Farm update, early November

LAST MARKET SALES
It’s been a good year of sales, starting in April and ending on Halloween. We’re grateful to everyone who bought from us and helped support the growth of our farm. Look for one or two wrap-up posts in the coming weeks; I’d like to put together some form of slideshow of market stand images over the year.

BAD LETTUCE VARIETY?
A customer was kind enough to tell me on Saturday that he’d been buying our lettuce mix for weeks, and one of the varieties was consistently going bad sooner than the others. We think it’s the Rouge d’Hiver, which is a pretty tender leaf. We checked with a few other folks, who confirmed that one variety had been acting poorly. Our apologies to anyone else who had that problem lately, and our thanks to the initial fellow for telling us. They were all harvested the day before market every week, so clearly there’s another issue with that variety. Something to keep in mind for next year, and another example of appreciated customer practice in telling us when there’s a problem.

GOAT ROAST

We celebrated the end of market season with a full-goat roast on Sunday, using one of our milk-raised kids. This was the first time we’d roasted a full animal like this, and it was a great day. There will be a series of posts coming out of this event, but the quick summary is that we butchered Saturday afternoon, started the fire Sunday morning, got the kid on around 11am, turned the spit every 15 minutes until nearly 4pm, then started carving. We had around 20 folks show up (plus children), with about ten who didn’t make it (trying to whittle the list down to a manageable number was a huge challenge). With some good contributed side dishes, desserts, home-brewed beer, and more, and our own meat, coleslaw, and fresh bread, it was a great afternoon/evening. The meat came out tender and flaky with good flavor, a great relief to us and everyone seemed to enjoy it. More on this later.

ABSURDLY WET OCTOBER
October was just a horrible month, weather-wise. We recorded 10.16 inches of rain on the farm, which lead to all sorts of problems with produce and contributed to our market season ending when it did (greens and other things just wouldn’t regrow with no sun and lots of rain). For context, according to NWS records, Columbia has recieved over 10″ of rain in October just once before since 1890 (that was in 1941). Above, you see a healthy crop of mushrooms growing on straw bales we had set out in September for future use in mulching beds. Below you see a harvest container literally floating in shin-deep water surrounding our raised market garden beds. This was very convenient, as I could just nudge the thing along as I picked lettuce into it. Not so good for the health of the plants, though.
VAMPIRE GEESE?
That red staining on their bills looks frightening, but it’s not lipstick or something worse. Geese like beet greens and underformed beets, but they look pretty odd once they’re done eating. And their water bucket just looks scary.

WINTER BLOG PLANS
Obviously I won’t have as much farm news and products to write about this winter. However, I have a mental backlog of ranting against food safety laws and other political topics, and there will be regular farm updates as we progress with our winter logging and fencing work. We’ll probably get back to more food posts as well, documenting again what a diverse and interesting menu can be had from local foods even in the winter. There’s more to say on our organic status as well, as we’re hoping to start developing the online presence of our farm records and organic documentation, and will be getting ready to maintain our certification for next year. And then, just a few months from now, it will be time to start writing about the first plant starts of spring and our preparations for the coming market year. So stick with us and stay in touch.

2 thoughts on “Farm update, early November

  1. I love reading news from your farm! The goat roast looks great – and the picture of the geese is hilarious. I look forward to more recipes of local food. Yum!