I just did an inventory of seeds I have on hand left over from last year and found I have the following seeds available to plant (these are additional crops not listed in my previous newsletter):
Spinach, Basil, Dill, radish, turnips, carrots, rutabaga, romaine lettuce, mustard and okra. I have a piece of ground across the road from our house that I could run water to -- need a long line, the field is back off the road about 800 feet. I may have found a free source for some irrigation tubing from my sister in Dewitt. Irrigation would be essential for these crops planted in this particular field, as it would most likely experience a dry period long enough to damage these type of crops if no irrigation was available. My plan is to run irrigation over to the field and plant these crops along with a good amount of green onion bulbs and the beets and swiss chard that were bought this year. The field is 1 ½ acres total, but I think the portion used for these crops would be around ¾ acre. We would be trying to produce enough greens and roots for three or four distributions - not all types in any one distribution. I am not making any promises - but if all goes well we could have an early distribution in June -I will keep you posted as to our progress.
I also have ordered 2000 Superstar White Sweet onion plants -these will be planted in 6 rows at our home place back by the long greenhouse (we can irrigate them there and it is protected from the wind). We will try and have around three distributions that include these nice onions with them. We also ordered 500 sweet potato plants -these go in the field around May 15. Sweet Potato is a new crop for us and we have no idea what if anything we will get from these 500 plants, but we need to try something new each year, so this year our new crop is sweet potato.
We did OK in January with our returning subscribers and also added a few new members as well. We need to pay all our land rents and real estate taxes in February also must pay for some tractor parts. Last year we had 22 people subscribe during the month of February- we are hoping for a similar response this year. Many thanks to the returning members who have sent in their subscriptions so far, we really appreciate your support.
The special cultivator attachment for weeding between the plants in the row is complete and I did a "test" run in the driveway and it worked OK. Now I am working on replacing the radiator on that same tractor. This is an old 1946 Ford 2N tractor -it works great for planting and cultivating, and runs very well even though it is 66 years old this year.
I have ordered a load (30 compressed bags 3.8 cu ft each) of growing medium for the flats in the greenhouse. This is a bit more expensive that what I have used in the past, but should eliminate disease and weed problems and the inconsistency in pH we have experienced in the past.
I am considering doing a project intended to extend our growing season into the fall. We would accomplish this by planting some greens like lettuce mix and chard late into one of our greenhouses. We would have some expense for growing medium (soil) and heat (LP Gas). What I need to know is how much interest would there be for Greens and /or tomatoes during the months of November through January? Would members be willing to buy an add on of around $10 to $12 per week for these fresh veggies if they could be grown this way? Anyone interested please reply to this e-mail with your thoughts. I have no other markets for these crops at these times of the year due to the stand and farmers markets being closed, so I would only do them if there is enough interest from our CSA members to make it economical to achieve.
If there are any members who are in need of a budget plan to pay the subscription fee we are going to allow the following plan for February:
· Pay an initial payment of 25% of the subscription fee for your chosen share size.
· Pay monthly on account so that your subscription is paid in full by June 1, 2012
· No additional charges will be added to pay this way if first payment is made in February.
We also have our online store open in Localharvest where you can use a credit card to pay your subscription fee. (Rates are a bit higher to offset the commission we must pay to use their store)
I hope you are having a good winter, we are looking forward to spring,
Mark & Carolyn
Walkers Fresh Veggies
41688 Paw Paw RD
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Posted by Mark & Carolyn @ 09:41 AM EST