Google Map | 802-436-1448

<< Back to main

Farm newsletter May 28th, 2019

Posted 5/28/2019 5:04pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

The weather this year has been quite challenging for vegetable farming and compost trucking. We had a long, cold spring with endless rain. This means that the soil has been slow to warm up and dry out to work up for the plants. A big part of our farm business involves the sale of compost. Our town road was posted until about a week ago. This meant that the tractor trailer and dump trucks that haul the compost had been delayed for about 7 weeks. We hope to start hauling compost tomorrow. We usually sell 500-600 yards each Spring and the balance in the Fall. Most of the compost goes to commercial vegetable operations. Back in the garden we decided to transplant some crops to get them in on schedule. We started snap peas and sweet corn in the heated greenhouse and put them out over the last 3 weeks. We have our potatoes up, peas in, lettuce, spinach, onions, kale, beets, herbs, chard, leeks, shallots, corn and greens transplanted. The rainbow carrots, radishes and more spinach have been direct seeded. We will plant beans and more lettuce, scallions and greens this week. We will put the tomatoes in the field and greenhouse early next week. Our winter squashes, cucumbers, summer squash and melons will follow along right behind. When the soil temperature is cold, the plants just sit there. Our pastures with their perennial grasses are a great way to study soil temperature. The night time temperatures play a big role in plant growth. The hay fields are a great way to watch this. The cows went out to pasture during the day starting on May 4th. They spent a week transitioning their rumens to the grasses, which are different from stored forage (hay). Now they are out grazing fresh grass day and night. They get a new paddock everyday. They come in to get grain and the cows to get milked. We pasture all our steers over 1 year, pregnant heifers and milking cows together. Our youngstock and dry cows stay home in the barn. For the drafthorses pasture is a limited adventure. The fjord horse is a very efficient breed. They are limited to 3 hours of grazing during the midday and get hay and grain for breakfast and dinner. The fjord puts on weight very easily. They have their own small paddock system which gives them new grass every few days. This promotes good grass growth and works time wise for fence moving.

In our cheese plant we are making havarti, havarti with dill, havarti with garlic and herbs and caraway alpine cheese. Our havarti cheeses will be ready for public consumption starting in July. All our cheeses are made with raw milk from our cows and must aged for a minimum of 60 days. The gouda cheese is sold at 3-4 months, at 8-13 months and at 18 months old. Our alpine cheese is sold at 8 months and the caraway alpine at 4-5 months. Our cheddar is best at 3-5 months. The havartis will be ready at 2-3 months. We will have sampling events this summer. Stay tuned for updates. Our CSA full season and summer will start soon. I will send out a weather and crop report as soon as the sun returns.

Our farm crew is working hard to bring the bounty of the farm to tables around the region.

Kerry for the farm crew