Theme: field work

News From the Farm | November 1, 2021

Weather is often the subject of conversation, and this is even more the case in the farming world where we’re constantly talking about it and glancing at the forecasts. For a good reason! It impacts what our day-to-day tasks look like, more than many other professions. We found ourselves talking about the weather even more than usual this past week. How could we not after receiving 6 inches of rain in 24 hours and about 7 total in just a few days? We didn’t have any flooding on our farm, a testament to the care and attention that we give to the health of our soil, and the ground soaked it all in very quickly, with only a small amount of standing water in some fields on Monday morning, which was gone by that afternoon. Or maybe it shouldn’t be surprising given that we’d gone 18 months with almost no precipitation. During last year’s “rainy season” we only got 5 inches. With so little rain, not much vegetation grew on the burn areas from the 2020 LNU fire, so there were some mudslides (including one that shut down Highway 16 further up the Valley) and a lot of debris in the smaller creeks that feed into Cache Creek.

This storm was warm, it woke up and invigorated the plants, different than our usual cold front storms from the north which usually halt plant growth for a bit. All of the germinating seeds, recent transplants, and established plants look better already, more brawny and certainly bigger. Even the few remaining summer crops which are slowly petering out look happier and healthier. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | September 27, 2021

It definitely seemed a little quieter in “downtown Full Belly Farm” this past week. But the slightly lower level of hustle and bustle compared to a month or so ago was deceptive. Plenty of work was still being done, just different work.

Some folks were clearing out summer fields (collecting tomato stakes and winding up drip tape) and others helped out the regular kitchen crew cooking winter squash and making our 2021 batch of hot sauce! The major focus of the week was getting transplants and seeds in the ground. Andrew and others zipped around on tractors with seeders or transplanters on the back. Putting seeds in the ground is a solo act but transplanting (this week, mostly cabbage and lettuce) requires a team of folks to help. Once the tractor work is done, the plants need some help to get going. The irrigators come in next. The transplants need water to keep from drying out and seeds won’t germinate without it; most of our fall and winter crops are irrigated with sprinklers, which can cover 6 rows at a time and then are moved to the next set of rows. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | June 21, 2021

News from the farm this week is that it’s been scorching hot! The summer’s first big heat wave sent us scrambling to keep our summer crops happy. Our irrigation crew has pulled miles of drip tape out to quench those thirsty plants that have grown with only a few overhead irrigations. We are working hard to dig the spring’s last potatoes and get them into our coolers. Sheep graze cabbage fields ensuring that no more will be put into your weekly boxes! We are trying to get all our weeding and cultivating done before our impending summer crop harvest of tomatoes, melons, peppers, and more, consumes every last set of able hands on the farm.


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News From the Farm | May 24, 2021

It’s really exciting to be able to include some spring fruit in your boxes this week! Who doesn’t like fruit?

There’s a fair amount of work that has to happen before we get to harvesting the fruit, as with most of our crops. Strawberry transplants go in the ground in the beginning of September and then must be weeded and tended until they start bearing a crop the next spring. So they take up valuable real estate in the field long before they start paying “rent”. Strawberry plants bear fruit for multiple years but their productivity drops dramatically after the first year, so for us, they’re a one year crop. Note: strawberry jam is back and is available on the web store! [Read more…]