is protracted. If plans come to fruition to expand the season - we may be planting even later in the year.
When will the CSA deliveries start?
We are aiming for the first full week in June - which is in line with prior year first deliveries.
Is there room for more subscribers?
Yes, we can take 50 subscribers this season. Eight open spots left!
Our season last year went from the first week in June until the 2nd week in October. We expect a similar range this season. Your first few weeks may seem as if there is very little volume as we rely on spinach, radish and lettuce to carry us for a few weeks. But, once July hits, you will find your veggie volume will increase dramatically as we add peas, beets, beans, cucumbers, broccoli, summer squash and zucchini to your shares. Tomatoes, eggplant, onions and peppers usually do not join the fray until August and the green beans usually peak at the end of August. September has the largest variety of produce when melons, squash, carrots and other items are added.
We will extend lettuce as late into the season as we can, but you will find that the hottest months may be without cold season greens.
We will do our best to forecast for you what is coming your way to help you plan. Recipes will focus on produce that is in season and we will gladly answer questions regarding any produce you receive.
We have the following tentative market and CSA pickup schedule planned for this season.
Waverly Members - Pick up on Tuesday at the Waverly Market
Waterloo/Cedar Falls Members - Pick up on Thursday at Waterloo/CF Market
Tripoli Members - Pick up on Friday at Tripoli Market
Contact us if you have a question or request to pick up at a different time. Please note that we plan carefully for what we bring to each market. We are willing to work with you if you need special accomodations, but we need some lead time in order to respond appropriately.
One of the better mentoring programs for high school students has been cut in many, especially rural, service areas. In particular, the outstanding program at Luther College has been defunded. The annual summer program, which provides students with a multiple week experience on a college campus will be canceled unless there is help. If you are interested in advocating for Upward Bound, please contact us for more details.
Genuine Faux Farm
319 882 3345