Theme: planting

News from the Farm | November 13, 2023

It’s another flower update! Flowers are a big part of what we do, so we want everyone to be in the know.

As described last week (which you can read here), this time of year is when we plant most of our spring flowers. On Thursday and Friday, the flower team aided by some interns and Alfonso’s group planted about 2/3 of our bulbs (tulips and iris) and corms (anemones and ranunculus). In total we planted 10,000 tulip bulbs, 7,000 Dutch iris bulbs, 11,000 anemone corms, and 7,000 ranunculus corms. There’ll be a bit more planting once we receive the rest of our underground roots! [Read more…]

News from the Farm | November 6, 2023

April showers bring May flowers, but when do you plant those flowers? It varies between years but Full Belly Farm, spring flowers went in the ground on Tuesday and Thursday of last week. 

Dru and Jan direct seeded 20 beds of flowers on Tuesday and Jan, the flower team, and Alfredo and his crew transplanted 24 beds of flowers on Thursday. Direct seeded flowers included larkspur, nigella, calendula, bells of Ireland, scabiosa and the transplants included snapdragons, godetia, delphinium, feverfew, Sweet William. Plus lots more! [Read more…]

News from the Farm | April 24, 2023

It’s supposed to get pretty toasty later this week! Forecasts change, and can be wrong, but as of Monday morning, the prediction is that it will be above 90 degrees later this week. Good thing we planted more heat-loving summer crops last week (onions, basil, summer squash, and a whole field of heirloom tomatoes) that can take advantage of that heat. We’re behind schedule (we usually plant them two to four weeks earlier) but better late than never. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | February 6, 2023

Last week we found ourself facing a classic winter scenario; there was rain in the forecast, though the forecasts kept shifting, and lots of transplanting to do. In addition to lots of weeding. But – we had horribly strong winds early in the week with very cold morning temperatures forecast for later in the week. Wind and cold temperatures aren’t good for vulnerable young transplants. So it meant lots of weeding in the wind early in the week and then an (almost) all hands on deck effort to transplant on Wednesday and Thursday after temperatures warmed up enough.   [Read more…]

News from the Farm | September 5, 2022

What’s the news from the farm?

We are working this Labor Day Monday, as we do every Monday (we’ve got Tuesday CSA deliveries, store deliveries, and a farmers market) though we did take Saturday off. This week is going to be a series of scorchers – 110 and above every day. We’re prioritizing everyone’s health and will likely try and wrap up as early as possible to get folks out of the heat, which means limiting orders. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | August 15, 2022

It’s August, which means it’s time to start prepping for fall. It can be difficult to think about the next season and its crops when it’s so hot and we’re so busy harvesting and packing summer produce. However, all of those peppers, tomatoes, and melons will eventually wind down and we need to have the cooler season crops ready to take over at that point. [Read more…]

News from the Farm | March 28, 2022

It’s Monday morning and it’s raining! Not the “Miracle March” that we would’ve liked, but some rain is better than none. With all the dry weather, we’ve been able to get a lot of transplants in the ground. By the end of the workday on Saturday, our first field of tomatoes was planted, as well as our first summer squash! All the planting requires bed preparation, which means a flurry of tractor activities: mowing the cover crops, some tillage, adding compost, and then forming and shaping the beds to form a nice surface for seeds or transplants. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | September 13, 2021

Andrew recently declared September to be the April of the fall. He meant that like April, this month is a crucial time to prepare for the next season. In April, we’re always busy getting ready for the summer. Right now, seeds must be sown, transplants put in the ground, and new plants watered and weeded in order for us to have crops in the fall and winter. All of these are key tasks over the next few weeks while we also continue to harvest our late summer produce. But this week had had accents of April even in the hot (106 on Tuesday and Wednesday) and dusty weariness of September. Why? [Read more…]

News From the Farm | April 12, 2021

You can really tell it’s spring because we’ve already moved on to summer. Not actually – we are very much still in the process of harvesting spring vegetables. But we also are thinking ahead and taking actions now so that we’ll be ready when summer actually gets here. That being said, the weather forecast shows some pretty toasty temperatures next weekend and we’ve already had to do quite a bit of irrigation, much more than would be ideal this early in the year.

Last week we got our first tomatoes of 2021 in the ground! We also transplanted some melons, onions, and some other summer crops. As mentioned in a recent News from the Farm, we direct seed a lot of our crops but there are several things that we put in the field as transplants in order to give them a head start on the weeds and/or on the weather, or because they just do better that way. When it comes time to set them out in the field, there are two ways that it happens: by hand or with a mechanical transplanter. [Read more…]

News From the Farm | October 1, 2018

Full Belly Farm has a lot of balls in the air — we grow fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers, plus we have several groups of egg-laying chickens and a herd of sheep circulating around the farm.  The veggies run from whimsical and exciting experiments growing sesame and garbanzo beans, to the top flight crops like tomatoes (encompassing at least 15 different varieties), melons and watermelons (ditto – lots of varieties), flowers (even MORE varieties) and potatoes…  Sometimes the production crew sits down and tries to agree on a few crops that we don’t need to include any more, but everything is someone’s favorite, and who knows, an experiment this year could be next year’s blockbuster! [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 | September 4, 2017

It’s been a hot week just about everywhere — not just here at the farm, but pretty much all around. We’ve had our crew arrive at dawn, hoping to get them home earlier.  But I think the first heat wave that we had in June was worse than this one. The June days were longer, thus the heat window was much longer.  Now the days are already starting to shorten, and the first day of fall is not much more than two weeks away.  I think we’re more acclimated to the heat as well — there have been a lot of triple digit weeks this summer in the Capay Valley.

We transplanted our first seedlings of greens into the field on one of the 109° days thinking on the one hand that it was awfully odd to be planting cool weather crops on such a hot day, but on the other hand, the shorter day length is a signal to the plants that fall is coming.  The lateness of summer also means that school started up, so all of the wonderful high school students that worked in the packing shed for the summer, are gone.  We had some great young helpers, we miss them and hope that they can come back next summer.  [Read more…]