Going Full Sauce

Logan assisting with the row cover. Big bushy row on the left is peanuts. Sparse row to the right of peanuts is our first planting of arugula, beet, broccoli, carrot, and kale (didn’t turn out so well). Two rows with row cover hoops are subsequent plantings of the same. Two tarped rows to far right are TBD (maybe unused until next season).

It’s almost time to start harvesting a lot of stuff from the garden. Elissa’s already been pulling tomatoes and some arugula, and we had cantaloupes a few weeks ago. Peanuts are due mid-October. We also have 3 rows of fall-ish veggies: arugula, beet, broccoli, carrot, and kale… each row planted two weeks apart across the month of August. We’ll see what we see with all that.

Meanwhile, we’re adding more grow lights and shelf space to the microgreens operation. We plan on bringing 11 different varieties to market on 9/28… newest additions being micro cilantro, and then a “regular” salad mix and a spicy salad mix. These are seed mixes that we got from True Leaf Market. It will be interesting to see how folks react to those.

Elissa pulling 5×5 trays out from our germination cooler. Radish for 9/28 market and basil for 10/5 market. We’ve also started “checkerboarding” the microgreens that like to tangle with each other across 5x5s (kale, broccoli, beet)… (see the third shelf down from the top). We essentially stagger four 5x5s in a 1020 tray rather than the full contiguous eight to minimize the entanglement problem.

Birds are doing well. The 7 laying leghorns are pumping out the eggs these days… I think we may be averaging 6 eggs a day from them, which is pretty good in percentage terms for us historically. These eggs are still on the small side, however, but we’re hoping they beef up as the birds mature. AND, we’ve started getting a trickle of duck eggs… maybe one a day. It ain’t much, but we’re hoping it’s a sign that the molting phase is coming to an end.

Latest Market News

The table seems to get more and more crowded with each passing week.

Microgreens have proven to be our bread ‘n butter at the farmer’s market this season. And it’s mainly because the grow time is so short (1-2 weeks). We bring X amount on a given week, see what sells and what doesn’t, and alter our grow plan for the market two weeks later. Pea 5″x5″ trays, for example, have been consistently selling out for us. One week we brought 4 trays and they sold out… two weeks later, we brought 6 trays, they sold out… two weeks after that, we brought 8 trays, etc. I believe we have 10 trays of peas in the pipeline for the 9/21 market. Conversely, buckwheat wasn’t as well received, so we scaled that back and eventually stopped growing it. All in all, the microgreens portion of the farm business has scaled up quite a bit since we started selling at the farmer’s market in late June.

Meanwhile, eggs and garden herbs have been selling, but we haven’t been able to increase what we bring each week because it takes so long to grow a given garden item to full maturity or raise a baby chick to laying age. (Our new adult leghorns have started laying, by the way, and we’ve started bringing chicken eggs back to the market. Ducks are still molting… we’re hoping they start laying any day now.) But we do have some fall veggies underway in the garden (as well as peanuts) and hope to have something to bring in the coming weeks.

As a heads up, we will likely be moving our tent this coming Saturday (9/14) back to our original assigned spot. We just ended a 3-week stint down next to Marlan with Portwood Gardens, and will be moving back up between Little Hawker Cafe (Malaysian street food) and the Mangonada slushie folks on 9/14.

Thanks to all who have come by our table! Hope to see you Saturday!