Richert/Phillips Farms

  (North Liberty, Indiana)
ventures of a small fresh pick farm
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ordering chickens and prepping the berries

   It has been getting busy--just before the rain this week we disc-ed nearly the entire field and planted a few pounds of peas, beets and radishes. If the rains hold off for another week or so we can prep all the fields. Tomorrow an organic company will have a rep in the area...we're going to listen and there is going to be some donuts too. Maple trees are not giving much sap, so the taps will be polled, maybe next week--it has been a slow run this year. After meeting with the rep straw needs to be picked-up for the berries.

   Chicken order needs to be in tomorrow as well--maybe 100 turkeys, 100 layers(Rhode island reds, buff orphingtons, Plymouth barred rocks) and 300 butchers (butchers are ordered,on a normal year three times--900 birds for the season). they will be raised organically, but because the butcher plant is not certified organic we can only label them raised organically. I like the traditional breeds myself. Some time in the summer we hope to pick-up a few hogs also. I do not mind certified organics and know if there was not regulations some people would take advantage, but the fees with the added cost of organics is very costly. Although organic products seem to work better for the plants--the nutrients are more readily available to the plants then conventional. 

   Jesus loves, look-up for He will return


preparing for the season

   Well, we are cleaning the equipment for work in the fields and this week we will check on the bee hives. If the hives are lite they will get some sugar water as feed, but if their heavy they will be left alone. The hives are new to our farm(last year was the first year we've had them), Dan and I are learning bee work as we go.

   Maple sap is slowing down and changing color, maybe another week of flow then it will-be over for the year. Pricing is one of the hardest things to determine on our products. We like volume pricing so we can move a lot of product fast, so if that product is sold off the farm then we will not get the low pricing that the auction offers. Farmers markets applications have been coming in--two of the markets are pleasant to be in and two is nothing but a battle. A pleasant one is where the farmers all get along, sell their stuff, share ideas, and help one another. A bad market is where the supposed farmers complain about the farmers(complains about what their selling and pricing, etc.). Of the past nine years one particular person has always broken the rules of the market for his favor and complained when others shown the slightest bit of competition on his product. The best part in this whole story is he has lost customers to us and the other farmer year after year because of his attitude. CSAs applications are slowing down, but still coming in.

   A young potential farmer has asked if he could work for us this year to learn the business of farming our style--we look forward to having around

   Till next week Jesus loves


maple sap is running, chickens ordered and seeds planted

   We have had a busy week--our season has began. Maple trees are running(giving sap) and we have been setting new taps while collecting sap from already set trees. Most of the time sap is collected once a day but today we had to go out twice, that is perfectly fine. Leon will be cooking and bottling it for us, so everyday(except Sundays) I deliver to him. Leon is a good man and farmer(small produce and livestockman). With his young family he has hard times, yet smiles a lot with a good story from time to time.

   Daniel and I finally got the floor done in the greenhouse with other work like building a propagation chamber(an inclosed selving system well insulated with watertables to start seeds). Monday we will start seeds for the field.

   Finding straw for the berries and asparagus has been difficult--there is a lead that will be fallowed up on Tuesday. As long as the snows do not melt the strawberries will-be fine, but if it rains Saturday night(like the landlord says) all the snow will melt and the berries will need covered.

   Chickens have been ordered and will be coming soon. We are going to order a few ducks for some customers who like there eggs over chicken eggs--we will see if it works out.

   Well, I have to go and study my lesson for Sunday school I am the teacher for mens class for a few months--

   Jesus love

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