Monthly Summary – May 2011
Prepared by KG May 3, 2012
General Observations: This May, like 2010, was the second highest in terms of worker hours. That means a busy month. Added to the planting of BGBs and field succession plantings in May are the planting of our field tomatoes and flower successions. On top of all this the warm and wet weather is causing and explosion of growth both of crops and weeds, meaning more time must be spend on crop care and infrastructure keeping the crops ahead of the weeds and maintaining mowed pathways and access to crops. On 5/2 the groundhog who had been eating the seedlings on tables by the farmstand was finally captured! It was dispatched and making an effort to not waste the groundhog, stew was made. The stew was delicious, but the groundhog meat was less than enjoyable… Casey added his thoughts on the season so far to the log on 5/9. There was a power outage in the area on 5/26 that prevented some irrigation.
Administration 51 hrs: On 5/16 KG completed the May 2010 monthly summary. A rainy day on 5/17 was a good time for a staff meeting. A task list was generated; the greenhouse would need compost sifted and planned to start seeding the 4th succession, under the planting element the need to trelise grafted tomatoes in the farmhouse gothic was highlighted and 6/15 was planned for as the 3rd succession planting date. Preparation of the next successions field was also discussed. Various tasks related to cropcare were also outlined, including storing remay for the season and trellising of peas and tomatoes. On 5/24 there is a note in the log about sorting through email and creating a system of folders to keep the email better organized. There was also a note about calculating income/expenses to date. Also the regular admin duties of payroll and bill payment were performed throughout the month.
Infrastructure 68 hrs: Some of the various infrastructure work this month included a mowing of pathways and access lanes on 5/9, setting up a submain and drip-tape for the 579 Flower Field on 5/13, an intro to the weedwacker on 5/17 for first year trainees JR, RR, and KG followed by RR weedwacking around the electric fence line and posts, and the final cleaning of the farmhouse pool by RCM on 5/24. Also on 5/9 a note in the log about irrigation observes that 20 BGB drip tubes (4 beds) on full yields the ideal pressure of 12-14 PSI on average.
Equipment 57 hrs:
JD– 10 Ford– 9 IH140– 2 Kabuta– 17 Walkin Mower- 2 BCS– 4 Weedwacker– 13
On 5/2 the JD received an oil change and oil filter replacement. On 5/9 a metal plate was fabricated to allow the Walkin mower’s handle bar height to be adjustable, a note in the log reports making the operation of the mower “a little easier…”
Greenhouse 64 hrs:On 5/1 20 flats of basil were seeded for Nomad Pizza, a note in the log declares the greenhouses to be full and tight. On 5/4 tomato grafting was completed. See this link for more information about how our grafted tomatoes did in 2011. Between 5/14 and 5/17 the third vegi succession was seeded. On 5/17, while seeding the forth succession of seedlings for sale, the seeding shed“Quilting Circle” was established and songs were written and sung.
Composting 68 hrs: In addition to compost sifted for the greenhouse, several applications were made to field beds. On 5/10 8 beds in VEG B mid, 5/12 Tomato field beds (Maddona North) were prepared- “rip, compost, rip, till, plant”, and on 5/13 7 beds in the 579 field were composted.
Planting 127 hrs: May is a busy month for planting because in addition to the regular BGBs and a field succession planting, our tomatoes are planted into the field. 5/3 was a full planting day; direct seeding (DS) of 2 beds of salad and 2 beds of carrots into the BGBs in the AM followed by transplanting (TP) of squash, beets, and chard in the PM. On 5/6 kale and scallion TPs made it out into the field. 5/9 saw 8 apple trees added to the fruit cluster. 5/12 and 5/13 saw the grafted tomato TPs planted in the farmhouse gothic as well as 1 row of sungold tomatos planted in the field. Also on 5/13 4 beds worth of Zinnea TPs were planted in the 579 field. On 5/15 CH and MR finished replacement planting in the fruit cluster, replacing trees that had been lost over the winter. 5/26 was tomato planting day, our field tomatoes were TPed out into the field! On 5/27 some direct seeding of beans, turnips, and beets brought the 2nd vegi succession planting to completion.
Crop Care 351 hrs: Many worker hours went into crop care last May as the warm and wet weather brought with it vigorous weed growth. On 5/5 the BGBs were mowed and maintained. 5/10 saw the peas trellised. On 5/11 and 5/12 a straw mulch was laid around the strawberry plants in anticipation of fruiting, the straw acts as a weed suppressant as well as a barrier keeping the fruit out of the dirt, cleaner and easier to spot when harvesting. On 5/18 grass was cut away from the garlic to keep it from becoming overwhelmed and on 5/19 hand weeding of the BGBs took place, a note in the log calculated 5 worker hours per bed. 5/23 and 5/24 saw the asparagus beds weeded and on 5/25 BGBs and 3 field beds were scuffle hoed. Finally on 5/31 trellising of the grafted greenhouse tomatoes began.
Harvesting 214 hrs: In May last year NSF had the following crops available: Field salad, arugula, tatsoi, spinach, swiss chard, kale, fennel, radishes, peas, spring garlic from the 579 field, and for the first time available at market, our very own strawberries!
On 5/24 in the log there are extensive notes on strawberry harvesting, establishing a protocol for harvesting every 4 days ripe and 3/4ths ripe strawberries, sorting into pint and quart containers on tomato trays and topping these containers off once at market to ensure full containers overflowing with unblemished fruit for our customers to enjoy. The notes also include some detailed information comparing variety yields and fruit size.
Handling 69 hrs: On 5/5 the walk-in cooler was turned back on in preparation for the start of the WWCFM, the previous harvest having been frozen by a malfunction. Throughout the month washing took place, Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon of our crops harvested for our Hopewell and WWCFM markets.
Market 127 hrs: Our first Saturday market of the season began this month, NSF’s 8th season at WWCFM. A note on the weather says it was a “beautiful day for first market” A 5/21 note relating to marketing said we had sold out of everything, and maxed out our weekly harvest for everything except for salad.
Hopewell– 5/4 $338.50, 5/11 $499.25, 5/18 $394.50, 5/25 $504.00
WWCFM- 5/7 $915, 5/14 $929, 5/21 $1025, 5/26 $1040
Total May 2011 Market Income: $5645.25
Special Projects 38 hrs: On 5/2 Veg C north was plowed by ST for his special project “Blackbird Meadows” the goal of which was to supply a variety of fresh produce on a weekly basis tailored to meet the needs of the local New Hope restaurant “Sprig and Vine”. The end of May saw hay baling, collection and storage of hay bales in the seed shed for later use.
Weather: No mention of any frost at night in the log.
Week 1: Sunny and beautiful weather, transitioning to storms and then back to sun by week’s end.
Week 2: Sunny, getting dry. Irrigation needed by the end of the week.
Week 3: “Rainy weather settling in” followed by “SATURATED” later in the week. Sunny day on the 21st.
Week 4: Rain returns after a break on the 21st. 40% chance all week delays hay cutting, but finally sunny and hot weather arriving on the 27th allows for haying before going to seed.