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from the Field

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December 3, 2018
A Sunny Stretch
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Harvesting tasty tender baby red russian kale last week.
Even this time of year I can get excited about a forecast showing 10 days of sunshine without rain (forecast will most likely change). Temperature highs will eventually be in the upper 30s but that seems permissible for early December. Another record breaking wet month is in the rear view mirror which also concludes my 9-month collection of precipitation data. From March through November 2018 we received 55" of rain, almost 2 feet more than the average of the prior 9 years. That's about an average of 1.5" per week, an insane amount here. Our soils would be happiest with at most a 1/2-inch of rain per week, even in the heat of mid-summer. But, hey, we made it to December, hooray! With four more weeks of CSA in 2018 we can actually perhaps see some light at the end of what was a very long tunnel. In a few weeks we'll celebrate the Winter Solstice and welcome increasing daylight which for us farmers marks the New Year, at least the way I internally process the growing seasons. Because it will basically coincide with the end the Late Fall season, and because we're foregoing a Winter CSA this year, it will truly feel like an end and a beginning.
We're already deep into the process of preparing for the 2019 growing season. Last week I spent days reviewing our collection of seeds and assembling our extensive seed and plant order. I ordered 7,000 strawberry plants (1,000 plants of 7 varieties) and 1,500 pounds of seed potatoes (5 of our best varieties, varying poundage and maturity length). This week I'll finalize and place our annual crop seed order and then probably move on to accessing farm supplies like irrigation infrastructure, row covers, trellising materials, and harvest containers. We also have our annual Certified Organic inspections which I'll prepare for by assembling all of our planting and harvest records as well as any receipts for farm inputs. And I will also spend time outside each day while the sun is shining for mental and physical balance, collecting remaining irrigation supplies from fields and doing some general farm clean up.
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