Watch as Farmers Grow

Monthly Summary – April 2009

January 8th, 2011 | Posted by steven in Monthly Summary

Monthly Summary – April 2009
Steven Tomlinson; Logs and records reviewed, and summary prepared 4/28/10

General Observations:
April is an exciting time of year. Spring is showing signs of potential growth and the weather is unpredictable, from cold snaps to heat waves. Seeding and following the crop plan worked out months before become the most important tasks. Cleaning up perennial beds and feeding compost to plants marks the beginning of the growing season. Tractors are waking up and getting ready to enter the fields as soon as the weather allows. It is a time of awakening, through work, the weather, and the soil.
Administration 49 Hours: Setting up new employees in the system, payroll, and placing new seed orders started off April. “Surface Water Drainage System” is broken down to: responsibility – manage drainage with out erosion, production requirement – drain production area, related regiment – production areas need water during dry times, long term – catch drainage for later use. April is Surface Water Drainage month.
Infrastructure 59 Hours: Repaired water lines and getting the greenhouses into shape reflect the farm starting to wake up from winter. A broken market tent was also fixed.
Greenhouse 130 Hours: The temperature went from freezing to a heat wave! 4/2 – first succession of seedlings planted. A trip to Russell Garden yielded some herb plants and inspiration for greenhouse set up. Watering, planting, and temperature control through venting took time and consideration. Watering the greenhouse took 2 hours a day by the end of the month. Mice damage to seedlings persisted.
Composting 93 Hours: Piles were built with added nitrogen in one pile and mycelium in another pile for future investigation. To break down leaves add 1.5# of nitrogen per 1 cubic yard of leaves. The manure spreader broke and composting was done with a trailer attached to an ATV and spread with shovels by hand.
Planting 33 Hours: Fertilizer (Fertrell 5-1-1) was applied to beds that will have perennial flowers and apple trees. The first succession of vegetables were planted which included chard, kale, beets, scallions, and radishes. A lettuce variety trial was also planted with notes on which variety grew the best.
Crop Care 74 Hours: Chisel plowing and rototilling prepared the fields for planting. Weeding and mulching perennials became a priority.  By the end of the month the peas needed trellising.
Harvesting 23 Hours: Scallions that were over wintered in farmhouse gothic were harvested before they went to flower. This is an interesting time to harvest because new seedlings are growing while the few plants that hung on throughout the winter are still able to make it to market.
Marketing  51 Hours: Herbal tea was highlighted at the market with samples of brewed, hot, fresh, delicious tea. A new marketing layout was discussed, which is always important to have in dialogue with the manager and workers. Displays should be dynamic and kept to look fresh.
Special Projects 9 Hours: MR gave a soil structure workshop for SAITA. At the workshop is where I first visited North Slope Farm, however I was working at another farm at the time. I appreciated the charm of North Slope and liked the way MR presented information. It is important to open up your farm and give back to the community of farmers.

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