We lost another section of yet another high tunnel last week 🙁 John was out there building support stakes and almost had them all up before the winds took it down. He says if he had had only one more hour he would’ve been able to save the tunnel from destruction. It’s been pretty brutal around here between the high winds, rain, and frosts. Our crops are feeling it too. We experienced some flooding during this most recent storm and I’ll update you in the next newsletter on that along with pictures.
On a very happy note… the flowers are back! Our flower shares start up this week with the first bunches going to our market CSAers this weekend and then on Thursday to the rest of the flower share holders. The flower shares will start out with bunches of single variety flowers and then progress into our beautiful mixed bouquets once the flower crops start producing more varieties. FYI: Thursday flower shares are $6 bunches instead of $12 so that everyone can receive flowers this first week. We will make up that $6 credit in your future flower shares when there are more flowers in the fields for your enjoyment. Thanks for understanding.
Emily is working all alone these days in the flower department tending to the flowers crops in the high tunnels, digging out the remaining Dahlia tubers, crop planning, interviewing candidates for the flower production team this next season, and preparing for the weekly greenhouse sowings that will begin this week. Plus she works two farmers markets. She’ll be ceasing to work the Saturday Ferry Plaza market in SF this week so she can be on farm more as her work is picking up.
The spring crops are planned and the seeds have been ordered. The greenhouses are back in action with tables full of trays of sowings for the late winter/early spring plantings. We’ve got a round of baby head lettuce that is almost ready to be put outside on the hardening tables! Yay!! In no time at all we will be looking for more table space for our young seedling friends.
John, Mike, and Teresa have been spending quite a bit of time lately summer crop planning and seed ordering. A couple things I’m aware of is that it is looking like we will not grow ‘Padron’ peppers this year but instead grow more ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes, ‘Green Zebras’ and ‘Early Girls’! We will also not be planting eggplant to my disappointment and probably only the ‘Sarah’s Choice’ variety of melon instead of three varieties but we will have two successions of it. Chances are we will be adding mixed chicories and dandelion greens to the crop plan, jack o’ lantern pumpkins that will not go to markets but will be available for purchase at our fall Field Day event, purple artichokes, and possibly celeriac for the winter CSA next year. We will also plant two successions of parsnips so that one of the later fall CSA shares will include that root veggie. After our mixed bell pepper trials last year the decision is to plant the orange ‘Corno di Toro’ type pepper and the orange/yellow ‘Aura’ and ‘Glow’ gypsy-like peppers. Part of crop planning is discussing hits and misses from the previous season, choosing the best varieties from experimental plantings, and what sells best at markets. Again, all crop planning is subject to change.
Labor shortages in the agricultural world has meant we have struggled to find the necessary help we need. Last season was a struggle and this season may prove to be the same. Our neighboring farms have faced the same challenges finding crew members. We are hiring a lot of positions right now but there are few resumes coming in and housing is an issue. We are looking for Flower Production Assistants, a Pastured Poultry Production Manager, Tractor Assistants, a Harvest Manager, and Field Crew. If you know of anyone with farming experience who lives in or around Pescadero have them check out our website and job postings. We are planning on not having a harvest manager this next year as we have not received one applicant for the position and Teresa is about to have her baby any day now. Teresa would be the one to train the new hire and it takes a couple months to be fully trained in that position. Therefore, the boss crows have decided to cut back on all our restaurant and store deliveries. Hopefully we do hire a harvest manager and then things may change but we’ll just have to wait to see… We have however, hired an office manager that works here one day a week to help with all office related tasks. Lauren is also the co-owner of Steadfast Herbs, our newest add-on to the May-Nov. 2017 CSA season. We also hired on Sarah Baylis as a Field Production Assistant. She will start March 1st. I have yet to meet her but I’m excited for new people to join our team! She will help with all round field work and will also be available to assist me in my CSA packings.