Watch as Farmers Grow

Monthly Summary – April 2013

March 28th, 2014 | Posted by Malangie in Monthly Summary


Monthly Summary– April 2013

Logs reviewed and summary prepared by Malangie.

General Observations:

 April was a busy month. The crew worked on special projects such as the spinach trials and growing microgreens. The regular day to day work was kept up of course i.e. seeding, planting, and weeding. But they also dealt with unexpected challenges along the way: Frost took some tomatoes and basil while a chicken sickness claimed the life of a chicken.

Equipment (62 hrs):

(4/5) Big Red returned from repairs. (4/7) Replaced battery on IH140 and tires on both Kabota and Case 265. (4/14) Introduced 2nd Years to starting and servicing the Kabota. Weed wacked corner garden bed edges, pathways and tops to prepares them for planting. Mowed garlic bed edges with Billy Goat in preparation for tractor cultivation. (4/18) Introduction to the BCS Rototiller which was later used to till 2 Big Garden Beds. (4/29) Mowed Central Southeast Field and introduced new mowing skills such as adjusting widths and proper positioning for mowing along the fence line.

Administration (44 hrs):  

(4/1) Hour sheets made and the crew took a short field walk for discussion. (4/4) New crew uniforms arrive! (4/11) Introduction to the farm’s finances: account reconciliation, bills, payroll ect. (4/12) Market and WiC application filed. (4/15) Note made that a crew working together with a leader is better for morale.

Infrastructure (51 hrs):

(4/6) New coat rack made for SHOOP. (4/15) Note is made that maintaining clean, clutter free work areas also increases morale. (4/17) Hens moved winter quarters to First Field in 579 Northwest end. (4/19) Purchased new feed from Lakeview Organics and will compare it to the Nature’s Best feed. (4/28) Mowed Corner Garden’s access and borders, field below compost area and the alleys in Vegetable Garden B North Perennial and Vegetable Garden A North Perennial which would provide smooth ride for the IH140. (4/29) Compost delivery arrived.

Greenhouse (212 hrs):  

(4/2) 4th succession of basil seeded along with 5th succession of trial spinach. (4/3) Made more room available in greenhouse by moving some of the spinach trial to tables in the farm house gothic, some kale and cabbage (from 1st Succession) into the hoop house with extra remay. Also seeded red and gold beets for 2nd Vegetable Succession. (4/5) Finished 2nd Vegetable Succession and moved beets, Swiss chard, collards and trial kale into hoop house. Also, started potting tomatoes for the market. (4/11) Took inventory of herbs available for sale. (4/12) Finished potting tomatoes for market and came across space issue in the greenhouse which pushed the idea of moving the house tomatoes into Farmhouse Gothic (hesitated because of cold forecast). (4/16) Began seeding first flower succession. (4/20) Finished potting herbs for sale and took inventory to fax over to WEC. (4/21) Frost damage in Ralph’s House to market tomatoes (15 count) and basil (32 count). The seedling death continued in hoop house where the tomatoes and basil without secondary remay were 50% frosted. (4/22) Further assessment of the loss highlights the shortage. Decision is made to use both own and market seedlings to plant in Farmhouse Gothic and use newly seeded tomatoes for main crop. This will ensure that there will be enough planted to supply the farm and have some extra for seedling market sales.

Composting (43 hrs):  

(4/9) Training in spreading with Earth and Turf. (4/15) Composted short beds and east border beds in Corner Garden. (4/23) Composted Vegetable Garden A & B North Perennials (used up 1 big trailer). (4/24) Composted 3 Big Garden Beds and then broad forked them. (4/29) Took a quick walk to the compost area and decided where to have the net delivery dumped.

Crop Care (148 hrs): 

(4/3) Cleaned up remay, sandbags and some plastic from Big Garden Beds, Vegetable A & B and Central Field. (4/4) Got some weeding done in Farmhouse Gothic. Then moved onto weeding the garlic beds. (4/14) Used a trailer load of woodchips to mulch South border bed in Corner Garden where tulips are. (4/15) Hand weeded Hyssop and Sweet William. Also scuffle hoed peas. (4/17) Weeded in Ralph’s House and used the 265 to get in between garlic beds and make hand weeding easier. Also, weeded some asparagus. (4/18) Started up the irrigation for the Big Garden Beds along with remay and sandbags. (4/19) Finished asparagus weeding and moved onto strawberries. (4/23) Weeded the herb garden, fertilized older fruit bearing trees and got Casey’s placental tree. Also got another hour of weeding the strawberries in and worked on 3 garlic beds. (4/27) Set up more irrigation in the Big Garden Beds, Perrenials, Veg A, Corner Garden and the green house. Note is made to stay on top of irrigation rotation and remay management. (4/28) Used the IH140 and 100 gallon tank to water fish and kelp  onto strawberries, peas, collards, kohlrabi, head lettuce and herbs in the Corner Garden.

Harvesting (28 hrs):

(4/21) Harvested a tray of spinach which yielded ¾ lbs. (4/18) Harvested and weighed spinach. (4/26) First harvest of stinging nettle.

Handling (18 hrs):

(4/14) Washed, packed and delivered eggs to WEC. Note made that the ‘New Girls’ (’12) are still laying small eggs. Spoke to Stalin from Nomad (NAME) and he took 2 dozen to see if he could use them.

Marketing (25 hrs):

(4/27) First seedling delivery to WEC ($444). A beautiful display of tomatoes and basil was set up.

Special Projects (5 hrs):

Spinach Trial

(4/11) Ordered 200 containers for microgreens. Later, discussed spinach trial and pricing. (4/12) Worked on photoset for spinach trials and set up irrigation for microgreens. (4/14) Chicken coop clean up day! Also worked on some fence extensions for the ’11 Girls. (4/18) Seeded 1st Succession of microgreens (4/26) Quarantined bird from day before now dead. On further inspection of the flocks, they both seem to have same sickness. Sick birds isolated from healthy flock and plans made for them to be culled.


Week 1: Sunny during the day with cold even freezing nights, dry conditions.

Week 2: Warm days lead to a heat wave with and thunderstorms at night at the end of the week.

Week 3: Sunny, yet windy and cool, saturated conditions.

Week 4: Sunny with a bit of overcast in the afternoons, hot and dry towards the end of the week.

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