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Monthly Summary – July 2012

July 9th, 2013 | Posted by Owen Spath in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary – July 2012)

Monthly Summary– July 2012
broad forking carrots

Logs reviewed and summary prepared by Owen Spath, July 9, 2013

General Observations:  The month began with a heat wave reaching an unbearable 102* by the 7th. The heat and dryness continued harshly throughout July killing our crop of fennel as well as some of our chickens in the coop. Midway through the month people from NOFA NJ stopped by to film tools being used for a video to raise money for tools for the incubator farms at Duke Estates. With multiple days of heat over 100*, and only three days of rain at the end of the month, July was very irrigation dependent month for us at North Slope Farm.

Equipment 11.5 hrs:  There was not too much use of equipment in July. A broken sprayer hose left KG smelling terribly while MR rechiseled the Veg C North and then rototilled it. 7/25 KG and RR tilled planted and cultivated Veg C NorthThe month ended with KG mowing production fields, edging two fields in the Veg Field; while MR chisel plowed Veg A’s and B’s which were the 1st succession field for 2012.

Administration 31.5 hrs:  KG presented on his special project of growing micro-greens in which he discussed farm sponsorship vs. individual venture. MR requested that KG publish a special projects proposal as well as accounting for every step accurately and completely. On July 10th MR began working on the Juyly 2011 summary and works on payroll and bills. 7/19 the crop availiblity was updated on the website, and documents were prepared for a Workman’s Compensation Audit.

Infrastructure 55 hrs: About half as many hours were spent on infrastructure this year as there were in 2011. On the 4th irrigation and fertilizer were put on the kale. 7/11 two chickens are found dead at different parts of the day, both of which look like they could have been killed by the heat. Ocho was found in the hoop house maybe assisting with the rat problem, while Diez remains hidden in the seed shed frightened. On July 12, while driving down rt. 31 to make a recycling run the fuel gauge went to completely empty and the gas light of the truck suddenly turned on, eventually the light went off and the gauge returned back to ¾ of the way full. Contiunally irrigating even into the late evening we had trouble keeping up with the heat and dryness. Chicken coops were cleaned and moved on the 17th, 24th, and the 31st. Also on the 31st the fruit in the walk-in cooler was mouse-proofed.

Greenhouse 36 hrs: With most of the seedlings planted the work in the greenhouse was minimal in July. KG and RR thinned chard and kale seedlings. On 7/18 CH seeded the early fall succession of herbs which included parsley, dill, bee-balm, lavage, mt. mint. July 24th the 5th succession of kale, chard, leeks, scallion, fennel, zinnias, sunflowers, and beets were finally seeded.

Composting 12 hrs: On 7/4, 6 cyds. of compost was spread on Veg C North 1st bed. 7/17, 19.5 cyds. were spread on Veg C North finishing the bed, 7.5 cyds. were spread over the Big Garden Beds, and 3.5 cyds. were spread on miscellaneous furrows.

Planting 64 hrs: On the 4th of July the poorly germinated beet beds were renovated and basil, beets, and nappa cabbage were planted. 7/5, Veg C North was planted with basil, chard, and parsley. On the 6th the Big Garden Bed’s; 8 West and 8 East, were seeded with the next succession of salad mix. 7/9, the 3rd planting of parsley was re-planted. On 7/12, MR and RR went out to find a spot for late tomatoes and winter squash along rte. 579, the beds were then mowed and ripped while KG planted the remaining succession. 7/13, zinnias were planted in the 579 bed, and a short bed of wrigley’s spearmint was also planted in the Corner Garden. On 7/18 KG and RR direct seeded two beds of field salad, two beds of carrots, and a partial bed of turnips; RR then planted two rows of winter squash in Veg B South. On the 19th with a small amount of rain the night before 13 beds remained to be direct seeded: beans, beets, chard, cucumbers, and summer squash. 98 plugs of sweet william were planted in the corner garden also on the 19th. 7/25, was filled with planting new girl tomatoes in the new 579 beds and in the farm house gothic, as well as planting chard, kale, leeks, and scallions in Veg C North finishing the planting for July.

Crop Care 196 hrs: Because the month was so dry irrigation became a very large part of crop care in July with 53 different entries in the systems log. Weeding in the Big Garden Beds began on the 3rd as well as the stringing of tomatoes and the brewing of nettle compost tea for 6 beds of tomatoes. On 7/10 Ralph’s house was weeded and trellised and the newest carrots, Veg C South tomatoes, and 579 basil were hand weeded. On 7/12 the dreaded weeding of the strawberries took place, after that the west and east bed of asparagus was weeded. After a Field Moisture Test with the soil probe on 7/16 it was found that every major area of production needed irrigation. The month of July continued and passed with constant trellising, irrigation, and weeding.

Harvesting 417 hrs:  Basil 38 bn, beets 168 bn, beets 442 lbs, carrots 200 lbs, chard 392 bn, eggs 102 doz, field salad 276 lbs, cut flowers 103 bn, kale 137 bn, micro-greens 45, mint 5 bn, nappa cabbage 86 lbs, parsley 26 bn, scallions 16 bn, summer squash 378 lbs, strawberries 94 pp, sungold tomatoes 164 pt, cherry tomatoes 54 pt, turnips 88 bn, turnips 130 lbs. On the 12th of July we harvested our Negovia carrot trial, with 80 days the carrots had medium germination, and decent growth however there about 1/3 of the crop that was subprime with many multi-branched carrots and many rodent chews on the tops. On 7/26 we harvested our first cabbage which was fairly eaten. Small salad plants on the 27th kept us from harvesting salad mix.

Handling 71.5 hrs: On the first day of July our second batch of Echinacea was stripped and stored. 7/13 the harvested garlic was cut, sorted, and put away by RR and TH. On 7/24 the first cutting of L. Verbeva was stripped and stored. The rest of the month’s handling time went to washing station where throughout the month of July the harvested hardy greens, salad mix, and root vegetables were cleaned.

Marketing 119 hrs:  On 7/1 after a very hot but still profitable market in Summit, we received the map of the layout for the market move on July 22nd.  The first market of the month in Hopewell was moved to Tuesday July 3rd, and was very slow, it was here that KG trained TH on filling out harvest sheets. 7/7 was the first sale of the micro-greens which sold slower than expected due to the fact that people did not know what to do with them. At WWCFM on 7/14 even with the market seeming busy and no other vendors having salad mix we still came out with only $844.

Hopewell– $170, $433, $348.50, $404, $382.50; Total: $1,738

WWCFM– $815, $844, $, $1,130, $1,140; Total: $3,929

Summit $2,230, $2,030, $2,310, $3,150; Total: $9,720

Total July 2012 Market Income: $15,387

Special Projects 17 hrs: On July 5, a new special project was started, headed by KG, to introduced micro-greens into our selection at market. KG wrote a special project proposal and was asked to account for work hours, materials cost, handling description, an established wholesale value per unit, materials that have been already purchased. Micro-Mix seed $15/ #1/4 estimate seeds 10 trays; seed cost=$1.50 per tray. 7/6 the first succession of micro-greens was harvested, it was noted in the log that the trays need to stay level. On 7/8 KG planted his 3rd succession of micro-greens and created a data sheet for the seeding dates, yields, etc. On 7/23 MR presented at the NOFA Twilight Meeting on the NSF Training Program and Farm Tour.

Weather:  Very Hot and Dry with Heat-waves threatening both crops and chickens, only three days of rain.

Week 1: Heat-wave all week +95*, 102* on Saturday.

Week 2: Dry conditions cause crop lose due to insufficient irrigation.

Week 3: Heat continues, dryness continues, high need for rain. Rain finally comes overnight 7/20, .9”.

Week 4: Still hot, rain 7/27-28 equaling 1.75”.


Monthly Summary- May 2012

May 29th, 2013 | Posted by Owen Spath in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary- May 2012)

Monthly Summary – May, 2012

Posted By, Owen Spath;    Date; 5/28/13
Salad Harvest
General Observations: May is a busy month for North Slope Farm and 2012 was no exception. With the first harvesting of salad, field kale, field chard, and radishes; the planting of the 4th succession, and the fox that kept stealing chickens the crew had their hands full. The unpredictable May weather gave a little flexibility with short periods of rain with sun in-between.

Equipment 79.75 hrs:JD:9.5, Ford:13, Case:11, Kabota:24, IH140:8.75, Walkin Mower:4.5, BCS:0.5, Weedwacker:8.5. On 5/8 a bolt was tightened on Big Red ending the squealing noise. 10 days later KG found the Ford Rototiller was overheating, the engine was then cleaned from all debris.

Administration 45 hrs: On 5/1 there was a crew meeting discussing ‘special orders’. 5/3 KG finished the monthly summary for May, 2011. On 5/15 MR discussed ‘cost of production’ which derives from the total work hours of harvesting and handling.

Infrastructure 142 hrs: May began with a heavy amount of mowing, weedwacking and protecting the chickens from the devious fox. 5/3 the walk in cooler was cleaned. 5/8 half of the MSEN was mowed to prepare for the chicks move, the fence was tended and the chicks were secure from the fox. 5/9 Hens were moved into the fence. On 5/13, 30 minutes after sunset the chicken pen was about to be closed when there was evidence found of a fox attack, electric fence did not deter the fox. 5/16 fence tested with amp meter, weak spots were found and repaired.

Greenhouse 105.5 hrs: Things in the greenhouses started off slow for the first two weeks of May. On 5/9 nettle tea was applied to the tomatoes seedlings which were then sprayed for aphids and taken out of the greenhouse. 5/13 Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer was added to the tomato seedlings that would be for sale. The second half of May became more interesting with the discovery of jewel weed growing in the east edge of the greenhouse, the potting on of the black eyed Susan’s and the 4th succession of seedlings for sale on 5/16. On May 30th, the 4th succession of veggies was started.

Composting 26.25 hrs: In addition to the compost sifted for potting and seeding the garden and flower beds got their fair share of composting as well. On 5/9, the Big Garden Beds, and Veg. B North were each given 3.5 cubic yards, while 4 cubic yards was given to the Corner Garden. On 5/17, the Big Garden Beds were given 3.5 more cubic yards and on 5/20 the flower field was given 7 cubic yards using the spreader.

Planting 162.5 hrs: In May the planting began on 5/7 with the planting of flat leaf parsley, and curly leaf parsley in the corner garden. On 5/11 three rows of tomatoes were planted, one sungold, one striped german, and one brandywine. 5/13, two Big Garden Beds were planted with salad mix and on 5/18 the beds were replanted due to poor germination. May ended with the planting of ½ a row of Echinacea, dill, stevia, chamomile, bee balm, and hyssop on the 28th; and on the 29th five beds of tomatoes, one bed of eggplant, and one bed of peppers were planted.

Crop Care 300.5 hrs: Crop care took some attention in May as the aphids attacked and the weeds still grew. On 5/1 KG sprayed second M-PEDE application to control aphids, and remay and mulch were laid over Veg B South for weed control. 5/4 the entire crew was dedicated to hand weeding pea beds in Veg B South. On 5/7 the pathways in the corner garden were weed wacked and the peonies and Echinacea were stalked and strung. 5/8 plastic was spread over BGB’s to protect from rain. 5/9 hand weeded fruit trees from pears to apples. 5/18 BGB’s irrigated and weeded, weeding revealed that the carrots need to be replanted; rerototill and replant!  On 5/24 while weeding workers were chased off by lightning and forced to weed gothic flower beds, stake zinnias, and sunflowers.

Harvesting 347.25 hrs: May is a busy month for harvesting, for the workers this made up the majority of their time. 5/2 was the first harvesting of the first salad succession, and the last of the spinach. On 5/4 the first harvest of field kale & chard, also the first harvest of radishes though some were damaged by slugs and insects. 5/18 harvested comfrey and catnip, comfrey filled solar dryer and catnip filled the greenhouse. The remainder of harvesting in May was spent with strawberries, field salad, chard, kale, turnips, asparagus, radishes, and arugula.  

Handling 105.5 hrs: 5/1 began with the washing of eggs which yielded 28 dozen ex-large and 4 dozen large eggs. On the 4th the walk-in cooler was set up again after being washed the day before and the wash are was arranged, this was followed b a demonstration on washing lettuce. 5/18 a demonstration was given on washing tender greens which included sanitizing, plunging, draining, spinning and finally bagging.

Marketing 166 hrs: The first Market of May was a slow one due to rain. 5/5 began North Slope Farm’s 9th year at the WWCFM. As May pushed on the Hopewell market continued to be slow and rainy, however on 5/12 WWCFM had a beautiful day which was very busy. 5/13 in Summit a record amount of salad was sold at 63lbs, as well as 70lbs of kale, and 70lbs chard!

Hopewell: $257, $317, $514, $516, $523.90; Total: $2,127.90

WWCFM: $913, $1,037.25, $1,134, $1,110, $1,150; Total: $5,344.25

Summit: $2,240, $2,220, $1,920, $2,070; Total: $8,450

Total May 2012 Market Income: $15,922.15

Special Projects 14 hrs: On 5/11 Nettles were bagged for Cherry Grove Cheese to make Nettle Jack Cheese. On 5/16 Ben from Highland Gourmet supplied the seeds for approximately eight flats of watermelons, and on 5/17 the watermelons were seeded.

Weather: No mention of frost in log, total rain fall 4.25’.

Week 1: wet and rainy, sun just peaking through, and back to rain.

Week 2: started off with rain, finally getting sunny, heavy showers.

Week 3: clear and sunny, ground started to get dry and in need of irrigation.

Week 4: rain in the forecast, thunderstorms on the 24th and 29th totaling 2’.