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Monthly Summary – November 2011

November 30th, 2012 | Posted by Robin in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary – November 2011)

Monthly Summary – November 2011

General Observations-

Last year at the beginning of November we were just recovering from a bizarre October snow storm.  This year we had another oddly powerful storm wreck havoc over our state, whose aftermath will need to be dealt with for a long time to come.  It seems odd that people still debate the change in our weather, regardless of opinion, it seems wise to invest in systems which are not electrically dependent, or at very least, a working generator.

Besides for November being a time to contemplate the ever changing climate of our world, it’s a time for cleaning up, finishing markets and beginning to settle down for the winter months.  Infrastructure was improved upon and fields tidied up for winter.  Extra hoops, remay, irrigation lines, etc. were cleaned up, labeled and stored or tossed if not suitable for use next spring.  Administration was also a major focus, assembling end of the year wrap up summaries and posting on the website.  November also marks my anniversary for arriving at North Slope, now three years later, I look at November as a pleasant month.  It is a calm month of finishing up to prepare for the coming holiday season.

Equipment 8hrs-

The weedwacker needed some attention, a new starter pulley was needed but successfully replaced.  The crew moved the old, broken down box truck to its ‘final resting place’ by the farmhouse and 579, the truck had to be hauled by tractor since the engine does not run any longer.  KG and RR also began training on tractor, rototiller use and had to take the BCS tire to be fixed.

Administration 97 hrs-

End of the year summaries were worked on; greenhouse summary, harvest and market summaries, a winter market summary/proposal and payroll. There was work on the website and summaries were added.  Also there was continual clean up of office odds and ends.

Infrastructure 92 hrs-

The end of October snow storm left snow to shovel and structures to uncover and fallen trees/branches to clear away.  The snow also knocked out the power, which returned at the beginning of the month, allowing us to run water and refrigeration again.  However, with the cooler temperatures, especially at night, the water situation has to be continually monitored to make sure pipes won’t freeze.  Screens on the farmhouse porch were measured and paneling was cut to fit in to create a ‘sun room’ on the porch and to help heat up that area to add to heat trickling in from the outside to heat the house.  General upkeep on the farm was a continual effort, with jobs like fixing fence line and trimming overgrown plants and branches.  The chickens also needed care, feeding, coop moving, etc.

Greenhouse 6 hrs-

Clearing out of old seedlings and bringing potted perennial plants into the heated greenhouse for over winter.  The greenhouse tomatoes were also cleared out and hoops were cleared from the farmhouse gothic.  Also, table tops were set up and seeded in the heated greenhouse for winter production again.

Composting 12 hrs-

Woodchips and manure were piled up for future seasons, several loads of horse manure was brought in from a nearby horse farm.

Planting 4 hrs-

The garlic order was cancelled so North Slope provided all of it’s own seed for 2012 garlic.  Planting the garlic went well, the ‘garlic challenge’ game was created to test who can consume the most fresh, raw garlic.  Some final BGBs were also prepped and seeded with spinach, covered and left for spring.  Also, cover crop was spread over fields for the winter.  And heated greenhouse tables were prepped and seeded for winter production.

Crop Care 56 hrs-

Blackberry plants were staked, a bit late as they should have already been trellised at this point to help control their wild growth but sometimes (more often than not) perennials get put on the back burner during the busy summer months.  Fencing for small trees was also needed and set to help protect the young plants against deer and other nibblers.  Some spinach, lettuce, carrot and kale beds were covered with layers of remay and/or plastic to help preserve into the winter and in some cases, next year.  Remaining hoops, remay, sandbags, etc. were collected and stored for the winter.

Harvesting 113hrs

The harvest continued for end of the season markets and storage over the winter, including salad mix, radishes, scallions, kale, chard, a one time harvest of our enterprise apples, carrots, baby fennel, arugula and tat soi.

Handling 52 hrs-

Washing of roots and greens becomes a very cold job in November, cold air, burning winds and constant hand submersion makes for a chilly job even in the sunny afternoon.  But the cooler weather of November does help one to appreciate the warmth from the fire in the bunk house.  Egg washing continued, selling out at markets, eggs continue to be popular.  And 1st years are trained on salad washing.

Marketing 102 hrs-

The end of the season of weekend markets. West Windsor had their last regular market in October with a special market the weekend before Thanksgiving.  With Thanksgiving comes, the end of the season and both weekend markets are over until the Spring.  Hopewell continued, weather permitting, through the winter time but still by the end of November profits slow.  However, cool customers that love the Hopewell market continue to visit and even bring gifts of old farming books from the turn of the century, very interesting to see how things change.  Meanwhile, JR is trained on driving the box truck and taking on marketing tasks for the coming season.

West Windsor Thanksgiving Market: 11/19: $800

Summit: 11/6: $2530, 11/13: $2500, 11/20: $2560

Hopewell: 11/2: $386,, 11/9: $313, 11/16: $361, 11/22: $164, 11/30: $393

Total November Income: $10,007

Special Projects 29 hrs-

Panels for the farmhouse porch were installed to help heat the house.  The seed shed loft was worked on.  A chicken slaughter was scheduled at the Wilkinson’s property after Thanksgiving.  The remaining flocks were consolidated with the healthiest looking birds left to over winter at the farm.  The 11 birds which were culled were taken to be slaughtered and used by the crew for soup and other eating.  We must give a big thanks to Matt Wilkinson for allowing us to use his equipment and teaching us how to do the job correctly.


Week 1: Recovering from an October snow storm, with nice sunny, warm days to melt the snow

Week 2: A heat wave came in to give a break from the chilly fall, days up to 70s but a windy front brought rain and a change in weather.

Week 3: Rain starts off the week, cool weather to follow

Week 4: Cool weather ending the month of November

NOFA NJ Twilight Meeting of Farming with Interns

July 25th, 2012 | Posted by Robin in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on NOFA NJ Twilight Meeting of Farming with Interns)

NOFA’s Twilight meeting about Farming with Interns was hosted at North Slope Farm on Monday, July 22nd.  It was a friendly, laid back gathering of experienced farmers, new intern/farm workers and those who have recently discovered their love and interest in sustainable farming.  With participants sharing in a tasty potluck the evening was filled with stories of farming experiences, woes and successes.  The discussion focused on the need and draw backs of hiring inexperienced interns on the farm as well as fair compensation, including financial, living and learning rewards.  The evening was wrapped up with a tour of North Slope at dusk.


Monthly Summary June 2011

June 5th, 2012 | Posted by Robin in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary June 2011)

Monthly Summary– June 2011

General Observations: Ahhh it’s June!  This seems to be the thought of every farmer I’ve ever met come June.  We all wonder what exactly happened to May and even April for that matter.  The weeds are going crazy, some sneaky trickster must have fed all the worst of the weeds some sort of plant steroid…or perhaps it’s just because our days are at their longest and evolution has created a mighty plant foe in the field for us to either battle relentlessly or come to a sort of equilibrium with the deemed opponent.

No matter the cause or the farmers stance on weeds, every farmer begins to look at the To-Do list grow while the Done list seems to pale in comparison.  Ah well, I suppose it’s summer…oh wait, that’s right Summer Solstice!  In the middle of the crazy heat and insanity that is June, North Slope Farm always tries to appreciate and honor the Summer Solstice.  What better excuse for a celebration than the changing of the light levels and the passing from Spring to Summer.

Equipment 88 hrs: Trackers are used for plowing, ripping, bed forming, cultivating and general use.  Also equipment, like the Kubota and weed whacker, were used for mowing down weeds and cutting hay/straw for use on North Slope Farm.  The Volvo needed work done, got a new starter motor…a lot of work has gone into the Volvo over the years which may indicate it’s on it’s way out.  General maintenance was also needed on the IH140 which needed the battery connection cleaned.

Administration 58 hrs: Pay roll, balancing check book, deposits, consolidation of invoices and general accounting management, what fun!  Organic Certification Forms had to be filled out and turned in, don’t want to lapse on your organic certification or your asking for trouble.  MR had a phone interview during the month of June.  Seed orders for seeds we ended up lacking in had to be made to complete the year and irrigation rough drafts were made. Monthly summary, as always, were written and posted and photos were updated.

Infrastructure 82 hrs: Continual mowing and weed whacking…lots of mowing and weedwhacking- perimeters of farm and fields, around buildings, greenhouses, etc. in a continual fight against the ever growing weeds (Darn those “plant steroids”).  Fields were also continually mowed down for cut straw for mulching our field beds and using in our chicken coops.  The chicken chores continued, moving coops weekly and general cleaning of coops and feeding, watering and collecting eggs always have to be done.

Greenhouse 55 hrs: Stringing tomatoes in the greenhouse; continual/constant pruning of greenhouse tomatoes became a weekly chore.  We also had to continue to seed the next succession of seedlings for the field.  There was also trellising peas in Ralph’s House greenhouse.

Composting 50 hrs: Many beds needed to be composted including beds in the 579 field for flowers, tea garden beds in the corner garden, BGBs for direct seeding salad mix and out in Veg B Mid for the next succession of transplants. Compost sifting for the greenhouse was also a continual chore.

Planting 73 hrs: Lots of planting needed to be done in June, including direct seeding flowers in the 579 field.  Also, soyo long cucumbers (yum) and yard long beans (yum yum) were direct seeded in the greenhouse.  Additionally, 1st years were given training on direct seeding salad mix in the BGBs, including training on proper mapping and recording of work done.  Also, lots of transplanting was done in Veg B Mid, scallions, red beets, gold beets, chard, touscano kale, red Russian kale, basil and summer squash while green beans, turnips and radishes were directly seeded there.  The last of the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers were also transplanted out in the tomato field.  We cleared out space in the greenhouse of all these transplants just in time for us to fill it again with the newest seedlings for the next veggie succession in the field.

Crop Care 184 hrs: Weeding, weeding and more weeding.  There was also staking and stringing of tomatoes and mulching their beds and lots of pruning of tomatoes in the greenhouse.  The 1st years got an introduction to the irrigation systems for directly seeding in the BGBs and how to use the moisture system to check levels in the Farmhouse Gothic for proper irrigation.  Irrigation had to be continually kept track of because the rain during the month was variable and often came all at once, quickly followed by long hot days that rapidly dried field beds.  All of which was followed up with more weeding…of peas, carrots, salad beds, strawberries, and every other field bed.  There was also cutting of hay from fields for hay/mulch.

Harvesting 170 hrs: Lettuce, spinach, turnips, chard, kale, strawberries, peas, squash, garlic scapes, parsley, beets, radishes, garlic and flowers were all being harvested in June. A hot and humid heat wave spurred longer lunches and extended work days into later evening hours when it was hopefully mildly cooler.  One afternoon/evening the crew struggled to keep going to gather and store bales of hay that had been cut.  Everyone was loosing incredible amounts of water due to sweat in heat and high humidity but finally finished a long day, getting all the hay stored safely and dryly in the seed shed only to have a storm blow in 15 minutes later, redeeming all the work done to save the hay from being soaked.  The thunderstorm also brought a more than welcome break in the heat and a needed shower for all crew members who had bits of hay sticking to every inch of skin.  Additionally, there was also a one time picking of mulberries from single mulberry tree-yielding 5 pints in one hour of picking.  But the tree also was hours of entertainment for not only children of workers of the farm but workers themselves-nothing quite like a mulberry break in the mists of a hot day.

Handling 47 hrs: As always, washing of greens and roots.  For the first time we broke up Friday washing with Thursday, hoping to reduce the pressure on Friday and maybe break up the day into doing different work in the afternoons.  An overview on washing was given by MR and washing eggs was a continual chore.  Seedlings for orders from the Whole Earth Center also had to be collected and delivered.

Marketing 149 hrs: In the middle of a month where fair or foul weather can make or break a market, Wednesday Hopewell Farmers Market experienced quite a number of rainy days or days suffocated by heat and humidity, which majorly impacted the number of customers who came out.  Also, Cherry Grove Organic started at the Hopewell farmers market in the month of June.  MR began to coordinate mushrooms and Solebury Orchard orders for market, in mid-June there were the first apricots and sour cherries.  Also, the special order with Kitchen Garden seedlings was delivered, total came to $487.  6/16 the farm stand opened for first time at NSF.

Hopewell6/1: $575, 6/8: $430, 6/15: $451, 6/22: $403, 6/29: $391 = $2,250

WWCFM6/4: $1074, 6/11: $977, 6/18: $1317, 6/25: $1301 = $4,603

Summit6/5: $1920, 6/12: $1950, 6/19: $1950, 6/26: $2250 = $8,070

Total June 2011 Market Income: $14,923

Special Projects 22 hrs: ST’s Black Bird Meadows continues, tracking becomes of greater importance as bed forming, staking, mulching, planting continues.  ST also experiences having to get rid of seedlings which became root bound after they did not make it into the field.  NOFA NJ came to observe sun hemp as a cover crop at NSF, taking measurements to see how sun hemp fairs under certain treatments. MD and ST take measurements of the newest field, mulch field south east, to lay out the field perimeter and began to chisel plow.  MD introduced workers to the log splitter and crew started work on clearing a stack of logs from the forest and stacking for firewood for winter use at the farmhouse.  Also, RC lead up crew lunches in the afternoon.

Weather: Week 1: Hot and Humid a heat wave sets in early but strong winds from a front gave a break for some relief before the heat returned

Week 2: The week started hot and dry, optimal time for hay cutting but by the end of the week relief from the weather came in a front bringing cooler temps and rain showers- .9” rain

Week 3: Slightly cooler week with rain storms in the forecast all week – 1.25” rain

Week 4: Humidity and heat still beats down on the crew but the promise of thunderstorms is ever looming- .5” rain but ending the month dry without any rain in the forecast for the start of July

Third Year Summary- Greenhouse Manager

December 6th, 2011 | Posted by Robin in Greenhouse - (Comments Off on Third Year Summary- Greenhouse Manager)

THIRD YEAR FOCUS- Greenhouse Manager

Prepared 12/6/11 by RC

This year was my second year serving as greenhouse manager at North Slope Farm.  It gave me an opportunity to try to maximize efficiency within our greenhouses.  I was able to practice my management skills to perfect, to the best of my abilities, the routines of the greenhouse production.  Dealing with two hoop houses, the Farmhouse Gothic and Ralph’s House as well as one heated greenhouse, used primarily for seedlings, gives an opportunity to manage over many different projects in a season.  This year was no different; we had a wide variety of activities occurring throughout the year.

The Farmhouse Gothic had been designated to tomato growing.  Our crop care manager was set on furthering his and North Slope’s experience with grafted tomatoes so he took the reins of the hoop house and grew towering tomato plants of heirloom and red slicing varieties.  After the tomatoes completion, the Farmhouse Gothic held radishes and attempts at late summer squash which were cleared out to house layer chickens over the winter.  This gives the girls a nice protected spot to roam over the winter months.  As snow accumulates outside the chickens will be able to walk on the ground and scratch up bugs and dirt. 

Ralph’s House, the other hoop house, had an early start to the spring with plants of kale, swiss chard, scallions and fennel that had been transplanted the previous fall.  During the summer Ralph’s House primarily held pole beans, including a very cool variety called yard-long beans.  These beans were not quite a ‘yard’ long but more like a foot and a half and quite tasty.  Now as fall sets in Ralph’s House has been converted to a winter green haven, full of kale, swiss chard, radishes and peas for tasty treats for farmers and the local Hopewell market that goes year round every Wednesday afternoon (2-6) at the Hopewell train station. 

My major focus as greenhouse manager was on the heated seedling greenhouse.  Planning out a constant healthy flow of seedlings is always a challenge.  One can always plan out a detailed step by step run down of what happens when and in what amounts but weather, animals and poor germination can always throw any well thought out plan off.  Of course, as in any year we faced all these problems.  To start the general plan for the farm was to start early and hopefully get plants growing out in the field in early April.  This ambitious goal faced many challenges.  The seedlings in the greenhouse faced the dangers of rodent attacks.  Despite seedlings being positioned high up on germinating tables, these savory fresh green sprouts attracted constant attention from rodents and other pests in the cold month of March.  When most other food sources were gone during this cold month, the heated greenhouse seemed to become a haven for pests who liked to chomp away at our tender young plants.  Even after setting traps, covering trays with remay and setting in place mouse guards (slick sheets of metal that the rodents can not climb) around table legs we still had a lot of seedling loss from rodents, especially of our squash plants which had to be reseeded many times.

Additionally, at the beginning of the year we found the weather outdoors to be challenging.  The spring was wet (as most springs are) but our fields did not start to drain until well into April, far past our goals for planting.  The wet spring caused similar issues on other farms in the area, impeding many farmer’s starting dates but with our clay soil and slow draining fields it became quite a nuisance.  As a result of the rainy weather, much of the first succession of seedlings planted for the field never made it beyond the germination tables.  Instead, the second succession of seedlings became the first set to touch ground.  Yet even the second set had to be transplanted in our big garden beds which are better draining beds then our traditional field beds and do not need tractors to cultivate them.  These garden beds are usually reserved for direct transplanting of salad, arugula, tat soi, carrots, radishes and turnips.  However, they were very useful for transplanting our second succession while we waited for the traditional field beds to dry enough for tractors to prepare for planting.

In a sort of mirror image of the spring, the fall also brought some devastating rains.  The floods of hurricane Irene and later storms brought similar wet conditions to our fall fields as we experienced in early spring.  Once again our field production was halted, with mud pits were field beds once laid, transplanting a final succession was again thrown off course.  Instead a later set of seedlings needed to be seeded, after our initial crop plan would have ended.  These seedlings were transplanted again into the well draining big garden beds.  These experiences come to show that again and again plans have to be revised to suit environmental issues and dilemmas; one always has to prepare for the worse.  Also, these experiences point to the validity of having different growing conditions to be utilized when necessary.  In our case the two different types of field beds allowed us to make use of seedlings that else wise would have gone to waste.  It seems a good idea of any farm to have a wetter and dryer field option to help combat bad weather throughout the year.   

Seedling sales are the other major aspect of greenhouse management.  In the germination greenhouse we grow seedlings for special orders and for selling at markets.  This year I planned out numerous successions of seedlings for sale to hopefully keep them young and vibrant.  If they live in a pot too long they can get diseased and worn down and their roots can get bound and not transplanted easily.  Though we use cow pots, which allow the roots to grow threw the manure based pot walls, which help reduce damage to the plants, they still do need to be planted in the grown to be fully healthy plant.  Therefore we seeded a number of successions of plants, which seemed to help keep our seedlings in good shape.  With special wholesale orders to places like Whole Earth in Princeton and The Kitchen Garden we were able to make extra money at the start of the year before our crop plants took off.  Also, when we look at the work the greenhouse did strictly for North Slope Farm, providing seedlings for the season, we can consider the flats grown for NSF as a distinct “seedling order”.  In this way we can evaluate the value of the functioning greenhouse in money earned and saved by growing seedlings.

This 2011 season faired reasonably for the seedling market. 

Seedling Summary

           Wholesale Accounts: yielded $2,573 gross

            Farmer Markets: yielded $2000 gross

            NSF total #s     : cowpots- 1961 pots (approx $3922 worth)

                                         : trays- 539 trays (approx $5,390 worth)

When looking at the overall products produced in the heated greenhouse and their worth to the farm (in cash and in seedlings for the field) it seems that the heated greenhouse alone stands to bring at least a $14,000 value to the farm. 


The biggest challenge in preparing seedlings for sale is to be able to constantly have healthy seedlings people want.  At times one may expect certain varieties to be more popular than others and be surprised by the customer’s lack of interest.  However, it seems that one can never have too many sun gold cherry tomatoes, nasturtiums and basil (the three most popular items for wholesale and resale markets).  It is key to always keep a constant supply ready for sale each week.  Space to store all seedlings for sale and field has to be well managed and all table space, including tables outdoors must be utilized.  The greenhouse becomes quite a juggling act in the beginning of the season and many hours are spent watering and caring for these baby plants but if taken care of properly it is quite rewarding to see them grow.


The greenhouse has been a great way to plug into the heart of a farm.  Being able to adequately plan and organize seedlings has been quite a venture and a wonderful learning experience.  It is always a challenge to be able to produce a healthy seedling at its peak, ready to go the moment the weather and field conditions will corporate.  Of course, it does not always go as planned and is always a little sad to have to throw unhealthy and old seedlings in the compost pile but when you plant and see a healthy seedling grow into a nutritious bountiful plant, it is quite rewarding.  Planning the greenhouse seeding schedule helps to coordinate an entire farm and is a great experience to be taken to future work at another farm or my own one day.  Organizing the greenhouse also teaches one patience; you can not rush nature but if you work hard you can hopefully find the best balance to produce the healthiest plants possible.

Monthly Summary – March 2010

March 8th, 2011 | Posted by Robin in Monthly Summary - (52 Comments)

Monthly Summary – March 2010

Prepared 3/4/11 RCM

General Observations: Spring is coming.  Looking back on last year’s log reminds me of the somewhat chilly start we had: snow on the grown, freezing nights and some windy wet days.  But soon the weather began changing and warm temperatures by the afternoon kept our spirits up as the green began appearing.  Chickweed salads with the fresh tangy green were enjoyed by crewmembers.  Of course this spurt of green growth also meant there was plenty of weeding and such to start off our season and prepare for.  Fortunately, after a long winter off, the NSF crew was ready to get our hands dirty again.

Administration 126.5 hours: Numerous ’08 summaries had yet to be finished and posted on the website and the general crop plan for the current season needed to be smoothed out and seeds ordered.  A lot of time was spent in the office trying to get ready for the coming season… which on a cold wet day in March can be very pleasant when sitting next to a small heater.  There were also bills and payroll to be paid and general organization of farm business.

Infrastructure 67 hours: General repairs on the farm after the winter had to be done.  The seed shed foundation was fixed up and stuccoed, helping make the root cellar more efficient, protecting the Insulation Boards.  Loose roof panels were repaired, as was damage from the winter and a rain/wind storm to the greenhouses.  Power supply line to Greenhouse #1 was protected with Electrical Conduit.

Greenhouse 143.5 hours:  First and foremost the heated greenhouse needed to be put in order for spring use.  We began to utilize new cowpots (biodegradable) in the greenhouse for seedling sales at market as well as some of our slow-growing veggies like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  March was also the beginning of SEEDING!  Lots of trays were prepared for our first succession of planting and seedlings were prepared for selling at market and whole sales vendors such as Whole Earth in Princeton.  Everything from kale and swiss chard to nasturtiums and zinnias were being seeded to be ready for the coming spring.  New metal flashing sheets were placed on greenhouse cinderblock table legs to help create a slick surface to deter mice from climbing onto the tables and foraging for planted seeds.  Ralph’s House Greenhouse was also prepped for planting, beds were cleared and forked and transplanted into.  The greenhouses were very busy in March

Composting 14 hours:  Lots of sifting compost for our seedling trays. 

Planting 44.5 hours:  Began planting some perennial Fruits, strawberries, blackberries and asparagus.  Also seeded peas.

Crop Care 63 hours:  Beds needed to be prepped after the long winter, both in greenhouses and in the field.  Everything from clearing beds of weeds, broadforking, rototilling and seeding.  There were lots of beds in the tea garden and market garden that had to be cleared.  Lettuce grown in the heated greenhouse during the winter was transplanted into a bed in the unheated Ralph’s House.  Fruit trees were also pruned.

Harvesting 15 hours:

  • Week 1: lettuce and arugula from our heated greenhouse
  • Week 2: Kale from unheated greenhouse
  • Week 3: Chard and kale from unheated greenhouse
  • Week 4: Kale, chard, lettuce and tatsoi

Handling 6 hours: Cleaning products and prepping for our weekly Hopewell market.

Market 46 hours: RC was trained and drove the box truck for the first time to Hopewell Hopewell 3/3 $81, 3/17 $133, 3/24 $206.74, 3/31 $246

Special Projects 36.5 hours:  Chickens needed a new traveling coop built for the young 09 girls.  Egg washing and finding enough egg buyers in the winter (through wholesale to the Bent Spoon in Princeton).


  • Week 1:  Snow still covering the ground but days are getting warmer with freezing nights
  • Week 2:  Beautiful, warm days with rain in the forecast
  • Week 3:  Rain Storm with some high winds, followed by warm sunny days
  • Week 4: Mild temps with rain forecasted, sounds like Spring

Girl’s Night at North Slope

January 26th, 2011 | Posted by Robin in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Girl’s Night at North Slope)

An open invitation to women interested in food…farmers, chiefs, friends and anyone who is curious is welcome to join us on February 4th at 6pm for a potluck dinner.  This casual gathering is a chance to meet and reunite with other women in the general area.  Since it is a potluck, bring your favorite dish, drink, something to share so we can all feast at the end of the week.  Network, relax, have fun.  Hope you can make it.

Girl’s Night Pot Luck

Location: North Slope Farm Farmhouse

1701 Linvale-Harbourton Road

Lambertville, NJ 08530

Date: February 4th (Friday), 2010

Time: 6pm

Questions? Please email with Girl’s Night in the subject line.

Monthly Summary – November 2009

January 8th, 2011 | Posted by Robin in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary – November 2009)

Monthly Summary – November 2009
RCM; Logs and records reviewed, and summary prepared 12/10

General Observations: As we rehash last November, I am reminded of my own arrival at North Slope.  My beginning marked the end of two other interns who we sadly said farewell too as they ventured westward.  Last year we were winding down and getting ready to pack it in for the winter, most workers had plans of travel in December and taking a nice long break from farming.  But for those still here there was work getting the heated greenhouse in order for winter salad production, settling the chickens in for their winter stay in a new greenhouse and preparing the farm for a little break.
Administration 31.5 hours: Monthly summary, end of the year summaries, bills for the year, payroll, meetings on plans for the end of the year/winter season, trainee meetings on goals and successes of the year, winter caretaker responsibilities meeting, 4th Quarter report to NJ.
Infrastructure 18.5 hours: Completing greenhouse covering for winter space for chickens, patching greenhouse holes and heating problems before the winter, shutting down the walk in and setting up winter storage in a smaller refrigerator unit, winterize the farm and draining the water system.
Greenhouse 12 hours: Preparing the heated greenhouse for winter seeding/production, fixing heating problems and holes in greenhouses.
Planting 22.5:
Week 2: Garlic for 2010, the start of lettuce seeding in the heated greenhouse for winter production
Week 4: Additional lettuce seeding in the heated greenhouse
Crop Care 3.5 hours: Taking down of tomato stakes, collections of irrigation parts in the field to be stored together
Harvesting 99.5 hours: crash course in harvesting for RC
Week 1: Chard, kale, field salad, scallions, salad mix
Week 2: tatsoi, kale, chard, scallions, arugula, salad mix
Week 3: Kale, chard, scallions, carrots, salad mix
Week 4: salad mix, kale, chard, carrots
Handling 20.5 hours: Washing, topping carrots, stripping teas
Marketing 61 hours:
Hopewell: 11/4 $453.41, 11/11 $389.35 , 11/18 $416.30
Summit:  11/8 $1800, 11/15 $2103, 11/22 $2,792
Special Projects 56 hours: Getting the chickens homes ready for the winter – Installing fence and BD finishing the framing on Farmhouse Gothic greenhouse.  Excellent job by BD despite taxing conditions and fabrication requirements – Thanks BD!
Week 1:  Experienced an extreme temperature drop with a killing frost
Week 2: Much warmer with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 40s, but a front moved in bringing wind and colder temperatures
Week 3: Dry and stabilizing temperatures into friendlier conditions
Week 4: Keeping with relatively mild temperatures for the end of November, some clouds and rain move in

Monthly Summary – July 2009

January 8th, 2011 | Posted by Robin in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary – July 2009)

Monthly Summary – July 2009
RCM; Logs and records reviewed, and summary prepared 11/10

General Observations: We start off this month remembering that we are in the full swing of summer, with a 100+ degree day, I thought it would be a good time to sit in the air-conditioning to do the monthly summary for July.  Last year at this time we were just coming off of one terribly rainy June and getting quite excited for the warmer, dryer conditions (ironic because this summer we are wondering when the rain will come and cool us down).  There was also dreaded news of Late Tomato Blight in neighboring farms, creating quite a challenging month.
Equipment 20.5 hours: Kabota and backtold had to have burned out belts fixed along with fan/alternator
Administration 39 hours: Monthly summary, bills, payroll, farmland assessment, quarterly return
Infrastructure 88 hours: Re-fencing and rat proofing chicken coop and run, mowing of water diversions and fields, repairs to sub main west irrigation, greenhouse exhaust fan fixed, walk in cooler door worked on
Greenhouse 27 hours: Watering, cleaning out greenhouse of seedlings and weeds and shutting down growing for the summer in prep for tea drying
Composting 19 hours: Areas prepped for food scrap drop off from Nomad Pizza, composting beds, clearing weeds from wind rows, building compost piles
Planting 54 hours:
Week 1: seeded lettuce and radishes
Week 2: beets and zinnias, summer squash, scallions, chard, peppers, flowers
Week 3: eggplants
Crop Care 115 hours: Thinning of sunflowers, stringing tomatoes, irrigation (laying tape and running), rototilling, trellis cucumbers, weeding sides of tomato beds in preparation of mulching and irrigation, ralph house clean up, weeding, weeding and more weeding: everything from tea beds to garden beds and north veg field beds.
Harvesting 339 hours:
Week 1: red and gold beets, swiss chard, field salad, heliopsis, kale, purslane, rudbeckia, summer squash, turnips, teasel, yarrow, zinnias.
Week 2: basil, red and gold beets, swiss chard, field salad, garlic, heliopsis, kale, pulled peas and trellis, rudbeckia, summer squash, yarrow, yellow dock, and zinnias.
Week 3: basil, beans, red and gold beets, Echinacea, swiss chard, field salad, kale, and summer squash.
Week 4: basil, red and gold beets, swiss chard, apples, pears, field salad, heliopsis, kale, summer squash, sunflowers, teas, cherry tomatoes, and zinnias.
Week 5: basil, red and gold beets, swiss chard, fennel, field salad, kale, radishes, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes
Handling 102 hours: Ordered a new salad spinner to increase efficiency of salad washing, washing, garlic curing and topping, topping beets, stripped teas
Marketing 144 hours:
Hopewell:7/8 $685, 7/22 $690,  incomplete logs only give a total of $1,375
West Windsor: 7/4 $1080, 7/11 $1335, 7/18 $1400, 7/25 $1350, Total = $5,165    Summit: 7/5 $1700, 7/11 $2190, 7/19 $2390, 7/26 $1720, Total = $8,000
Special Projects 4 hours: Preparing the next chicken area for rapidly growing chicks
Week 1: Getting hot and dryer but rain still persisting and hindering work
Week 2: Finally getting some dry conditions, allowing tractor tillage to occur
Week 3: Sunny weather, hot and humid
Week 4: Rain came again with some thunder storms making it wet with cool nights
Week 5: heavy downpours lead to some power outage and poor conditions for planting, hot again