Theme: cover crop

News from the Farm | August 21, 2023

Among the seemingly endless fields of melons, tomatoes, winter squash, and other warm-weather crops, we currently have several fields of cover crops going strong. Yes – that photo of the lush green above was taken this morning (August 21, 2023) on an unseasonably cool, cloudy, and drizzly day; it’s not a photo from earlier this year. Cover crops aren’t just for the cooler seasons, even though that’s when we tend to talk about them most (like this deep dive into cover crops last November)! The work of feeding and caring for the soil and “growing” healthy soil never ends, so when we have the water and field space to grow summer cover crops, we do. It seems counterintuitive to take land out of production during our peak harvest time to grow a non-sellable crop, but it’s an excellent opportunity to grow a fast-growing, healthy cover crop and invest in our soil and bountiful future harvests. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | April 17, 2023

This past week, felt more like a normal spring week. After so many non-normal weeks, it took a little adjusting to – the sun and warmth, the faster pace, and even the sounds.

The most noticeable noise was the constant hum of tractors. All functioning machines were in use, preparing beds for planting, spraying compost tea in the orchard, or cultivating (farmer lingo for weeding), and there is a lot more to do after such a long period of time when it was too wet to use tractors.  [Read more…]

News from the Farm | November 7, 2022

What’s Andrew holding in this picture? It’s not trail mix – it’s cover crop seed!

This past week, planting cover crops was a high priority. It’s a normal fall activity, but when there’s rain in the forecast, it takes on an increased sense of urgency; if we get a significant amount of rain, we won’t be able to get into the fields with a tractor for a while, and we also want the seeds to get as much irrigation from rain as they can. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | November 30, 2020

As you’ve hopefully heard, we’re fast approaching our annual winter break. We’ll be closed from December 13 through January 10 with just a skeleton crew making sure the plants and animals have what they need. During the break, we’ll be catching up on some much needed rest and we won’t be packing and delivering CSAs, making deliveries to stores and restaurants, or going to the farmers markets.

Until then we’ve got produce to harvest, transplants to get in the ground, and soil to prep. Some places on the farm have already started their break – our fields. After a summer being the home for tomatoes, melons, winter squash, eggplant, peppers, flowers, and more, they’ve earned their rest too. Some fields will be turned over to a winter crop right away but for those that we can rest, what’re our options?

[Read more…]

News From the Farm | December 2, 2019

Dru at the Farmers Market (photo by Lauren Betts)  — 

One delight of our Thanksgiving week was the remarkable change in weather. On Wednesday evening the temperature dropped to 28, freezing pipes, nipping the last leaves on the apples, peaches, walnuts and almonds; and frosting the last of the summer’s non-frost tolerant crops like potatoes and summer flowers. (Potato tops are dead and the spuds are resting in the soil until we harvest them later this winter.) All manner of summer frost-sensitive crops are now dark and done. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | September 25, 2017

No Funding for Healthy Soils or Water Use Efficiency in the Cap and Trade Budget Deal

Several weeks ago, California’s legislature made decisions on how to spend $1.5 billion out of the account that has been collected from our cap-and-trade program. To the dismay of a wide network of partners, the deal completely eliminated funding for the new Healthy Soils Program and Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program that had been funded by cap-and-trade dollars in the past.  This is a huge setback for these trailblazing efforts.

The Healthy Soils Program was in its first year of funding for practices like the use of compost, cover crops, hedgerows and improved fertilizer management on farms and ranches.  The funded practices all sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In it’s first year of funding for these soil management practices (2017), this program will cost $7.4 million (a drop in the $1.5 billion budget).  [Read more…]