General Observations: Winter is coming!! That is what was on everyone’s mind this month. All three markets that north slope attended were still in full swing and therefore produce needed to be available. With temperatures dropping crop health was a concern. Measures were taken to regulate crop temperatures in the field and all of the greenhouses were prepped and planted for winter production. With winter coming clean up around the farm and creating proper storage spaces were also high on the task list for the crew.
Equipment 16 hrs: With winter coming the crew focused on necessary repairs and finding appropriate areas to store equipment. Started setting up “have–a-heart” traps in greenhouses to catch and remove groundhogs that were destroying green house crops.
Administration 54 hrs: There were a lot of administrative completed this moth with winter and the end of the season approaching. 10/1 crew meeting was held to discuss midseason check in, plan for third year interns and setting priorities. Manager met with each of the third years to further discuss their specific focuses. 10/5 Crew was given overview of what tasks needed to be prioritized for the month; work that needed to be done to prepare for winter production, tasks that still needed to be completed in both the greenhouses and fields, taking down tomato stakes and strings, weeding strawberries and blackberries, covering crops, equipment clean up and storage for coming winter months. The usual administrative tasks, payroll, accounting and bills were attended to as always.
Infrastructure 55hrs: Weekly chicken chores, moving coops, cleaning coops and adding new bedding. 10/13 mowing 579 diversions and field perimeters. 10/19 Old chicken pasture was mowed. 10/27 Started mowing the BGB not in production. Seed shed cleaned.
Greenhouse 10.5 hrs: Winter production seedlings were moved into the greenhouse and tables rearraged to accommodate trays. The green house gothic was seeded on the 6th for winter production.
Composting 0 hrs: Received a load of fresh compost on 10/1.
Planting 15.5 hrs: 10/6 greenhouse gothic was seeded for winter production 10/21 transplanted rudbeckia in tea garden 10/22 finished planting perennials in the tea garden. 10/25 turnips and radishes were transplanted into the hoop house for winter production.
Crop Care 113 hrs: Weeding as always! This month all of the crop care was focused on prepping for winter production. See “special projects” for further details.
Harvesting 293 hrs: Chard, kale, beets, turnips, salad mix, green beans, arugula, tatsoi, last of the flowers (sunflowers, zinnas, and marigolds), tomato production decreased as the month progressed but still able to consistently harvest from both the field and the greenhouse. 10/6 crew was unable to harvest kale for Hopewell market due to rain damage. 10/15 Low yield of salad due to slower regowth, arugula showing cold damage.
Handling 68.5 hrs: Regular washing in preparation for the three markets NSF attends.
Marketing 109.5 hrs:
Hopewell: 10/6 – $464, 10/13 – $467, 10/20 – $399.50, 10/27 – $295 Average sales for month = $406.38
West Windsor: 10/9 – $1,422, 10/16 – $1,022 , 10/23 – $960 , 10/30 – $1068 Average sales for month = $1118
Summit: 10/10 – $2,080, 10/17 -$1900, 10/24 – $1780 , 10/31 – $1940 Average sales for month: $1925
Total October Market Income: $13,797.50
Special Projects 56.5hrs: This month most of the crew’s efforts went into preparing for winter production. The crews intent for winter production was “to extend the growing season of greens, lettuce, and roots to serve our existing markets; Hopewell Farmers Market, Nomad Pizza, and Zone 7.” 10/5 all of the seedlings for winter production were moved to the green house due to cooler weather. 10/8 Remey was brought out to cover 2 rows of chard, and beets and one row of kale. The crew determined that a single row of remey measuring 72″ was the easiest to manage. 10/13 Rebar was cut in 12 foot lengths and covered in recycled drip tube to span over BGBs. Each tunnel was covered with an outer skin of 6 mil plastic (13′ wide x 50′ long). 10/14 5 field tunnels at 40′ were covered and anchored with sand bags. 10/15 Strong winds pulled tunnel edges loose. Crew decided to shovel divots to set sand bags in to prevent bags from slipping on sloped edges of the beds. More sandbags were placed on beds to better secure plastic. The total remay coverage was WP tunnels (40′): 2 tatsoi, 1 arugula, 1 spinach, and 1 new planting of arugula. BGB with plastic: 4 salad mix (2 unharvested beds and 2 regrowth). Field beds with Remay: 2 chard, 2 beets, and 1 kale. 10/21 The crew observed temperature changes in the low tunnels. Opened one of the beds all day and recovered at 4pm found that temperatures reached 80°F. Left one of the beds closed all day temperature reached 100°F. Conclusion was that the low tunnels must be opened during the day and closed at night. 10/27 Crew observed that there was substantially more growth on the covered crops compared those that were left uncovered. An inner layer of remay was added under the plastic to the 4 beds of salad mix in anticipation of cooler weather. The addition of the remay was to help reduce temperature fluctuation. 10/28 The 2010 chickens were given a treat, 4 cups of first sprouted grain. 10/29 remey was placed over turnips and radishes in Veg B south.
Week 1 – Storms, cold, rainy and wet
Week 2 – mild temperatures, good growing conditions, late in the week strong winds came through
Week 3 – strong winds with gale warnings, cold, scattered showers throughout the week
Week 4 – warmer than average temperatures (70°F +) at beginning of the week, windy, temperatures dropping towards the end of the week, cold frosty nights
Total rainfall for the month 6.25 inches