Farm Update May 20, 2017

This week we planted the sweet pepper seedlings in the high tunnel – corno di toro and lunchbox peppers. Today we will plant cucumber seedlings and some of the chile plants – jalapeños and Aleppo peppers.

This upcoming week we will finally put our sweet potato slips into the ground. We are a bit late planting these, but they should be ready to dig in late September while it is still warm.

As a reminder, we will take next weekend off – Memorial Day Weekend. We will not be distributing CSA shares, nor will we be selling at the Rillito market.

We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.

potato plants after hilling up
asparagus growing tall

Farm Update May 14, 2017

This week at the farm, we finally got our tomato seedling in the ground, after putting up a 9-foot (!) trellis inside the high tunnel. We also planted the second round of summer squash seeds (zucchini and 3 kinds of patty pan) in the high tunnel. We are going to experiment with growing the summer squash on trellis to minimize the space needed to grow squash. Should be interesting to see how it works.

Today we are digging garlic. The curing process will take place in our pumphouse on top of the water tank on a drying rack and on just about any other shaded horizontal space we can find on the farm. Last year the entire loft of the Tiny House was filled with garlic, but that space is already full of household items now as the ground floor construction occurs.

We will have plenty of fresh garlic for sale this week and for months to come.

We’ll see you at the markets!

garlic ready for curing
garlic ready for digging

Farm Update May 6, 2017

We started harvesting extra early this morning to beat the heat. By around 5:30a we were working in the field. We will stop by about 1pm and take a break until 6pm, then work until a little after dark.

On Wednesday we put in 77 t-posts to support our trellises in the high tunnel. We should have the high tunnel fully planted within about 2 weeks if all goes well.

There are tiny berries on the blackberry bushes. Our plan is to put the shadecloth and bird netting up by the end of May, hopefully sooner.

Right now we are in the transition between the spring crops and the summer crops, so we will have a bit less variety at the market, but we will have plenty of greens, beets, carrots, cabbage, kale and onions.

The spring/summer CSA share distribution will start in about 2 weeks – May 14 at Rillito and May 15 in Green Valley. We still have shares available. If you know of anyone who might be interested, send them our way! The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other delicious ingredients.

sweet potato slips

Farm Update April 29, 2017

We have had the wind this week ! On Tuesday the smoke from the Sawmill Fire was blowing our way all day. It is warm and windy again today. I am always happy when we transition to the summer heat and the wind dies down. There is maybe another 3 or 4 weeks of the windy season out here.

We planted asparagus crowns yesterday, putting in a bed that is 160 feet long. The variety is UC-157, developed by the University of California Davis for growing in a hot, dry climate. We will be able to harvest the new bed in 2019. Now we have 3 asparagus beds. My plan is to put in an asparagus bed each spring.

This week we also planted two varieties of bush beans, one purple and one green. We should be harvesting them in 7 or 8 weeks.

The spring/summer CSA share distribution will start in about 2 weeks – May 14 at Rillito and May 15 in Green Valley. We still have shares available. If you know of any family members, friends or neighbors who might be interested, send them our way! The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers, melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other delicious ingredients.

new asparagus bed
potato plants just starting to sprout

Farm Update April 22, 2017

This last week we have been spending a lot of time and effort preparing the soil in the high tunnel for our summer crops. As you can see in the image below, we will have seven beds in the tunnel. We have applied compost and coco-peat. Next we will till these amendments in to the soil. After that we will put up the trellises; everything growing in the high tunnel this summer will be trellised to optimize space utilization.

The weather at the farm has been spectacular this last week – cool mornings and sunny, warm afternoons. Everything is growing rapidly as a result.

We still have space in our summer CSA program and this week at the market we continue to reserve spots and accept payment. If you know of any family members, friends or neighbors who might be interested, send them our way! The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other delicious ingredients.

We’ll see you at the markets!

soil amendments nearly complete in the high tunnel
carrots on the washing rack

Farm Update April 15, 2017

Today we will finally get our Kennebec seed potatoes in the ground. We have been preparing the soil for the last week or so and it is finally ready. Yesterday we dug the trenches for the potatoes; it took a chunk of the afternoon to complete the digging.

Yesterday I noticed that the blackberry plants are starting to bloom. The plants have been pruned and fertilized with compost. We added a couple driptapes to the bed to ensure the bushes receive plenty of water. Next, we will put shadecloth over the bed and put up netting to keep the birds from feasting on the berries. If the heat doesn’t fry the blossoms like it did last June, we should have a bumper crop of blackberries in late June.

As a reminder for our Green Valley customers, we will be delivering CSA shares to the Good Shepherd Church on Monday mornings between 9:30a and 11:30a, STARTING MONDAY MAY 15. I neglected to indicate the date in last week’s newsletter. Our Green Valley customers who are not CSA shareholders this summer are welcome to email us your orders by noon on Saturday and we will bring your order to the CSA distribution location. Please email or call if you need more information.

As mentioned in the last few newsletters, this week at the market we continue to reserve spots and accept payments for the spring/summer CSA program. The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.

potato trenches
Shaun and Hannah harvesting spinach

Farm Update April 8, 2017

Our order of seed potatoes arrived yesterday late in the day. We have been getting the beds ready for planting and there is a bit more to do before the soil is ready for planting. We will rip the soil deeply and then add cocopeat and compost. Then we will turn the soil a couple more times to mix it all thoroughly. Finally, we will dig furrows and plant the seed potatoes. This season we are planting Kennebec russets. They store longer than the Colorado Rose potatoes that we grew last year. We have also increased the number of rows, so we should have a larger harvest than last year. We will find out in early June when we dig the potato crop.

This week we did our last market in Green Valley for awhile. We will likely return to the market there in the late fall. Thank you to all our customers in Green Valley! We will miss you this summer.

We will be delivering CSA shares to the Good Shepherd Church on Monday mornings between 9:30a and 11:30a. Our Green Valley customers who are not CSA shareholders this summer are welcome to email us your orders by noon on Saturday and we will bring your order to the CSA distribution location. Please email or call if you need more information.

Yesterday we provided a farm tour to a group of middle school students from The Gregory School. We showed them our solar panels, our watering system, our seedlings in the hoophouse, the growing beds, the new high tunnel and our washing/prep facilities. They asked lots of great questions. We served them some freshly harvested baby carrots and sent them home with some big bags of spinach to share.

This week at the market we continue to reserve spots and accept payments for the spring/summer CSA program. The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.

We’ll see you at the markets!

late season broccoli
kennebec seed potatoes

Farm Update April 1, 2017

Today is a busy one at the farm. One crew is harvesting, another is making a new asparagus bed and we are also working on installing fixtures in the tiny house.

Yesterday was cool and blustery most of the day. A full rainbow was visible to the west for over an hour as the rain was moving through the area while the harvest progressed.

We started delivering to the Sierra Vista Food Co-op again after a hiatus since last September. Yesterday I delivered red and green salad mix and large leaf spinach in 5 oz. deli boxes. This packaging is made from bioplastic and is compostable.

I also made an early evening delivery to The Quarry in Bisbee. If you are in southeastern AZ, check out our produce at either of these two places.

This week at the markets we continue to reserve spots and accept payments for the spring/summer CSA program. The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.

new asparagus bed
new bed of braising mix

Farm Update March 25, 2017

This week at the markets we will be reserving spots and accepting payments for the spring/summer CSA program. The forms are also available on our website, in the CSA box on the right sidebar of the site, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.

We now have a full crew of interns – 4 total. We will have this crew for 3 more weeks and then the number will decrease to 3 for the duration of the summer. You will be seeing these hardworking people at the markets throughout the summer.

We are excited to announce we will be supplying ingredients to CafÈ Roka in Bisbee starting this Friday, so if you are in Bisbee, please stop by CafÈ Roka for a delicious meal.

We’ll see you at the markets!

Iitoi’s onions
farm interns Ian and Bobby preparing Iitoi’s onions for the restaurants

Farm Update March 18, 2017

Next week at the markets we will start to reserve spots and accept payments for the spring/summer CSA program. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers,  melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.

As you have also likely experienced this week, it continues to be warmer than normal for this time of year. This is mainly a good thing for our crops, but certain ones are sending up seed stalks – primarily the greens beds that we use for our salad mixes. Fortunately the spinach and baby romaine haven’t bolted, but it won’t take many more 90 degree plus days to precipitate it. Our collard greens think it is summer and the plants in the newer bed are bolting. Stay tuned for more wild weather! It isn’t even spring yet.

We’ll see you at the markets!

These carrots will be ready to pull in about 3 weeks!
New red and green lettuce mix