Thursday, May 26, 2011

May sum-up part 2

Okay hey! Rain! Mushy muddy fields. Argh.

So last time I forgot to mention that the second week of May was when I got my marvelous tan. 90 degrees for 3 days and out plowing in Hampshire and Elgin turned my arms and face 17 shades darker than the rest. I believe 'they' call this the 'farmer tan'. So yeah, surrounded by unseasonably cool weather was nearly 3 days of 90 degrees. And yeah, hail and wind and all that fun stuff - cover the seedlings! 4 days later there was a frost - argh, again.

So by now Hampshire was plowed, and strangely, not soaked, Elgin is plowed and partially planted and the frost threat has passed. This third week of May we planted broccoli, onions, beans, all the cole crops and more lettuce, carrots and beets in Elgin. On the Hampshire land we seeded up popcorn and dry beans for next year and late last week finished Hampshire with winter squash, pumpkins, melons, gourds, fennel, and some carrots.

Here's where is gets really exciting. In the second week of May we were contacted by Alex (hi Alex!) about buying veggies from us and asking some advice on her own gardens. She also said she knew of a church in Elgin that had land that needed planting. Long and short is that Abiding Peace Lutheran Church on Randall Rd. has 2-3 acres that they do not use and do not want to mow. They have in the past let another farmer plant corn and soy on it but he's moved away. So Mark and Pastor Tim got together with us that Saturday and we talked about what we do and what they want done with the land. It was a good fit.

During the next week we planted and plowed and seeded and planned. We were working out an agreement with the church regarding using their extra land as well. The planning was the difficulty. As we talked about at the "Meet and Greet" we have a business plan that is for slow expansions and we don't want to grow more than we can handle too quickly. This extra land kind of goes against that and we were trying to find a way to keep control but still expand. We explored hiring on a full time employee to manage this new land and develop a larger customer base. By the end of this past week we had an agreement with the church and had plotted the course for that land for this year.

Next step was starting that course, and continue the planting and seeding on the other land. That brings us to this week. But that's for next time. Looks like the rain has stopped this morning and I'm going out to trudge through the mud and weed and seed and stuff.


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