Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Outstanding in the Field Returning to Fair Share Farm

We are again honored to be chosen as the host farm for the 2012 Kansas City Area Outstanding in the Field Dinner. Last year's event was one hot number--from the amazing food of Jonathan Justus, to the capacity crowd, to the 95 plus degree day. Member Emily Akins was there and gave the evening a great review in her blog.

Jonathan Justus from Justus Drugstore will again be the chef de jour. This year's event will be in the Fall, on October 19. We all know how wonderful an October evening can be in the Missouri countryside and we are hoping for the best as the moon waxes that night. Tickets are now on sale at the OITF website.  Join us if you can.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Early Spring

The weather this last week has been rather exceptional. And with a forcast of 70+ degree days for the next week, we have decided to throw caution to the wind and begin seeding early.
Yesterday we got the electric tractor humming and began preparing our beds. First a quick pass to cultivate. At this time of year killing all of the small weeds that have begun to germinate does wonders to reduce weed pressure. In many of the Spring beds a second or third pass is in order to further reduce the "weed seed bank."

Rebecca cultivating with the G

Next we switched out the cultivator for the "guttering disks" which create a raised bed for us, helping to warm the soil and reduce the potential for a flooded field.

Then the seeder goes on. On Wedensday direct seeding consisted of a bed of spinach (3 rows x 200 feet) and two beds of peas (4 rows x 200 feet). A second planting of each of these is planned in the near future, as is the transplanting of our herbs and onions.
Changing out the seeder

Cabbage transplants

While that was going on we were also taking another step towards constructing the high tunnel. A pair of roof purlions run the length of the tunnel and help support the bow and keep them from swaying back and forth. Thanks to Jim Pierce for the loan of his wagoin and scaffold, which allowed for a safe and sturdy work surface.

A final thanks to our 2011 intern, 2012 farm hand and fellow farmer Lucas Knutter. Luke will be working at a farm in Lexington, MO this summer before hopefully returning to the area to start his own farm just north of us. It has been a pleasure to work with Luke the last year, helping as well as learning from him. Good luck Luke.

Luke installing the purlions

Sunday, March 11, 2012

High Tunnel Raising at Fair Share Farm

On Saturday over 20 CSA members, friends and community members came out and helped us with the bulk of the work for our high tunnel construction. It was a beautiful day for working and we got a lot accomplished. A big THANK YOU to all that participated.

I made a stop action movie of it all, condensing 8 hours of work into 2-1/2 minutes. You can see the different work crews; teams to the right in the video were piecing together the bows and trusses, while the team on the left was assembling the structure on the existing ground posts. Hope you enjoy the video, and if you were here, that it brings pleasant memories.

No Sunday High Tunnel Work

The rain is headed our way, so we will not be working on the high tunnel construction project today. Check back soon for photos of yesterday's progress.

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Happenings

Spring looks closer every day as March marches in for 2012. In the greenhouse the plants are lookin' good. On Monday we gave the onions what will be one of several "haircuts." The video below shows the process: the lanky tops are trimmed to help the plants put more energy into root production, and then a top dressing of potting soil is added to further aid their growth. In the end over 35 flats were tended to on Monday.

Other crops getting their start include the herbs, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, leeks and Asian greens. the greenhouse is filling up fast as we will soon be starting the tomatoes.

cabbage starts


In the field we are prepping for tomorrow's high tunnel raising. Rebecca, Luke and I did some pre-assembly to get a feel for things and so we could tell our swedged ends from our tabbed ones, and our clamps from our bands from our straps. Looking forward to a safe, productive day tomorrow with lots of help from the many friends of the farm.

MU Extension Award
On February 28th we joined by charter CSA members the Flynns (Ann and Mark) and the Barths (Fred and Carole) to receive our MU Extension Leaders Honor Roll award. It was indeed an honor and we were so happy to have our CSA members at our side for dinner and the award.
Tom, Rebecca, Ann, Mark