Watch as Farmers Grow

Monthly Summary – October 2011

October 4th, 2012 | Posted by Beau Young in Monthly Summary

Monthly Summary – October 2011

Logs reviewed and summary prepared by BY September 27th, 2012

Fall Chores

General Observations:

Rainy conditions from late summer rolled into October leaving behind saturated conditions. First week saw clear skies but that led to continued rain through the second week. Mid month saw the planting of the BGB’s with fennel, scallions, kale and beets as well as winter cover crops. Special projects included a newly built loft in the seed shed and harvesting throughout the month included tomatoes, carrots, salad mix, arugula, tot soi, scallions, peppers, tea and parsley. The month came to a close with an unprecedented snow storm that dropped about twelve inches of snow and took the power out for three days as a result of snow covered tree branches falling on power lines.

Equipment 37 hrs:

Most of these hours were dedicated to trying to fix the Kabota which was difficult to start at the beginning of the month and by the third week it wouldn’t start at all.  The crew backblew the fuel line, bled air successfully, but it still would not work.

Administration 97 hrs:

Normal payroll duties and filing of 3rd quarter payroll tax returns. $30,000 balance in bank account seems to indicate above break even cash position and potential exists for full payment of 2011 liabilities. Crew worked on element focus for next year and created new map folder. End of month crew meeting to discuss remainder of season and markets also took place. Plan discussed regarding the coming cold weather strategy to cover beds with plastic and remay.

Infrastructure 92 hrs:

Chickens moved to new locations along with other normal chores. Identified need to find winter housing for chickens and the 2011’s are getting too big for their coop. Location still unidentified at end of month, but future logs indicate the 2011’s ended up spending the winter in the farmhouse gothic. Cleaning and stowing equipment for winter was part of normal cold weather preparation. The power went out in the farmhouse due to snow storm for two and a half days. The basement flooded and was pumped out with a gas powered water pump.

Greenhouse 16 hrs:

I assume winter production seedlings were tended to but no log entries to verify that.

Composting 12 hrs:

Cleaned piles and received horse manure and shavings from Charlie Gilbert on 10/6 and one load of piled on heavy base of woodchips. On 10/18 the crew composted garlic beds plus seven others, nine total beds composted.

Planting 69 hrs:

On 10/11 the crew weed wacked, broad forked and fertilized BGB’s in order to plant fennel, scallions, kale & beets. Planted winter cover crop-triticale rye, hairy vetch and Austrian winter pea at five times recommended rate due to late seeding and rough manner of seeding including disking to cover the seed and forecast of lots of rain. Germinated well, chickens began eating it but figured it was ok as a result of the heavy seeding. End of month saw the preparation of field beds for garlic, 3 beds planted on 10/25. The crew forked the old basil bed in corner garden, seeding with spinach to overwinter, saw good germination 30 days later.

Crop Care 102 hrs:

10 Entries for irrigation during the month, mostly Ralphs house and Farmhouse Gothic. On10/5 hoed new salad mix in the west beds and on 10/6 hand weeded the BGB’s. Cleaned up tomato fields starting mid month. Set up rebar and remay on beds in preparation for cold days ahead.

Harvesting 119 hrs:

Harvested carrots, salad mix, arugula, tot soi and scallions and parsley throughout the month. Tomatoes harvested until mid month then cleanup of tomato fields began. Tea was harvested successfully and included Hyssop, Comfrey and Nettle. On 10/12, 220 pounds of winter squash was harvested: Butternut, Acorn, Delicate and Kabotcha from one fifth acre. The assessment is this would mean a price of $18 per pound to meet $20,000 per acre requirement. Farm manager is reluctant to sell the squash and would prefer to utilize it on the farm. Recognized a need for a solid assignment of the true value in order to determine if it can be considered a “cash crop”

Handling 96 hrs:

Normal handling of salad mix, kale, chard and carrots took place. The crew came up with the “swirling bucket” technique for washing carrots, presumably to make cold weather washing more bearable.

Marketing 207 hrs:

West Windsor: 10/1- $1,588,  10/8 – $1,247,  10/15 – $1,429,  10/22 – $1,226, 10/29 – $724.25 Average sales for month=$1,243

Summit: 10/2 – $3,370,  10/9 – $2,500,  10/16 – $2,865, 10/23 – $2,780, 10/30 – $565  Average sales for month= $2,416

Hopewell: 10/5 – $616.50, 10/12 – $393, 10/19 – $240, 10/26 – $476.50 Average sales for month= $431.50

Total October 2011 Market Income: $20,020.25

NOFA NJ requested veggies for their winter conference, no word on whether any were delivered.

There was some discussion of viability of Hopewell market through November considering low customer base and high rent.

Special Projects 58 hrs:

Cutting Hay in Veg D led to getting stuck as soil was too wet to pull implement. On 10/10 39 hay bales were harvested. Lots of wood splitting for the farmhouse, and a new loft was built in the seed shed. Total cost was $560 and completed with 10 worker hours.


Week 1: lots of rain, saturated conditions.

Week 2: Heavy rain

Week 3: Dropping temperatures but clear skies.

Week 4: First frost and a Halloween blizzard to end the month.

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