Watch as Farmers Grow

Monthly Summary – August 2011

August 1st, 2012 | Posted by miker in Monthly Summary

Monthly Summary– August 2011

Logs reviewed and summary prepared by MR, August 1, 2012
Striped german
General Observations:  Reading the log I am struck by the words, Tomatoes, Rain and harvesting.  They seemed to dominate the record, like the rest of life and activity was not noteworthy.  Total rainfall exceeded 20 inches, including 7 inches during Hurricane Irene on 8/27.  So August is nose to the grindstone month, picking tomatoes, harvesting the regular mix and going to market, and weeding and mowing.  There was also a ‘Mid Season Crew Check-in’ where the staff shared their perspective and task lists.  Cash Flow doesn’t seem to be what was hoped, so manager is focused on identifying what crops can be increased without exceeding demand or losing time on something that hasn’t proven to be profitable.

Equipment 30 hrs: 11 hours of the Kabota mower on diversions and mowing the market garden lanes and field borders.  The Ford 4600 also had high hours; 13.  The JD was only in use for 5 hours.

Administration 65 hrs:  As ever, accounting and payroll.  Payroll for the month was $9,658 for 7 workers.  Cash coming in is regularly deposited and quarters and ones retrieved for the cashbox.

Infrastructure 108 hrs: Equipment repairs- JD loader, cylinder repaired, but MR struggled for a day to replace missing fitting.  Casey helped MR remove, replace and remount tires on Ford, ATV and Hay Rake.  Mowing seems to be the prime activity, including weedwacking the grass away from irrigation submains and valves and maintaining the fences.  It was not clear in the log what these hours were for.  Due to many rainy days there may have been many odd job hours assigned to Infra.

Greenhouse 20 hrs: Greenhouse actually cleared out this month with the next seedlings placed on tables outside.  Last seeding of vegetable transplants, Succession #5, was done on 8/25 of Kale, Chard and Fennel.  This was probably too late as these crops never really got established (partly due to wet conditions).  Also, on 8/16 the “Winter Succession” of veggies was started, to be planted into Ralphs House and harvested in the deep, dark of Winter.

Composting 23 hrs: No log entries for compost use but I assume there was composting done pre seeding the BGBs, just not recorded.

Planting 29 hrs:  8/25 “big push” to get BGB’s ready for fall crops.  Seeded salad, Tatsoi, Spinach, arugula and carrots.

Crop Care 235 hrs:  8 entries for irrigation, mostly the Greenhouse Tomatoes.  Bought Hay from neighboring farm for mulching Winter Squash.  Heavy hand weeding in BGB’s to confront quackgrass invasion.  Lost sections of rows of Tomatoes to Hurricane and all the flowers were blown over.  Note in log; Always Stake and String Flowers!

Harvesting 580 hrs: 8/2 excited entry in Log about “major tomato harvest”!  At beginning of month extra tomatoes being held in Walkin Cooler to build up supply for Processing.  By end of the month the log notes with dismay the severe decline in yield in tomatoes.  Otherwise good yields of beans, beets and summer squash to keep the tomatoes company.  Interesting data from greenhouse tomatoes that 320 row feet in the greenhouse had yielded almost as many pounds as 1,320 row feet in the field so far, 1420# and 1527#’s respectively.  The greenhouse tomatoes had two weeks earlier production as well.

Handling 112 hrs:  Field salad was down by a third from last month so too is there a decrease in handling hours.  Chard too was way down.  Flowers, scallions and washing beets were the bulk of time.

Marketing 197 hrs: Selling out of many core crops.  Peaches from Solebury Orchards boosting income. Hopewell– $784, $965, $712, $788, $836; Total: $4,058

WWCFM–  $2,464, $2355, $2,059, $1,830; Total: $8.708

Summit $3,469, $2,050, $3,230, $0 – Rained out by Hurricane Irene; Total: $8,749

Total August 2011 Market Income: $21,515

Special Projects 29 hrs:  SunHemp trial visited regularly by NOFA staff, recording growth over time.  Germination was decent but the wet weather put a damper on the SunHemps vigor.  It was also clear that when cultivating the seed in, the two center shanks must have thrown the seed to the center and wheel tracks, yielding poor coverage over 2/3’s of the bed surface.  Also, Tomato Processing; 600#’s taken to Bauman Family Fruit Butters, inPennsylvania on 8/15.  The yield was approximately 150 quarts, or 4-6 #’s per quart.  At $3.70 cost per quart + $3-$6 in Tomatoes and the time involved managing it all, we came up with our cost at $7-$10 Quart, so we plan to retail at a minimum of $15/quart of ‘Heirloom Goodness’.  BlackBird Meadows also reported an estimation that ‘start up of a small vegetable operation’ (1/2 acre) should expect at least $5,000 in costs.

Weather:  Heavy Rain Storms and wet soil.

Week 1:Temperature mild, due to overcast days and rain.

Week 2: “Clear and Drying out”

Week 3: Rain, Rain and more Rain

Week 4: Regular Rain Showers, topped by 7 inches, by Hurricane Irene 8/27

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