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December 8, 2015

As we head into the middle of winter, there is still a lot to do on the land. Some of the tasks in the slow season include keeping the winter crops weeded in between the rains and getting ready to start winter pruning now that the fruit trees are finally losing their leaves.

Most of the cover crop seed has now been sown for areas that we leave fallow in the winter. If any more lettuce or spinach patches get harvested through the winter they will then be listed up into beds for early spring crop rotations, as seeding at this point in the year will be too slow growing to do much good. Pulling all the irrigation drip lines out of the  now spent pepper and eggplant patches is another job. Winter is also a good time for making all the repairs on trucks and equipment that we never seem to have time for in the growing season.

The real winter break will likely be happening after the holidays as we are anticipating more rainfall for our thirsty land and waterways. There will be plenty of time to crop plan for the coming year and assess our strategies moving forward. There are always ways to improve and get a better understanding of how we can work with nature to keep the farm healthy and balanced.

This will be our last newsletter of 2015 so our best to all during this holiday season!… Read the rest

December 1, 2015

Green Kabocha Winter Squash
Yellow Finn Potatoes
Romaine Lettuce
Red Gem Lettuce
Kohlrabi
Lacinato Kale
Fennel
Green Cabbage
Red Beets
Pepper Mix
Mint… Read the rest

November 24, 2015

Reflecting on the past year, it’s obvious we have a lot to be thankful for. Even when dealing with the many variables of nature as well as the fixed realities that farms in our modern world have to contend with to survive, we have been very lucky indeed. The inspiration from the natural beauty of the land where we farm and the extremely supportive community we live in are keeping us going.

Farms and farmers are like canaries in the coal mine that feel changes in a lot of ways before others do; listening to what the land and nature is telling us. We did see noticeable differences that were brought on by the drought in terms of pest pressures and stress related problems in both trees and annual crops, but overall it was not a bad year at all. Our strategy to stay highly diverse is paying off.

Also listening to what our employees are saying and allowing them a greater voice in the operations in terms of processes and direction is key. Understanding between employees and employers is necessary and having good communication skills to foster understanding is a priority.

The market is also very important to pay attention to. People’s food choices and preferences are always changing and if you don’t change with them then you get left behind in the cold.

Reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work is always smart. Each year we have to do this. The directions we are going in are becoming more and more clear. We are resisting the pressures to be more competitive with larger scale farms in the wider market but also trying to keep healthy food affordable by being efficient in our processes is the goal.

Of greatest importance is understanding how we relate to the rest of the world and finding the most sustainable path to produce healthy food. What good is growing organic produce if at the same time your ecological impact, whether it be carbon footprint or use of natural resources, isn’t in tune with the environment?… Read the rest

November 24, 2015

Lacinato Kale
Green Gem Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Carola Potatoes
Spicy Peppers
Delicata Winter Squash
Romanesco Broccoli/Cauliflower
Hachiya Persimmons
Thyme
Bearss Limes… Read the rest

November 10, 2015

Italian Flat Beans
Green Dandelions
Frisée
Lacinato Kale
Green Gem Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Yellow Finn Potatoes
Italian Parsley
Delicata Winter Squash
Zucchini
Meyer Lemons

 

 

 

 … Read the rest

November 10, 2015

Yesterday was a messy day but we are not complaining 🙂  It really is feeling like winter now. It was pretty cold this morning with reports of frost on the rooftops in Felton and possibly frost here in Santa Cruz tonight!  Yesterday’s downpours were pretty heavy with up to 2 inches in the local Santa Cruz area. Yay!!!

The roof of one of the warehouses at the New Leaf on the Westside was hit by lightning yesterday before 10 am. The warehouse is less than a block from our warehouse/office! It knocked their power out for most of the day. They were finally able to reopen around 5 pm. Our warehouse was spared and only lost power for a brief minute, but it was loud and scary when it hit.

This week we will be stripping as many peppers and eggplant off the plants as they will likely be done for the season with the very cool temperatures that are forecasted.

We got a fair bit more of the fields cover cropped on Saturday along with a good size transplanting of lettuce, cabbage, kale and kohlrabi into the ground. No  Irrigation necessary!

Let’s hope this trend continues and the rain keeps coming!

 

 

 

 … Read the rest

November 3, 2015

Red Dadelions
Red Beets w/Greens
Fennel
Lacinato Kale
Green Gem Lettuce
Yellow Finn Potatoes
Delicata Winter Squash
Treviso Radicchio
Mint… Read the rest