Monthly Summary – March 2009
MikeR; Logs and records reviewed, and summary prepared 12/10
General Observations: Crew included MR, CH, HK and BK for a total of 250 worker hours, or “about part time.” Income from winter markets $825 – cost of goods sold. Farm Manager (FmMngr) needs to be setting good example for Third Year Trainees, whose responsibilities are quickly building, they are required to post a “Start-Up Summary” for their Element Focus. HK and BK are taking on Greenhouse and Compost Elements respectively.
Administration 79 hrs: Organic Certification Inspection was first thing 3/1. FmMngr focused on getting started on the right foot with web site, pushing to get postings up and in a timely manner. Schedule has Mngr working in mornings but not in afternoons so focus on getting administrative duties well established before season becomes hectic! Determination for Third Year Trainees, for their chosen element they must; Publish a ‘Start-Up Report’, Observe and Record daily Management and Data Collection, Publish Mid Season News and items of interest, and Publish a ‘Season Summary’. Mngr put off seed order until finally placing it 3/24! Completed accounting for 2008 in order to prepare taxes. Responding to Trainee Inquiries, trying to set standard practice, concerned to set fair and focused criteria for selection. Committed to hiring two First Year Trainees each season. 3 Strong candidates, Final two, SJ and JA stop by for visits and interviews. SOP for handling applications, verbally make contact with applicant to complete 1st page of application (link) and be sure everything is “clear.” Establish order of eligibility and respond by set date to hire, in this case 3/20.
Infrastructure 24.5 hrs: Snow covering the ground still so our tracks become well trodden, driveway becomes mushy and muddy parts of garden paths need boards to facilitate wheel barrowing. Scraped lane with JD2240, ensuring slope to drain, lay landscape fabric and layer of crushed stone. Created sandbox, and kids play area between Willows and FarmHouse Gardens. Main driveway asphalt destroyed by compost delivery, truck maneuvering, unable to get 48’ trailer over ditch and around corners. Mowing possible along ditch to knock back MultiFlora Rose and enable us to manage regrowth, selecting for desired species. Note on 3/26 “Infra has a lot of work to do – general repairs to long term weathering and acute repairs to H20 System, Refrigeration units and Equipment!”
Greenhouse 44 hrs: 27 varieties of flowers, herbs and vegetable were started in March. Discussions with Greenhouse Mngr (HK) about how to communicate plant needs to Greenhouse production. Decided to treat Greenhouse like independent operation to which the Fm Mngr places a seedling order for Sales, Various Successions of Flowers and Vegetables and Special Orders for wholesale accounts. Worked out basic format for Greenhouse records to allow best tracking with least redundancy. HK resecured some outside seams and edges of seedling greenhouse, stapling strips of recycled drip tape along edges of plastic. Also leveled floor and mixed gravel and sand to seal edges of floor that had settled. HK posted GreenHouse Start-Up. 3/6 planted 1 tabletop each of Mizuna, Arugula and Lettuce. (Photo Set) Also planted Chard in Ralph’s House.
Composting 22.5 hrs: Many discussions with Cmpst Mngr (BK), regarding access for trucks, rationale for windrows and special projects for him to explore composting in more detail. A lot of sifting for filling TableTop production needs but also preparing for seedling starts. Problem with trying to sift damp compost – need to cover compost to be sifted!! FrmMngr reviewed compost log with BK and established new one for 2009. Fired up JD Loader and Ford with big trailer for composting the beds for Peas.
Planting 31 hrs: Time spent on preparing seed order, handling seed which was received with usual speed from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Also direct seeded Peas in Farmhouse Gothic beds (no plastic yet) on 3/25. Planted Chard in Ralph’s House otherwise all the planting was for seedlings.
CropCare 11.5 hrs: Weeding of crops growing in Ralph’s House, including notes from CH about harvesting chick weed from between scallions – trim growth but allow plant to regrow, out competing other weeds. Irrigation also in Ralph’s House, led to some flooding. The topic of how the beds handle the watering shows itself as worthy of more study. Sometimes it seemed like the beds weren’t absorbing the water and it just looked like collected water in pathways was a flood. Importance of level beds.
Harvesting 3 hrs: Little is noted, harvests from TableTop Greens. (photo).
Handling ? hrs: Continued bagging of specialty herbs for Winter and Hopewell Markets.
Marketing 32 hrs: One Winter Market at Tres Piani with Herbs and Eggs and Four Hopewell Markets. Starting to purchase items from Zone 7 for resale. Sales for March $825.
Special Projects 2 hrs: Finally got to work on Coppicing my hybrid Willows. Exploring the yield of willows, and type of branches to harvest, ie two year old poles or four year old trunks… (photo Set). Some discussion of Cornell harvesting willow for biomas.