Theme: crop planning

News from the Farm | March 25, 2024

Happy spring! Last week, we took advantage of the warmth and sun to harvest, weed, plant, and transplant. There was also a lot of mowing (cover crops and finished crops) and prepping bed to plant more.

As promised, this Beet contains the second part of last week’s discussion (which you can find here) of hybrid versus open pollinated seeds. 

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News from the Farm | March 18, 2024

I’m feeling like Goldilocks. After griping about the wet and grey weather, we had several sunny and warmer days but those were accompanied by complaint-worthy howling winds, which were unpleasant conditions to work in and prevented us from transplanting. One thing that none of us are complaining about is all the great cauliflower and romanesco we’ve harvested over the past few weeks. From a grower’s perspective, the timing was perfect – they were ready to harvest at a time that otherwise could’ve been a bit lean for CSA box contents and they were ready before the warmer weather that will undoubtably lead to aphids on most of our brassicas. From an eater’s perspective, they have been SO delicious. Many of us have been eating cauliflower daily! I’ve heard from several happy CSA members, including several that have been loving the leaves, which we keep most of to help protect the florets. If you haven’t been eating the leaves, try sautéing or roasting.

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News from the Farm | October 17, 2022

It is remarkable to see just how fast the fall crops are growing. Just check out the difference between September 15 and October 15, documented in the photos below. It seems like a new fall crop, root or leafy green, is added to the harvest list each day. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 7, 2022

In addition to lambing season, and growing and harvesting what’s in the fields, this is a time of year when we’re making a lot of decisions about what to grow the rest of the year, along with ordering and receiving a lot of seeds. There are so many crops and varieties – how to choose? [Read more…]

News From the Farm | April 9, 2018

The Water Information report from our local Water District says that Indian Valley Reservoir received just over 11-inches of rain this year, compared to almost 31 last year.  This includes runoff from last week’s storm, which added a precious 3-inches for the two surface water sources (Clear Lake and Indian Valley Reservoir) that provide irrigation water at Full Belly Farm.  Word is that despite the very low water year overall there will be enough water in Cache Creek for our summer irrigation season.

Spring rain creates a forceful motivator on the farm when there is a long list of projects to complete.  Not only is there a daily deadline when the sun goes down, but the promise of rain on the way means that all field activities will have to stop when the rain arrives.  Last week, tractors were still out in the fields as the first drops fell.  [Read more…]

News From the Farm | March 19, 2018

Hi All! My name is Ben Culver and I am the newest intern at the farm. The other interns and I have started our own project and I’d like to share with you guys what we’re getting into! 

We are starting a little market garden behind the mechanical shop, where some of past interns have also done projects. Right now we have twelve 100-feet by 2.5-feet beds prepared with various different treatments. Six of our twelve beds are largely inspired by [Read more…]

News from the Farm | June 2, 2014

Summer Transitions

There are periods of the season when we get caught between the ending of one crop cycle and the beginning of another. The end of May and beginning of June is perennially one of these times. We are in the middle of transitioning from spring to summer as we find interesting crops with which to fill your boxes. 

Bound by weather and temperature, the slowly disappearing hard C crops –kalecollardscabbagecarrotschard – make their exit from your boxes along with lettuce, other greens and leafy veggies. These will return next October. I think that most of us are about ready to not be missing these veggies and are looking forward to tomatoes, melons and fruits – the full expression of summer.  [Read more…]

News From the Farm | May 20, 2013

Farms come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some farms are all business, geared up for production. These farms have few frills or folderol, and they’re efficient in their own way, which means their way of growing one or two crops. These farms figure they better be efficient because if they aren’t it’ll probably spell trouble down the road.  

In contrast, Full Belly Farm has never been efficient at growing one or two crops because we grow one or two hundred of them, and the facts about why and how we grow so many different things don’t come in a straight line. If you start to ask questions about the crops and their byproducts, the relation of one crop to another, the use of the crop on farm or off, or the ways that the pieces of the puzzle fit together, you are likely to be found quite a while later stewing in a tangled mix of philosophy, theory and straight-from-the-fields know-how. 

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News from the Farm | February 4, 2013

Farming is a fickle livelihood. I mostly point that out because I think that I like the words fickle and farming going together. Most farms across the country mix faith, hope and determination to develop their income stream—looking to minimize fickle. Most farmers plant in the spring when the weather is ‘just-so-right’ (“I thought that you Mr. soil would like to meet this rather cute-ish seed!”) hoping that soil and seed will hit it off in a warm enough environment to encourage a long term relationship. The stewarded relationship allows seed to sprout and send its radical down as a food-seeking anchor while the monocotyledon or dicotyledon (seed leaf) pushes skyward. This miracle of seed and soil and the matchmaking of the farmer can hit more than a few bumps. Too cold, too hot, not moist enough, wrong seed, wrong depth, too much rain or too little rain can make the introduction go sideways and strain the new relationship.

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