Watch as Farmers Grow

Monthly Summary- May 2012

May 29th, 2013 | Posted by Owen Spath in Monthly Summary

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’.

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