We live here in the Appalachians and have plenty of water for irrigating our crops, processing/packing our crops after harvest and for our daily use such as bathing, drinking and washing our clothes. Interesting article of others worries which makes ours seem ridiculous. We worry sometimes that we might have a production gap for our CSA (especially with the mice eating seedlings) but at least we are able to irrigate and are still harvesting a nice diversity of crops.
A couple weeks ago Douglas McVey, our Environmental Health Specialist, visited the farm helping us finalize our “Site Plan” for the Farm Vacation Cabin. THE BEST NEWS is that, for our farm vacation cabin rental, we now have an approved Site Plan complete with a design for our septic system. Our next steps with the Farm Vacation Cabin project is to have Alvin grade the site. Currently his track-hoe is broken so we may have to wait a bit for him to find time to have his equipment fixed. In between having Alvin grade the site, Carl will be studying the code books required for passing tests in becoming both our plumbing and electrical contractors. Taking these tests will allow Carl to oversee all phases of the building project thus saving us our hard earned money by not having to outsource much of the work. When living off a farming income, one can’t justify paying for services that charge hourly rates from $50 – $75, mostly because we are only earning about $6 an hour.
As far as the crop production side of the farming enterprise, we have been harvesting a lot of beans and squash, so are spending hours bent over harvesting these crops that are near to the earth. In addition, we continue to seed our fall crops and are looking forward to an abundance of greens upon falls arrival. These past several weeks we have also harvested our garlic and most of the onions. Every couple weeks we continue to transplant lettuce and are trialing new cultivars, because of what we think is global warming, our hot summers are no longer suited for production of the the lettuce cultivars we have been growing for the past 8 years.
PRODUCTION NOTE TO SELF: (1) Next year dig both garlic and onions a week earlier should we have a rainy period during harvest. This year we pulled the garlic the week of 7/11/2011 and onions were harvested the week of 7/24/2011. (2) Strawberry plants were propagated Monday 7/4/2011. (3) I’m missing cilantro as we have normally harvested it a few times already this season. Need to figure out why it is not germinating well. (4) As far as lettuce cultivars we are trialing, we like the flavor of Navada but it must be harvested a little smaller. Victoria, a summer butterhead, has a good flavor but bolts quickly and has a little rot on the bottom. Plato II continues to turn bitter during the hot summer temperatures. We will trial a couple more successions then make a decision as to whether we will continue growing these cultivars. (5) Seed red cabbage and cauliflower with our first succession of broccoli (6) We aren’t moving as much lettuce nor broccoli as in years past so evaluate new crops to replace this income. Most likely due to additional competition at market.