Updates from our Sustainable Agriculture Team

We wrapped up the 2019 season feeling pretty good about the amount of food that we grew and the systems that we created, maintained and/or refined. Our last distribution of the season was the week of Thanksgiving and since then we’ve been enjoying a little down time with family and friends and of course planning and prepping for next year! We also attended the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference in Traverse City and then the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Lancaster, PA with a stop at Gettysburg getting to know our 16th president.

We have a few major projects that we are working on before we can get out into the fields this spring. Our first project was revamping some of our spreadsheets so that they can work easily for both planning and seeding/planting. This excel sheet now shows both spatial data (field and bed placement), quantitative (number of trays, amount of need needed), temporal (when to seed/plant), and descriptive (variety, irrigation and mulch type). While this spreadsheet was time intensive to put together, we are hoping that it will save a lot of time this season and as well as next year as everything is a formula and can be easily updated from year to year. Simplified versions with only relevant info for greenhouse seeding and then another for transplanting and direct seeding are easily generator to view in the field via the Google Sheets App.

After a season of mechanical issues with our Farmall 140 we took it back up to the farmer we bought it from for repair work. Hopefully it will come back ready to work because we are looking to incorporate it much more into our system. We are looking to set it up with discs to open and close the furrow for potato planting, install a simple plastic mulch laying system for cucurbit and solanaceous crops, and install our rolling bed marker. All these things, save opening the furrow, had previously been down by hand. Incorporating the 140 will hopefully save us a lot of time and help us get important crops in the ground much faster!

Remember we still have spots left in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and you can sign up or learn more here.

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