Monthly Summary – November 2010
Prepared by KG November 3, 2011
General Observations: By November we are getting late into fall and temperatures are falling below freezing many nights. WWCFM has ended with the exception of their pre-Thanksgiving market, and Summit ends the sunday before Thanksgiving as well leaving only Hopewell after that. November is the last month of the regular season and the crew must work through the colder weather and darker days to ensure there is produce for the remaining markets. Also, preparations for winter must be made to the farm. Last November also saw the beginning of a Winter Production Season as a special project by RCM and ST.
Administration 72.5 hrs: With the weather getting colder and the day to day workload on the farm lessening, November was filled with plenty of office work. On 11/9 accounting data entry was introduced and reviewed for ST and RCM. The checkbook and Quicken procedures were gone over, including file management, data entry, reports, corrections & splits, and finding and imputing income & expense data. On 11/10 ST finished entering checkbook data into Quicken and the approx. figure of $104,000 in expenses to date was calculated. Recommendations for saving money were discussed. On 11/11 CH did payroll. 11/21, a note in the log discusses the end of the primary market season and the beginning of the winter production season as well as noting lots of admin work to be done. On 11/21 MR did payroll and ST entered market date into Quicken. 11/30 meeting to discuss the past season as well as the new winter schedule. Winter hours would be Tuesday and Wednesday plus self directed work anytime with the priorities of chores, winter season tasks, marketing, cropcare/infrastructure, and a heavy load of 2009 monthly and 2009 and 2010 season summaries to be published on the website.
Infrastructure 47.5 hrs: Colder temperatures dropping below freezing on some nights necessitated some infrastructure work to prepare for the cold. On 11/2 ST and RCM received an introduction to turning the farm’s water system on and off as well as draining it. This process of draining the farm’s water system overnight and turning it back on when necessary would continue throughout the month. With winter production on-going in the greenhouses some rodent pressure was discovered and dealt with, rats were trapped on 11/5 and 11/8, a note in the log suggests looking into rat stew recipes. Chicken chores continued throughout November, with the 09 flock moved into Veg A North for pasture. The composting toilet was also cleaned this month.
Equipment 11.5 hrs:
Walkin Mower- 2
BCS Rototiller- 2.5
Kabuta, Ford, Weedwacker- 0
On 11/4 replacement batteries for the JD were purchased. The IH140 was used to bed form in Madonna Field North in preparation for Garlic planting, furrows were cut and then compost added. On 11/18 the JD had difficulty starting, battery dead and heavy drain on new batteries. Started after being hooked to charger in the AM and ran fine. Diagnosis was that there is a short somewhere in the ignition system and the solution is to disconnect the batteries when not in use. 11/24 JD used to load compost for Ralphs house, battery disconnected after use.
Greenhouse 34 hrs: With winter production on-going much work was being done in the greenhouses, requiring daily management for temperature control. In addition to the daily greenhouse chores, on 11/11 RCM tightened up the heated greenhouse and noticed a broken heating pad smoking when plugged in.
Composting 21 hrs: Compost was applied to 8 beds in Madonna Field North in preparation for Garlic planting. Ralph’s house also received a treatment of compost in preparation for WP plantings.
Planting 47 hrs: Garlic was cleaned on 11/12 in preparation for planting, yielding 85 lbs of prime garlic cloves for seeding. The planting took place on 11/16, 8 beds were planted with a single row of Garlic, the curved side of the clove facing the bed’s edge to insure uniform stem alignment. There were two groups of plantings in the heated greenhouse for WP in November, one on 11/9 into bread and tomato trays and another round on 11/18 into flipped seedling tables lined with chicken feed bags with soil on top. Both plantings contained field salad, arugula, tatsoi and peas.
Crop Care 50.5 hrs: Remay management was a large part of crop care in November. Plastic/Remay tunnels for winter production needed to be regularly managed to insure temperatures did not stress the crops. This process meant opening the ends of the tunnels for cooling during the day and closing them at night. A note in the log demonstrates the necessity of the regular management, when it was discovered that when opening the tunnels at 10AM the temperature was already 90*F when the high for the day was only 55*F. On 11/11 the tomato patch was cleaned up in the field, and greenhouse tomatoes were cleared from Ralph’s house by 11/24.
Harvesting 186 hrs: Arugula, Beets, Carrots, Chard, Field Salad, Kale, Peppers, Radish, Tatsoi, and Turnips were still being harvested in November, as well as a diminishing amount of greenhouse tomatoes until finally the plants were removed on the 24th.
Handling 54.5 hrs: Only 2 weekly markets for the month of November and Summit ending the Sunday before Thanksgiving meant less washing than in previous months.
Market 103 hrs:
Hopewell– 11/3 $430, 11/10 $445.50, 11/17 $403.60, 11/23 $470.50
WWCFM Thanksgiving Market- 11/20 $532
Summit– 11/7 $2180, 11/14 $2535, 11/21 $3360
Total September Market Income: $10,356.60
Special Projects 47 hrs: A note on 11/21 marks the end of the primary market season and the start of RCM and ST ‘s winter production season. The winter production special project which had been in planning and initial preparation before, was now getting much more daily attention. Plantings in the heated greenhouse and management of the remay/plastic tunnels were a large part of this, as well as harvest and handling for the Hopewell market. A summary of last year’s winter production special project is available here.
Week 1: Freezing nights, milder days. Rain on the 4th.
Week 2: Cold, temperatures around freezing at night, but sunny with highs around 60 most of the week.
Week 3: Warmers nights, temperatures in the 40s. Strong winds blow through on the 17th, 35mph+ followed by a drop in temperatures.
Week 4: Cold nights continue, with forecast lows below freezing for the start of December.