Monthly Summary –_July_, 2010
___RR__: Logs and records reviewed, and summary prepared 6/30/11
General Observations: When I think of July, I think of sitting on the porch after a long day of with my hand wrapped around a cold drink. And I imagine that’s just what the crew did last July after a long day’s work. With a massive heat wave and drought that brought 99-100 degree days, threatened crops and changed work hours to a 6am start up, a bit of relaxation must have been necessary. Thankfully, however, July didn’t seem to be all that bad. The month brought along the first exciting harvests of tomatoes, sungolds, eggplants, carrots, cucumbers, and garlic. Chickens were taken care of, equipment problems seemed minimal, the 3rd succession of crops was planted, and other issues seemed to find quick solutions.
Equipment 20 hrs: July seemed like a month with few equipment problems. The John Deer had a bit of trouble starting one day which postponed composting and planting in a field. MR fixed it later that day with a jump start from the Ford and the battery charger. There was also mowing going on early this month. Maintenance was necessary for the Farmhouse and Ranch yards, waterways and for the cluster area. Field beds were also mowed down.
Administration 13 hrs: The website had some difficulties working and delayed the posting of the July 2009 summary. (The 7/09 summary eventually got posted. Just scroll down and click on “next page” until it pops up!) Other administrative duties included payroll, bill-paying and the quarterly tax statement. Non-financial tasks were out of the ordinary. MR gave a two hour tour to farmers from Philadelphia on 15th. On another day, someone stumbled upon the old North Slope Farm logo on the computer and had plans to revive it.
Infrastructure 38.5 hrs: Our chickens were movin’ on up. The older girls got moved to fresh pasture. The young gals were given a new home in a bigger coop, within which, they were described as, “content and adventurous.” Heat and drought made bringing water to both groups of chickens a critical task. The office and shoop (an equipment storage facility), including the compost toilet area, received a clean-up and it was discovered that the shoop needed a new cover.
Greenhouse 2 hrs: Ralph’s house (the name of one of our greenhouses) was home to the tomatoes and some garlic beds last year in July. This particular greenhouse was cleared of weeds as workers harvested garlic. The remaining tomatoes received constant trellising.
Composting 7.5 hrs: The field we know as Veg B South had six beds composted in total in preparation for planting the 3rd succession of crops. Fruit trees such as the Asian Pears and Clem. trees also got composted.
Planting 21.5 hrs: The 3rd succession was planted by CH, SJ and ST. Crops included the transplanting of basil, fennel, red beets and zinnias on 7/2 and gold beets on 7/6. The 4th and 5th successions of field salad were direct seeded on 7/6 and 7/28, respectively.
CropCare 134.5 hrs: Weeding, weeding and more weeding. One bare-fallow field needed a hard weeding down the center of its beds after several passes with mechanical cultivation. Doing so was noted to promote less weedy beds for next year. Another bare-fallow field was weeded of big plants and then needed weeding of the smaller plants. Experiments regarding weeding and worker hours were conducted. It was concluded that worker hours were less when weeds were smaller in size. It was also concluded that philosophical discussions made the work go faster.
Harvesting 312 hrs: Last July they harvested: Kale (285 bunches), Scallions (176 bunches), Squash (396 pounds), Garlic (6 rows), Radishes (56 pounds), Zinnias (169 bunches), Tomatoes (25.5 trays), Sunflowers (39 bunches), Greenbeans (263 pounds), Field Salad (300 pounds), Sungolds (284 pints), Cucumbers (205 pounds), Carrots (184 pounds), Eggplants (64 pounds), Flowers (500 bunches).
Handling 66 hrs: The walk-in cooler was broken! RCM had a difficult time moving crates around and finding storage. She eventually settled on using the display cooler for blueberries. Dried loose-leaf tea was packaged and the harvested garlic was cut and stored. Also, ST, RCM and SJ received a detailed flower harvesting introduction. Fun handling observation: 17 pounds of wet salad mix becomes 12 pounds of salad mix after spinning! (5 pounds of water spun out).
Marketing 141 hrs: Garlic, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes were sold wholesale to Nomad last July. The Farmstand was also open and its revenue for the month totaled $297.00. Each week there was any combination of chard, salad, snow peas, scallions, beans, garlic, squash, eggs, blueberries, beets, cucumbers, sungold cherry tomatoes, and other tomatoes. Other markets are West Windsor, Summit and Hopewell.
West Windsor: (7/3) $1431.75, (7/10) $1328.00, (7/17) $1763.00, (7/31) $2111.50
Summit: (7/4) $2,200.00, (7/11) $2,500.00, (7/18) $2630.00
Hopewell: (7/7) $466.00, (7/14) $530.35, (7/21) $523.50, (7/28) 723.56 (Yea for tomatoes!)
Special Projects 9.5 hrs: Some of the fruit trees, sadly, did not do well in the heat and had passed on. Another special project involved discussing the future of our website.