Monday, October 10, 2011

Pete's Greens Farm Update Oct 7, 2011‏

Farm Update - Oct 7, 2011

Pete's Musings

It is nice to reach October this strange season. It's been quite a ride since Jan. 12 when our barn burned. First the shock and dismay of the fire and the coming to grips with the loss of supplies, equipment, a beautiful and historic barn, and the food, especially the food. As our nearly 81-year-old neighbor and great supporter Greg said about the fire cleanup, "I'd gotten used to the charred potatoes and cabbages but on the 4th day when we got to the frozen strawberries spilling out of the melted freezer I nearly wept."

Then the tremendous, overwhelming support from people and institutions both in our great State and beyond. It was amazing, we'll never be able to repay everyone, and we were really surprised how important our work is to so many people. Thanks to all of you who pitched in and helped in so many different ways.

Fall Share

Starts in less than 2 weeks!

October 19th

We have beautiful food planned for you this winter, and a very diverse mix. We have room in the share! Don't miss the first delivery Oct 19! Sign-up now!

Visit the Fall Share page for more info

The New "Barn" Oct 6, 2011.


We had 2 months to get our planning done to begin construction in mid March. While that seems fast and most everyone agreed it couldn't be done it actually worked out well. From architects to permitters to contractors everyone understood the urgency of our timeline and for the most part worked together to get it accomplished.

In early March we broke ground. Removed topsoil, graded, and graded some more until it was perfectly flat. That got done on a gloriously sunny and dry Sunday morning and then we christened our new site with a rousing game of sand broomball in the afternoon. That afternoon it was almost easy to believe that the rest of the spring would be that sunny and nice.

Isaac and I had designed a pre-fab wall construction that would allow us to build the walls simultaneously with foundation work. So we started building walls in mid March. We had a few hiccups but the system worked well and ended up being a tremendous labor savor.

I always underestimate the time and expense involved in a foundation. This building was no exception. It seemed that the weeks of grading and compacting followed by digging everything up for more drain pipes went on and on. And it doesn't look like much when you're doing it. But we got through it with the help of our intrepid plumber Paul who worked multiple weekends in the snow and rain. (Who ever heard of a plumber working on the weekend?)

And then concrete was poured (that's really fun especially when you're not involved), walls were stood up, and soon we were roofing. It all seemed to go pretty fast once the concrete work was done. Of course in early Oct. the building is still not complete but we are further along than we expected to be and it is very functional.

March 25 - Moving completed walls. April 25 - Slab complete

May 9 - Walls going up. May 25- Trusses going on.

June 9 - Roof on!

July 11, 2011 - The interior begins to take shape. Isaac has been construction overseer since day 1.

Aug 20 - The second floor in place. Sep 6 - CSA packing day, in the new space.

The Washhouse floor on Oct 4. The view out the door to the fields.

Oh... and we also grew vegetables this summer....

And it was challenging. The wettest spring anyone can remember made early work difficult. We were blessed with a very hot and relatively dry summer that produced some great crops. And then Irene and we have had generally pretty wet weather post-Irene. But we are pleased with our crops and excited about what we are packing away in the coolers and freezers for the winter.

Potatoes and onions are all in. We are experimenting with a couple different onion-drying methods this fall and they have dried off really nicely. Our fall carrots are putting on heft and sweetness every day. They seem to know that even though the days are short and cool this time of year that there is not much time left and they need to fatten up. Sweet potatoes are curing in the hot room. Share members will receive them next week or the week after. Greenhouses are nearly filled with baby greens, head lettuce, chard and other delicacies for the fall and winter and we recently doubled our shoot growing room. There is a bumper parsnip crop that we'll let the fall frosts sweeten and beet harvest begins in earnest tomorrow. And cabbage, lots of cabbage.

Production from our kitchen is better than ever this year. Highlights for me include orange watermelon juice frozen from succulent melons grown by High Mowing Seeds and the hundreds of jars of tomato puree and sauce that are resting in storage ready to be parceled out for those cold winter nights. And we got a pepper roaster so you'll be receiving frozen bags of roasted red peppers. This week we'll make salsa verde with the last of the tomatilla crop and freeze some gorgeous red jalapeno peppers.

Our crew has been really top notch this year. Great attitudes, going above and beyond, dealing with unusual circumstances, thanks to you all. We will be carrying a larger crew than in the past into the winter as we'll be growing more greens this winter. We hope you'll consider joining us for the winter CSA and come along on this local eating adventure. ~ Pete

Annie and Melissa, April. Tomatoes and basil in the greenhouse.

Tim and Deb, June. Salad Turnips and Napa Cabbage.

Annie and Socorro pick beets in June. Sweet Peppers!

Annie and Deb, Oct 6. Melissa shows off her big belly - Isaac and Melissa are expecting their baby Oct 21!

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