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New Terra Farm News -- Factoids of Interest to the organic foodie
June 22, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Written & Published by Scott Kelland
Written at New Terra Farm
13510 County Rd 15
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This section presents stuff you should see (and maybe buy) because, well, I said so! Just kidding, as you know we only review products and services we have personal knowledge of and really believe deliver value, and that are worth your time to check out. So, uh, do it!
Create another stream of income in your life.
I recently reached an important milestone; my farm website now produces enough income to just about cover my monthly mortgage payment on the farm itself!
Now this goal was about a year in the making, so it's not get-rich-quick. It represents the cumulative effort of many early-morning writing sessions. But the number of visitors to my site and therefore the income from them has been increasing steadily.
And, (best of all) I'm at the point where my website keeps producing 24/7 x 365, whether I work on it or not (very UNLIKE the garden!)
If you are a work from home mom or dad or have a 'straight job' and want to create another source of income that is under your control, I urge you to compare SiteBuildIt! to any other solution (I went through this same analysis when I chose SBI! for my farm website). And the SBI! MailManager module (included for free!) is bringing you this newsletter.
She's not a product, but I'm going to mention her anyway . . . My daughter Danielle has just joined Royal LePage Team Realty as a sales representative.
Some of you may remember Danielle from her home cleaning business; I nicknamed her the 'white tornado' because she was a whirlwind on the job. She was also one of our delivery drivers last year. She will be bringing the same energy and enthusiasm to he new career.
UPDATE: Danielle just closed her first deal; there's a new happy home owner in Kemptville thanks to her efforts. If you have questions about selling or buying a home, contact Danielle at 613 692-3567 or Danielle's e-mail
And, (by the way) Danielle will be supporting her new career with a website from SiteBuildIt! She had the option of a 'canned' site from her real estate company, but she checked out the facts for herself and decided she wanted a website that would actually help her generate income (dad MAY have had some influence.)
SiteBuildIt! (SBI!) is not just a software application but also an entire training course and system for creating e-commerce websites. You can read my Review of Site Build It! here
1.Farm and Garden UpdateWOW, it's summer time and the growin' is groovy (OK, so I'm not 'hip'.) So far, so good in the garden, I think we are actually ahead on the planting this year.
The new greenhouse has produced more than 120 bunches of carrots, about 60 bunches of beets and turnips, and lots of bunching onions and broccoli - all about 3-4 weeks ahead of the outdoor garden. This is in addition to sheltering about a hundred trays of transplants for the garden, and bedding plants for sale at the Merrickville Market.
You can see more, including some pictures of the greenhouse, in this article recently published in The Growing Edge magazine
We've just about come to the end of the spring harvest from the greenhouse; the outdoor plantings of carrots, beets, turnips, broccoli and cabbage will be coming along soon.
BTW, this little greenhouse has done so well, I am now scrounging the funds to build another one. I think this model has real possibilities for the future of sustainable agriculture; my hoophouse uses no petrochemicals or other unsustainable energy source (except for that embedded in the plastic.) For more on that topic, see "The Pro's and Con's of Plastic" below
The other major source of joy in the garden is my new bee hive. The garden is literally buzzing with the happy little worker bees; this is a sound we have missed over the last couple seasons. We left a wide strip of clover growing right down the middle of the garden to encourage the girls to visit. Seems to be working, pollination is proceeding well.
The only worrisome crops right now are the cukes and summer squash. We lost most of the first planting of these to mold; the second backup planting is not as vigorous as we would like. We have applied compost tea as a prophylactic against mold and mildew, and have also started a third planting, some of which will go in the greenhouse in it's 'summer' position. Here's hoping!
Chicken news. The first batch of meat birds will be available mid-July; our birds are raised on nothing but sunshine, pasture and grain from a local certified-organic farmer. The birds are inspected, processed and quick-frozen at a local abattoir.
The birds will average around 5 lbs. NOTE: we normally sell the birds as whole roasters. This is too big for some families. If there is any interest, I can get some of the birds split in half. Drop me a line if you would like some split birds.
The price this year for the birds is $3.25 a pound, plus $4 for the processing, weighing and freezing. I decided to separate out the abattoir fee, as it is the same for large birds and small birds. Note: this is what the abattoir charges me, there is no 'markup' on this cost.
The weaner pigs are doing well, they love being outdoors and rooting around in the dirt. They are busily preparing new garden area for me. We will have pork for sale later in the fall.
And, don't forget the Merrickville Mid-week Market, each Wednesday afternoon, Brock St West in Merrickville from 3pm to 7pm. Come on down and check out the vendors, there's something there for everyone..
Of course, CSA customers always get the first and best of the produce from the farm; the Wednesday market is just for overflow, when we have to pick stuff to keep it fresh.
2. Salad Garden Book, gratisThis is part of our continuing effort to encourage organic home and market gardeners . . .
Get my Super Salad Garden book, gratis! I believe everybody should know how to grow a garden. And, it's not too late this year to start a small salad garden of your own. So, here's the deal; this books sells for $17 on my website, but send me an e-mail, and I'll send you a link to download my e-book, Grow a Super Salad Garden, at no charge. Read it, use it, and let me know what you think. This offer is going only to my CSA customers (but you can tell a friend if you want)
You can check out the book at this link, but don't buy it there; send me an e-mail and I'll send you the download link.
Grow a Super Salad Garden book
3. The Pro's and Con's of PlasticWe use a lot of plastic on the farm; our outdoor garden beds are covered in plastic film. We protect early crops with a spun polyester fabric called row cover. We use plastic trays for starting plants. And of course, my two greenhouses are covered in plastic.
We had to weigh the pro's and con's of plastic when we got in the market gardening game. The 'con' side is fairly easy to define; IT'S PLASTIC! Non-renewable, unsustainable, land-fillable PLASTIC. It uses petrochemical as a source material,and takes energy to manufacture.
So, why are we using this evil stuff. It come down to choices; or, as the cotton growers say, "the lesser of two weevils" (sorry.) Using plastic film and row cover on our garden beds lets us produce crops earlier in the year, without extra heat required. The plastic film mulch keeps weeds down, no chemicals required. The row cover is an effective barrier against insect pests.
I recently read an analysis by Eliot Coleman (author of The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest, and the Winter Harvest Manual, and my hero) wherein he compared the energy embedded in the plastic on his greenhouse, to the energy required to transport the same crop (in this case, lettuce) from a distant state. He calculated that the energy embedded in the greenhouse at about 1/20 of the energy required to transport the lettuce from 'away'. Food miles, indeed!
Now, we do re-use our plastic mulch film and row cover, and recycle it when it's done. The plastic on my greenhouse is guaranteed for 5 years. And, I will be planting more crops directly in the ground in the greenhouse, to reduce the use of plastic trays and artificial light and heat early in the season. I'm also considering investing in a soil block maker, that avoids the use of plastic plug trays altogether (I found out about these from Eliot,too).
But, (until something better comes along) plastic is apparently the best of some bad choices.
That's it, drop me a line at the e-mail link below with questions or comments, or to request a Super Salad Garden book. Have a happy,
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