Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's in the works this winter?

As I'm writing this, this morning's temperature upon my waking was -7 degrees. BRRRRR....
While there's no actual "farming" going on this time of year, we are very busy making plans for the coming season.

Currently, Clemens is involved in writing a grant proposal that if awarded would allow us to implement new GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) requirements that will be mandatory for farms in the coming years. Some of the improvements would be a new, larger wash area, a walk in cooler (that he just purchased! and we'll be moving shortly!), a UV treatment system, and deer fencing. These improvements will increase efficiency on the farm, increase our output of vegetables, decrease damage of crops from deer, and increase quality of vegetables.

 Clemens is also about to purchase, with the help of a FSA loan, an additional 30 acres of beautiful farm land adjacent to the current land. This addition will double the acreage of the farm and also double the acreage in vegetable production.

Seeds will be ordered soon, if not today, after weeks of figuring out our needs for each vegetable crop and planning where everything will go in the fields. We've been entering all of this information in a new farming computer program that should help us with record keeping and organizing our daily tasks.

I, Jessica, have been working on getting all the paperwork for organic certification filled out. In the next few weeks we'll be getting all of that organized and sent in so that in the spring we can be inspected and certified (fingers crossed!). Since Clemens has always used organic methods of disease and pest control and we have no adjacent farms (and therefore don't have to worry about spray drift), getting certified by NOFA-NY should be no problem...just a lot of paperwork!

We've updated the Solstice Hill Farm logo (thanks Allen!!!) and are also updating our marketing materials for the CSA and making website and Facebook changes to reflect the new look.

I thought the picture of the shiitake mushrooms Clemens and crew grew this year would get you excited about the large amounts of them we are hoping to grow this year. In the coming weeks the logs will be cut from trees on the farm and we'll inoculate them with the mushroom spores. They are so tasty and such a treat to have as part of the bounty on the farm!

It's an exciting time to be involved with Solstice Hill Farm! Check out our vegetable CSA information and become a member this year!!!