Richert/Phillips Farms

  (North Liberty, Indiana)
ventures of a small fresh pick farm
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What a wonderful day


   A company that never has gotten our seed order correct--either running out, forgetting some of the seeds, or even missplacing the order has shocked us. Yesterday we recieved the order from them, not only on a timely fashion, but everything was there--right amounts, types, and in proper order...must say very pleased this time. The greenhouse is cleaned and once the stove pipe is in place seeds will start to get planted.

   Maple sap has slowed down alot--its flow is about a fouth of what it was in previous years. That is alright for now because other work is starting. We plan to finnish the high tunnel soon and start some early plants growing. The high tunnel will allow us to get early produce to CSA clients and to markets. Early produce always brings a great price...that helps.



New varieties and

   We have new varieties of plants this year from Europe and Asia. These varieties are heirlooms, but new to us--eggplants, greens, peppers, and not sure what the one is...kind of looks like a stubby cucumber but has a sweet melon smell and taste. Hopefully these new products will reach the customers this year. The seeds took a lot of time to get, so we will concentrate on more of keeping the ripe vegetables for seeds this year.

   The taps are out, almost, and sap is flowing well. I was over to Leons with the first run and watched him get the cooker ready to boil down the tree juice to make syrup. It is such a pleasure to run maple syrup--we get cold collecting the sap  but when we take it to be cooked it is quit the pleasure standing in all the sweet warm steam.

   One days work gets us about seven gallons of syrup that we split two ways. Some times people say it is not worth the effort, but they don't live this life we do and when combined with vegetable and fruit raising, livestock, and trapping among many other things--us people are content on the choices we made to live off the land


Starting the greenhouse

Some of the seeds that has been ordered has come in so we plan to open the greenhouse soon. Sanitation in the greenhouse is very important--a disease that could have blown in from some where else very well can still be in there. Wiping down tables, shelves, picking up debris, cleaning trays etc. is all part of the business. We do not want the season to end before it even begun--diseases can wipe out the entire house in a matter of weeks.

   While cleaning I stirred up a nest of rats, about 10 or 12. So, I covered the nest back up and when Dan got home I asked him to clean that area--thinking that the rats would take off in all directions as they did me, I could barely hold the laughter back. But, they did not return as anticipated, how disappointing. He knew I was up to something, I told him of the devilish plan a brewing--instead he laught at me for a foiled attempt of fun.

   Leon and I went to E&R to pick up some soilless mixture and other supplies--about a four hour trip. Every time we are together he gets us lost. Leon does not drive(Amish) and apparently he cannot read maps either or we get to joking around and miss the turns...we always have fun non the less. The trip took twelve plus hours.

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