market restrictions easing 5/30!

Quick update: Just got word that the market will be returning to semi-normal on May 30. Market hours on 5/30 will be from 8am – 1pm. Vendors will have their tents and pre-orders are encouraged but not required. Everyone (customers, vendors) will be required to wear a mask.

We had heard last week that this easing of market restrictions would be first happening on June 6, but then, for reasons unknown, the market managers just sent out notices maybe an hour ago that this change will now happen on May 30.

Anyway, so we’ll be at the market on 5/30 ready for business at 8am! We don’t yet know where in the parking lot they’ll assign us. We will likely have plenty of bagged salad mix and microgreens (at least at market open). We actually still have a small amount of chicken eggs and duck eggs available as I write this. Feel free to pre-order whatever you’d like and we can reserve your items for you to pickup. Regardless, hope to see you Saturday!

market restrictions easing June 6

Tomatoes covered by a Tractor Supply “garage in a box”.

Hot off the presses, we just got word that the Manassas farmer’s market will be “opening” the first week of June. For the Saturday market, this means June 6 (Thursday market would be June 4). The timeframe for the Saturday market will be 8am – 1pm (not sure about Thursday timeframe). Between now and then, the May 23 and 30 markets will continue as “drive-by” style, officially pre-order-only, and run from 10am – 1pm.

So what will the market look like on June 6? We’re told vendors can have their tents and tables setup like a normal farmer’s market. However, per Manassas City rules, everyone at the market (vendors, customers, etc) will be required to wear a mask, and vendors will also be required to wear gloves and be diligent with disinfecting commonly-touched areas. Apparently the vendors will be spaced out to provide for social distancing, and no more than 10 people will be permitted in a given tent area at a time. Pre-orders will still be encouraged, though not specifically required.

Anyway, so a step toward normalcy in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, as I write this we still have product to sell, so please contact us if you haven’t already and let us know what you’d like for pickup tomorrow or next week. We’re currently sitting on a good batch of harvested salad mix, and I had originally thought to limit to 2 bags max per order, but we might entertain no limit with that. We have a good amount there. Eggs for tomorrow are all sold out, but taking orders for next week. Still have a good variety of microgreens for tomorrow. We’ll be bringing any unsold items to the market, as well. Hope to hear from you / see you, and have a great Memorial Day weekend!

purchase limit updates

Elissa planting various indeterminate cherry tomatoes in the garden on May 18.

Just wanted to provide an update on our purchase limit situation:

chicken eggs:1 dozen max
duck eggs:1 dozen max
6oz bag salad mix: 2 bags max
microgreens:no limit

Chicken eggs have been consistently selling out about a week in advance. For example, we sold out of chicken eggs for May 23 back on May 16. (We are currently taking orders for May 30.) We typically sell out of duck eggs a day or two before the market. For the bagged salad mix, we’ve been steadily increasing our supply from the garden, so we think we can handle some additional orders there. And for microgreens, feel free to order however much you want. If demand for microgreens really shoots up, we can react to that and have more ready for sale in another week or two.

Still no official news (at least that we’ve heard) on whether / when the market will be shifting from the current pre-order-only scheme. That said, vendors (ourselves included) may have “extra” unsold product on hand at the market for any last-minute order add-ons, etc. We certainly appreciate all of the support during this period, but are also looking forward to resuming the normal market (however that might look) as soon as it would be safe to do so.

staying busy with spring plantings

200 cells of salad greens, ready for the garden

The Manassas farmer’s market is still in pre-order-only mode and we continue to go every week. Many thanks to all of the people who have ordered through us. A lot of repeat customers, as well, which is great. Meanwhile, we have a lot going on in the garden these days…

We’re holding steady, if not slightly increasing, the amount of salad mix that we have available each week. We’ve altered our harvesting strategy in an effort to try to get more product. Initially, our approach was to just harvest each plant whole, leaving nothing behind to regrow, and then plant a new batch of transplants in that same spot shortly thereafter. That approach maximized what we could get from that bed on the given week, but then it’d be another 3-5 weeks before we’d be able to get another harvest from the bed.

Our new approach is to harvest Dowding style, taking only the more mature outer leaves of each plant, leaving the inner actively-growing leaves undisturbed. We’re hoping this means that we could return to that bed a week or two later to get more product. So far, we think this is proving to be the case, but it’s still a bit early to know for sure. This method is a bit more labor intensive in terms of harvesting time (albeit lower planting frequency so maybe it’s a wash?), but hopefully means we can get more product to the market faster.

First batch of peanuts went from our grow rack to the garden on May 10, and we’ll be sowing a new batch in the grow room on the 15th. The plan is to do three batches in total so that we’ll ideally have peanuts available at the market from mid-August through mid-November.

Tomatoes were sown in the grow room on April 11 and will be going into the ground this coming weekend. We’re planning to put up a makeshift greenhouse to shelter these guys. Over a year ago, I bought a beat up, discounted “garage in a box” from Tractor Supply. It sat in storage for a long while, but we eventually dusted it off and built-out the frame. Our plan is to secure polyethylene plastic to it via wiggle wire and channel lock, and then plant the tomatoes underneath. We’ll see how that goes.

Still chugging away as usual with microgreens and eggs. Eggs continue to sell out every week (both duck and chicken, though chicken seems to be in higher demand). We’re grateful for all the community support in the face of current circumstances.