Osma Acres Farm

  (Houghton, Michigan)
produce,gourds,crafts,birdhouses,birdfeeders,ornaments,seeds
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Supplemental Food Programs

Supplemental Food programs from USDA

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Cold Frames Maintenance and Preparation

 

Preparing and Maintaining Cold Frames

   I have installed Plastic Covered Cold Frames; they are to be electrically heated with lights beneath the plastic covered lids.

  The Cold Frames require spring maintenance (repairing & replacing some of the plastic covers) and preparing the cold frames for plants (cleaning the inside of the cold frames, running the electric line to the cold frame area, stringing the heating lights inside the cold frames, placing the repaired covers on the cold frames and lastly we turn on the lights to thaw and heat the inside of the cold frame planting areas). In about 7 to 10 days the cold frames will be ready to receive and protect our new potted plants until early June; when we will relocate the plants in their peat pots to the produce fields.

  Thus we will be able to have a Superior Lake growing season of 120+ days.

  The Cold Frames area is shown below.

 

 

 
 

Seeds Starting

  Osma Acres Farm is located on Lake Superior where we have a very short outdoor growing season (about 75 days, June to early September). Many of our plants require 90 to 110 days to mature after planting (Gourds, Pumpkins and Winter Squash varieties).  This environment requires getting shoots started in late winter in order to harvest in Early September before our first killing frost. The seed sprouting process enables us to have a growing season of 120+ days.

    The process we use involves getting seeds to sprout using small clear plastic containers with seal-able lids, paper towels and seeds. A white paper towel is fitted into the bottom of the plastic box, the seeds are placed separated on the paper towel, the paper towel is slowly moistened with tap water, the box is sealed and placed in a warm (70-75 degrees) area that is well light; a sunny spot is best when available. The seeded boxes need to be checked every 2-3 days to insure that the paper and seeds are maintained in a moist (NOT WET) condition.

    Some seeds (like hard shell gourds) can take up to three weeks to sprout; so be patient.The end result is shown in the photo below where the seeds have started to sprout. When the sprouts present 2-3 leaves the sprouts (with attached seed/s) are ready to be taken from the plastic boxes and placed in peat pots containing about 1 inch of potting soil on the bottom of the peat pot with the sprout sitting on top of the soil. Thus begins our Potting season which will have the peat pots in a green house area until mid April and then in a heated cold frame area until the second week of June when the plants are moved into the gardening area.

 


 
 

SeedPlantingRowCrops

 

   May 15 has passed…and hopefully no more hard frosts after the first week of June. I will start planting the seed crops for beans, corn, cucumbers and squash. I have adapted my one row planter for mounting on my Garden Tractor. I have plates for the planting of the vegetables listed above. I have previously prepared the planting areas by rotor tilling and have used the my tractor mounted row marker to lay out the rows to be planted. My nest order of business is to load the seeds into the seed hopper of the planter (shown below).

 

 

 

    Then I will start planting the rows with the planter as shown below.

 

 

   By 5-6 June the plants will start sprouting up as shown below in photo from June 2010:

 

 

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Membership Form

Osma Acres Farm

53464 Osma Acres Road

Houghton, MI 49931

Phone: 906-483-0586, Cell: 906-281-4949

email address: manager@osmacresfarm.com

website : http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M26682/  

              CSA / FARMSHARE AGREEMENT

   This is a simple Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Agreement between Osma Acres Farm (OAF) and:

Shareholder(s):__________________________________________

    As a member of the farm you are entitled to share in the Produce Harvest proceeds with the following understandings and guidelines:

1. OAF is a local, shareholder financed, privately owned farm. Any product that originates from our farm and/or associate farms is processed 'on the farm'. Unless otherwise stated all products are 'Farm Fresh', and not processed by a licensed facility. Associate farms have agreed to follow the same guidelines as we do. Unless otherwise noted their identity will be kept confidential.

2. OAF is not a retail store. Farm products are only available to current shareholders. The proceeds of the farm are available for the shareholders only and are not for resale.

3. OAF will provide its shareholders with the best possible product at time of delivery. Proper packing, preservation, materials, and industry accepted techniques will always be followed in the preparation of product to its shareholders.

4. OAF follows the strictest health and safely guidelines as set forth by the appropriate authorities at the time of this writing of the contract/agreement. OAF has established guidelines, policies and procedures for member activities associated with the farm. This document will be provided to new members, it will also detail produce ordering and distribution processes for the members.

5. OAF is responsible for all taxes, license, liens, mortgage, insurance, and fees associated with the farm and releases its shareholders of any/all financial responsibility/liability associated with the farm. 

6. Any monetary exchange for products from OAF is considered reimbursement for the care, housing, feeding, watering, weeding, cultivating, protection, fertilization, on farm processing/packaging, and health related issues of the farm and/or farm products. No product from OAF is for resale. 

 7. As a shareholder I/we agree to all of the above. I/we release OAF of all liability associated with any/all products we accept from the farm and releases OAF of any/all financial responsibility/liability associated with our participation in activities at OAF. 

 8. I/we accept the requested product(s) from OAF as is. I/we also acknowledge that at any time we are not satisfied with this agreement, or OAF is not satisfied, it may be terminated by either party with written notification. This agreement expires on 1 January 2011.

 

Signed:________________________________________________ Date:_____________

Address:_______________________________________________

Phone:__________________________

Email Address:_____________________________

Member Fee is prepayment for produce that the member will obtain during the 2011 harvest season.

Member Agreement Option Selection, check option box below:

     [  ] Full Fee $50 = produce at Local Retail Prices LESS 10%

     [  ] Half Fee $25 = produce at Local Retail Prices LESS 10%

You can print this form on your computer from :

    http://www.osmaacresfarm.com/MembershipForm.html

 

 
 

Potting Season Again ... Yeah !!!

 

 

   Yeahhhh!

   When March 15 passes again…We will have completed our Potting and Seeding for 2011. I pot my pumpkins, Winter Squash varieties, and gourds. The plastic boxes keep the moisture in and act like small green houses.

 

  

   It will sure feel good to get the hands back into the soil again; after nearly six months of cold…snowy weather. A lot of that cold may be back by mid September. I need to give my plants a good head start. The outside field trans planting must start around 5 June to have a harvest before frost hits on the pumpkins…again.

  When the plants have started popping up from the soil I will  then start the process of building up the root structure… a matter of turning the plant stems in circles down toward the soil and then covering everything except the top two leaves with soil. The process gets repeated every two weeks until the peat pots are filled with soil.

   I have installed electrically heated Plastic Covered Cold Frames; I will relocate the potted plants to the cold frames at the end of April where they will be sheltered from the cold nights through the end of May..Cold Frames area shown below.

 


    Along about 5 June we relocate the plants into the gardening areas; we should have plants about 12 inches tall then with a root mass of 3-4 inches high by 4 inches in diameter.

  I hope everyone is getting as excited as I am about Getting Growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Gourd crafting season

   Here at the farm it is well below freezing with about four feet of snow on the ground, perfect weather for sitting in our craft room and working on gourds.

http://www.localharvest.org/blog/26682/resource/Snowday003.JPG


   We have a 24 x 20 heated craft room in our pole barn where we prepare our gourds and craft them into bird houses, baskets and  ornaments.
   We have about 6 months of winter here in the upper peninsula of Michigan, so we have plenty of time to be creative with the gourds, get our new creations photographed and ready for posting to our localharvest web store.

Now you know what we planned to do; it is time for us to return to our Gourd Crafting Room and resume working our plan.

http://www.localharvest.org/blog/26682/resource/GourdCraftingRoom.JPG


 
 
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