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 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 February 25, 2017

I guess it is still winter; it was 29° this morning at sunrise. Good thing we covered the asparagus beds last night! We should have a few pounds at the markets this week. It is now starting to come up more rapidly. No roadrunner damage this week. I have seen it walking around in the field, but it has been leaving the asparagus alone.

Our labor shortage should be ending this week – two additional interns and one HelpX helper are scheduled to arrive soon. In the meantime we have had timely volunteer help from a few of our CSA members. Harper harvested the Tuesday before last and Jack & Ellie helped by harvesting all day in the wind last Saturday and also plan to help us this Saturday. Thank you so much volunteers!! And thank you Bobby (currently our lone intern) for all the extra work lately.

We plan to finish the high-tunnel this upcoming Thursday, if anyone is interested in helping. We will send you home with some fresh veggies. Please email or call if you are interested or 520-909-4903.

As a reminder, the Rillito market will open at 8a and close at noon again this Sunday due to the horse racing season. Parking will still be free for farmers’ market customers.

We’ll see you at the markets!

Swiss Chard
Middle Terrace

Farm Update February 18, 2017

Another harvest day out here at the farm. We are once again racing to get as much done today before the weather sets in this evening and Saturday. The wind has already started to pick up. We are supposed to get a nice dose of free water from the sky!

Our asparagus is popping up rapidly now. We will have a little bit at the markets this week and more as the weeks go by. There should be enough to put in the CSA shares within a few weeks if we can keep the roadrunners away from the plants. It took me a couple of days to figure out what was snipping off the tender tops, but on Monday I saw our friendly roadrunner in the asparagus beds. I chased it away and then checked out the beds and there was fresh damage. Who knew that roadrunners liked asparagus?!

The broccoli is cranking now and should be for the next couple months. Our romanesco cauliflower is also heading up rapidly, as you can see in the image.

We are getting ready to plant seeds for tomatoes, chiles, peppers and cucumbers. We will grow these plants in the small hoophouse until it is time to plant them in our new high-tunnel.

As a reminder, the Rillito market will open at 8a and close at noon again this Sunday due to the horse racing season. Parking will still be free for farmers’ market customers.

We’ll see you at the markets!

romanesco cauliflower
baby, baby romaine lettuce heads

Farm Update March 12, 2016

Yesterday we finished planting the new bed of asparagus crowns, doubling the number of asparagus plants at the farm. The images show some of the stages of the process.

The trench is about a foot deep and 2 feet across. The soil in the trench is a mix of organic compost, peat and native soil. The crowns are a year old, which gives us a head start as compared to seed. In two years we can begin to harvest the crowns we just planted.

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I am hoping to put in additional perennial crops this year. We currently have the asparagus, pomegranate and jujube trees, one fig tree, and blackberries. I am planning to plant about 15 more fig trees, a few more pomegranates and about 30 table grape vines. In a few years we should be harvesting all of these !

Thank you for supporting local, sustainable agriculture !

Farm Update February 26, 2016

We already started some of the summer crops in seed trays and some of the plants have sprouted – tomatoes, chiles and sweet peppers. We will continue to plant apace in the coming 6 weeks or so.

The asparagus is coming up strongly. We will have a little bit of asparagus at the market this week and should have more in the coming weeks. I ordered another 120 one-year-old asparagus crowns which we will be planting next week. This will effectively double the size of our asparagus bed, but we won’t be harvesting any from the new crowns until the spring of 2018 – it takes a while for the crowns to get large enough to harvest spears.

The snow peas are finally blooming ! They made it through the winter and now have a good head start on spring. The cold mornings the last couple of days did no damage to them, so we will soon be harvesting peas. About one-quarter of the plants are a purple variety – these should be easier to see when harvesting.