Naturally Good News

New Terra Farm July-August 2007


Garden Update

Things are busting out all over in the garden now that summer is really here. Cukes and zukes, tomatoes and potatoes, beans and greens, kohlrabi and . . . umm, OK, I'm stuck.

We could use some more rain though, we are back to irrigating all day every day to keep the plants going. We are having problems with a couple crops; our lettuces keep going 'spotty' and slimy before we pick them. Apparently this is a bacterial infection made worse by cool nights and hot humid days. We have started more in a new area of the garden, so hopefully the fall crop will do better.

One trellis of tomatoes (we have 4 trellises, each 100' long) is showing signs of fusarium wilt; this is a fungus infection that remains in the soil for many years, and that unfortunately has no treatment other than removing and destroying the plant. This commonly hits as the weather gets warmer in late summer. We plant a LOT of tomatoes, and the other trellises seem unaffected, so tomatoes will keep coming.

Carrots are still growing slowly and thinly; other growers in this area have reported the same thing to me; they have carrots with nice tops and thick bodies, but they are only 2-3 inches long. We believe this is due to lack of some good soaking rains. Irrigation keeps many things alive but not necessarily thriving.

As you may know, we partner with two other local organic growers to provide fresh herbs, and potatoes. Herbs are doing well, however our potato grower has reported a pretty low yield. We are looking for another local source to make up the shortfall.

Most other crops are doing well, and we continue to look for ways to ameliorate the impact of the poor producers.

Meat orders update

Pork- The first batch of pork is sold out, more will be available in 3-4 weeks. We are forced to add a processing charge to these later piggies; the costs charged to us by the abattoir (for kill, cut, wrap, and smoking) have risen quite a bit. The cost of processing the animal now represents more than 50% of the total cost of raising it. Piggies already ordered from us are unaffected.

Chicken - we are holding the line on chicken prices (currently $3.50/lb) until this current batch is sold out. Price will go up to $3.95/lb with the fall batch, again driven by processing costs; they have increased by approximately 33% over last year. Order your chicken now, save a few bucks.

Lamb - we have a 4 lambs left for fall, price unchanged. This is because the abattoir charges a minimum fee for lamb that has not changed. The cost for a whole lamb is $3.50/lb, plus the processing charge of $70. Whole lamb usually weighs between 33-40 lbs, for a cost between $180-$210. You can also order a half lamb.

All pork and lamb is custom cut to your specification, vac packed and and quick frozen. We will arrange a time for delivery when we get the animal back from the abattoir.

NOT a new low-ku

As a change of pace from the artistic beauty of the New Terra Farm low-ku, here's a little song I wrote last fall when the rain JUST WOULDN'T STOP (farmers are never happy, too much rain, not enough rain, to hot, too cold, etc etc).

Sung to the tune of 'Folsom Prison Blues'.

Wolford County Weather Blues
(Sung by The Man in ‘Plaid’)

I hear that rain a-comin’
It’s pourin’ down again
And I ain’t seen the sunshine since
Around September 10
Oh I’m stuck here in November
And time keeps draggin’ on
I wish I could remember
How my farm looks in the sun

When I was in the city
My friends and I would grin
We didn’t mind the rain clouds
Or puddles we stepped in
But I bought a farm in Wolford
Just to raise some food
When I hear that rain a’fallin
I just know I’m screwed

I bet there’s farmers happy
They’re bringin’ in their crops
But I can’t get to the barnyard
Its three feet deep in slop
But I know I had it comin’
I know it’s just my fate
Cause it always rains in Wolford
As I learned too late

Well if I sold my farm here
I think I’d move down south
But nobody’s buyin’
Until the tide goes out
Oh far from creeks and rivers
Where no water flows
Maybe to the desert
That’s where I want to go