Tag Archives: lettuce

Shorter Days

Rows of salad ingredients

Rows of salad ingredients

The beauty of this fall is remarkable. The days have been warm, 65-75* F. and though the mornings are chilly, we have not yet had a freeze. It really couldn’t be much easier for the farm. The shorter days certainly are felt throughout the fields.

Rosehips

Rosehips

The last of the raspberries

The last of the raspberries

Eggplant and tomatoes nearing their finish...

Eggplant and tomatoes nearing their finish…

Tomatoes are almost through.

Tomatoes are almost through.

Cabbages are thriving

Cabbages are thriving

Another shift happens in our marketing. Our one local night market closed last week so we begin our CSA (community supported agriculture) box program this week running until the spring next year. It’s small and local (members pick up at the farm) and another way to connect with our customers. You can see more information about the CSA by clicking on the tab above.

CSA boxes

CSA boxes


Transition to Cool

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Brassicas and beets

It’s happening again. Shorter daylight, cooler nights,

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“Winter Luxury” pie pumpkins

The pie pumpkins are all cut and lined up, as they cure. They will be picked up and brought indoors before it starts raining. We will sell them throughout the winter. Our winter squash crop is small this year. It was planted in new low-fertility ground. Building soil takes time.

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Early morning lettuce picking

Today is Thursday, a big pick and pack day for the field crew.

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Lacinato kale and red-stemmed dandelion

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Rows of cabbage planted about 3 weeks ago

We have some beautiful fields, with fall crops coming in; Lacinato kale, celery, celery root, dandelion greens, savoy cabbage, brussels sprouts,.

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Beautiful savoy cabbage, ready in a week or 2

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Little baby brussels sprouts

The greenhouse is filled with lettuce starts and greens.

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Rainbow chard and collard

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Tomatoes cut from their trellises

And the first crops of tomatoes are finished, the drip lines pulled, trellis lines cut. The stakes will be pulled out soon. Then on to the next crop.


Oh Deer!

This radicchio shows nibbles taken from the center 5 of these 6 heads.

This radicchio shows nibbles taken from the center 5 of these 6 heads.

We’ve been targeted by some lettuce lovin’, high-jumpin’, big-eyed, fast deer. Our farm is really known for its lettuce and we are making many apologies this week due to the losses. It’s especially hard to swallow when we have gone through the trouble of growing the seed in the greenhouse, then transplanting into the field when the plants are big enough. This adds expense in time, but helps keep the lettuce beds relatively clean because the transplants will outgrow the weeds, It also helps grow the number of heads we think we can sell.

The deer are living in the wooded area just over Paul's head in this picture.

The deer are living in the wooded area just over Paul’s head in this picture.

We’re taking measures to prevent the nightly attacks including purchasing materials for a fence for at least the most obvious section of entry, stringing fishing line among the lettuce beds along with the randomly flown “Bounce” dryer sheets (supposed to work… not so sure about efficacy).

Further strategies…diversification, which we are already great at!

Harvesting cucumbers

Harvesting cucumbers

Dill and Cilantro

Dill and Cilantro

 


Summer

Yikes! We’re 3 days into summer and rain is predicted. Possibly more than an inch over the next couple of days. That is a very unusual forecast for this spot on the globe at this time of the year. The impact for the farm and the crops is minimal though the moisture will certainly encourage weeds to germinate all over the place. Formerly clean beds will need attention before the crop is over run with something unwanted.

Paul mows down a summer cover crop on June 13th.

Paul mows down a summer cover crop on June 13th.

This is where the summer cover crop was mowed 2 weeks ago.

Same field today after 10 days “digesting”.

Watermelons are sizing up!

Watermelons are sizing up!

Love the Little Gems

Love the Little Gems

This crop of beans is in our new field and has almost no weeds!

This crop of beans is in our new field and has almost no weeds!

7 beds of carrots are germinating beautifully

7 beds of carrots are germinating beautifully

The carrots we are picking now are delicious

The carrots we are picking now are delicious

Cleaning up the radishes with a wheel hoe.

Cleaning up the radishes with a wheel hoe.

Looks like the seed ran out on this row of radishes. Should be ready in a few weeks.

Looks like the seed ran out on this row of radishes. Should be ready in a few weeks.

Even on a grey day, the bees are busy.

Even on a grey day, the bees are busy.


Spring Ramps Up

Diversification is beautiful

Diversification is beautiful

Today is Thursday. It’s pick for the farmers’ market tomorrow morning day. It’s pick for the restaurant orders day. The crew began at 7 today, the first 7 am start of the year. (They will most likely go back to an 8 start when daylight savings time ends, in November.) Even so, Paul wonders if there will be enough time to finish all the picking (and packing) today. And we are facing the loss of one of our stellar field workers at the end of this week. That’s farming.

Picking spinach

Picking spinach

Artichokes

Artichokes

Spring onions

Spring onions

Lettuce rows

Lettuce rows

Paul has begun working up the ground on the new 4 acres that has been settling with cover crop. Some of the soil is rock free (phew!) and beautiful. Most of it, we expect will turn up rocky and sticky, with a high-clay content. Finding some problem free ground is exciting.

 

Anyone out there know of someone that wants to work for us? Please get in touch with us!

The new ground with a stripe of beautiful fluffy soil.

The new ground with a stripe of beautiful fluffy soil and wow, isn’t that oak glorious.

 

 

 


Busy Friday

IMG_3120_1_1Friday Farmers’ market comes to Sonoma, establishing a weekly rhythm to the farm as we load the truck with freshly harvested and washed, then boxed up salad, lettuces, celery root and winter squash. One team picks and packs, another sets up and sells.

Lauren and Seth set up the market.

Lauren and Seth set up the market.

And the customers gather.

And the customers gather.

After the market, walking around the fields the crew is on hands and knees, transplanting lettuces and kales, chard and collard. It’s physical yet quiet work.IMG_3144_1_1

Paul uses the tractor to shape the beds for planting.

Paul uses the tractor to shape the beds for planting.

The wheat, barley, rye experiment in the lowest field with another cover cropped field further south. The big oak is at the property line.

The wheat, barley, rye experiment in the lowest field with another cover cropped field further south. The big oak is at the property line.

Still, most of the acreage is planted in cover crop. It’s not warm enough plant summer crops out. A freeze is still possible and we hope we haven’t seen the end of the rainy, wet weather.

The artichokes may be making a come-back.

The artichokes may be making a come-back.

Though, after a 70 degree day, it’s easy to not wish for it.


Pushin’ in February

Peas

Peas

So much is happening. The weather, the great dictator of what happens on the farm, has been very generous to us. It must have been over 70 degrees F. today. Beautiful. We’re planting spinach, turnips, radishes, lettuce, pea seeds in the field. Once planted, some are covered. We may plant beets and carrots this week.

Tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings

The greenhouse is starting to really fill up with freshly planted flats, some covered, some not. The first planting of tomatoes have blasted out of their flats and pushed the remay into puffy pillows. So have the peppers. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, fennel and onions were all started in the greenhouse flats last week or before.Greenhouse

Lettuce, chard, kales and collard are all being transplanted. Once in the field, they are also covered to insure against wild weather swings. We hope they will feel secure enough to take off.

Covered beds and open ground

Covered beds and open ground

Sprinklers

Running the water

The irrigation system is engaged with the warm dry weather. The final bit of field turning is almost complete as the pipes are hooked up.Pipe

There is an experiment in the new field with planting oats, wheat and barley, side-by-side. Which will be the most beneficial to this soil? We’ll see.

Wheat, Barley and Oats

Wheat, Barley and Oats

The Farm Stand signposts are all that remain of last summer's bounty.

The signposts are all that remain of last summer’s Farm Stand.

Brussels sprouts, covered bed and beyond the farm

Brussels sprouts, covered bed and beyond the farm

 

Daikon radishes are being harvested out of the cover crop between the rows of regrowing artichokes.

Daikon radishes are being harvested out of the cover crop between the rows of regrowing artichokes.


New Year

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The greenhouse tables are full of flats. The covers are keeping birds from the sunflower sprouts.

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Yes, it’s 2013 and the first tomatoes have been planted in the greenhouse, along with their warm weather loving partners, peppers and eggplant. The heaters and fans are being installed and checked. All of a sudden, the incubator is full.

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The crew transplanting lettuce, as Paul pulls irrigation tape and row cover over the finished beds.

IMG_2880_1_1The fields are wet and cold but some ground has been turned and bedded up. Other areas have been planted with transplanted lettuces. And there are spots that are too wet to touch and will wait until later.oak and cabbages_6_1


Summer Bounty

Everything happens fast. All of a sudden, we are in it, full tilt.

Potatoes are flowering. In the distance, rows of lettuce were transplanted yesterday, looking slightly like a rainbow, between the new raspberry rows.

This healthy Red Russian kale is so nice to see after several plantings have succumbed to devastating insect damage.

This field, with the enormous Valley Oaks in the background, is where the artichokes were last year. It’s becoming the herb zone because it is a little oddly shaped, perfect for small plantings of more perennial crops.

Lots of Sugar Baby watermelons. We’ll have them next week at the markets. Yummy.

Basil growing under covers to protect from the cucumber beetles.

The winter squash crop here is taking off.

Winter squash is flowering like mad and setting fruit to feed us later.

The Roadside Farm Stand has been so much fun. And the sensational garden in front is only just beginning!


It Did Rain

Our fields probably got 3-4 inches of rain last week. It messed with last week’s Friday Farmers’ Market and allowed us to begin our restaurant deliveries again. Nothing flooded, no crops lost, just a little mud and the wind has ripped plastic covers. We’ll carry on and are happy for the boost to the water tables around the county.


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