After a smoky, very warm Fall, we finally got our normal weather. It snuck up on us though, after that long dry spell. It wasn’t much fun, but I’m grateful for every extra sunny day that we had, because otherwise most of our late fall and winter crops wouldn’t have finished. I was seriously worried about the winter squashes, and the fall greens and brassicas.
The eventual rain came as a relief to the soil and to my bank account. Usually our last big water bill is in September, but because I had to keep irrigating through October, is was one more huge bill. The first rainfall also meant that I could start planting garlic and cover crops, and I nearly finished before the sudden freeze planning got underway. But tonight, I’ve harvested all of the crops that can’t handle freezing and they are tucked safely in the walk-in. Cauliflower for weeks, and the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers. Those will go to CSA next week, since we’ve already started the week.
New Home Project:
In addition to field cleanup and pulling irrigation and putting away water lines and timers, my new Small Home project has begun. Those of you who have been with the farm for a decade or more may remember when we had our used double-wide brought to the farm, before I got the mortgage for the property. It was affordable, and made sense for the short-term; I planned on it being a temporary house for our family. It served its purpose perfectly, and now I no longer need that much house. It’s falling apart, my nest is nearly empty, and rather than spend a chunk of money rehabilitating the mobile, I decided to go small with a modified shipping container. So far, I’ve spent about $12,000 on the container, but also on running new water, electrical, and septic lines. I’m a bit nervous about how I’ll find another $10,000 to finish the project this winter before the mobile disintegrates. I had planned on roughly $20,000 total, but I didn’t anticipate this weird growing season and diminished non-CSA, summer income. I am hoping for some short-term financial help… so that I don’t need to dip into next season’s payroll and other farm funds. If you can help with a short-term loan, please let me know!
I’m not sure what will happen at this point, but I’m proceeding with ordering seeds and fertilizer, and planning crop extensions for next spring, just in case we have a super soggy spring again and can’t plant until June. The one sure thing is that we don’t seem to have reliable seasons lately, so I am planning for the worst scenario and have some tricks up my sleeve. I’ve learned a few things in the 20+ years I’ve been farming.
Thanksgiving is coming up, and I have 10 turkeys still available. Their butcher date is Monday, the 21st, so they’ll be available for fresh pick up either Tuesday or Wednesday before the big day. $10 per pound, and I expect most to be 9-15 pounds, with one big boy that will be much larger. A $50 deposit will hold your bird, and will be subtracted from the total balance at pickup. (You may remember that I hatched the turkeys in an incubator in my office in early spring, and the eggs were laid by my own breeding stock. It was very exciting!)
2023 CSA Enrollment
To close, I’m including the link to the Barn2Door store here. 2023 CSA shares are open to all (Spring is sold out, but plenty of Summer and Winter Shares are available).
Hard to believe that I’ll be starting the earliest crops for 2023 in just a month or so!
Have a great week, and happy rain!