Watch as Farmers Grow

Monthly Summary – September 2012

September 11th, 2013 | Posted by RR in Monthly Summary

Monthly Summary – September 2012

Posted By: RR    Date:9/11/13

5th succession 2

General Observations: Last year, the month of September gave us a bountiful harvest while operations were working smoothly!

Equipment 63 hrs: KG and RR received various equipment training. The Billy Goat walk-behind mower arrived.  Fields were disk-harrowed for cover crop seeding.  Veg. B mid was chiseled and rototilled.  The Williams Tool Bar attached to the 265 was used successfully for crop cultivation.

Administration 36.5 hrs: General administrative chores were attended to.  

Infrastructure 66 hrs:  Baby chicks arrived early in the month. Their nursery was cleaned out, prepped and rat-proofed.  The new Big Garden Beds were finished by forming them into a usable shape with the rototiller.

Greenhouse 14.5 hrs: See Crop Care.

Composting 3 hrs: Compost went to the corner garden and the new Big Garden Beds.

Planting 57.5 hrs: Cover crops were seeded onto certain fields. Some cover crop seed required inoculation and the crew received training on how to use the innoculant.

By mid month, there was a push to get beds seeded for the new moon. The central field was seeded with kale, radishes, arugula, salad and tatsoi. This was an unusual practice.  With the exception of kale, the other crops are usually seeded in our raised garden beds, not a field bed, and they were watered for 6 hours instead of 4. But they grew well, as shown in the photo above.

At the end of the month, the new Big Garden Beds were seeded for the first time with salad mix. Also, the corner garden was planted with Bee Balm, Mountain Mint, Sweet William and Lovage.

CropCare 158 hrs: One notable message, written after a 5hr afternoon in the tomato greenhouse, stressed the importance of keeping up with pruning and trellising.

But many hours went into crop care. Beds were mulched with hay, others were weeded by hand or with scuffle hoe, flower beds were staked and strung, and one greenhouse was completely cleared out, just to name a few activities.

Harvesting 372.5 hrs: There was plenty to harvest in September 2012. Our vegetables included: kale, chard, fennel, beans, beets, carrots, salad mix and squash. Hay was harvested (it was noted that the 579 field was cut 3 times last year), tomatoes got picked several times a week and CH’s corner garden provided a lot of lemon verbena.

Handling 97 hrs: Tomatoes take a long time to sort.

Marketing 167.5 hrs:

Summit: 9/2 – $3300, 9/9 – $3358, 9/15 – $3285, 9/23 – $3380

West Windsor: 9/8 – $1945, 9/14 – $2048, 9/22 – $2043, 9/29 – $1541

Hopewell: 9/5 – $485, 9/12 – $383, 9/18 – $459.95, 9/26 – $297.90

Market Total as of 9/30/3012: $97,199.00

In addition to market sale records, lots of product-value calculations were written in the log this month. Our ketchup and tomato sauce had arrived from processing: 600 pounds of our tomatoes yielded 104 quarts of sauce at a cost of $361.00. If tomatoes are $1/lb, and worker pay at $15/hr with 12 hrs of work, and the cost of processing is $361.00, then total cost of labor is $1141. Divide by 104 quarts and the minimum value is around $11/quart.

Ketchup bottles had a similar calculation which put them valued at $8-9/pint. There were also calculations for flower bunches and salad mix values where the worker pay was raised to $30/hr. Flower bunches were found to be valued around $12/bunch and salad mix was valued at $10/lb.

Special Projects 2.5 hrs: Hay bales were collected for a winter project of building a hay bale dwelling.

KG experimented with micro-green production and switched from a three week seed to harvest time, to two weeks.


 Wk 1: Overcast and rainy. Arrival of Hurricane Issac.

Wk 2:  Sunny, clear.

Wk3: Sunny, clear and cool.

Wk4: Overcast and rainy.


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