7/6/17 - Week 4 - Equipment Purchase

THIS WEEK'S HARVEST: Mixed Summer Squash (Italian Zucchini, Crookneck and Patty Pan) Chioggia/Red Ace/and Golden Beets, Tendersweet Cabbage, Head Lettuces (Romaine, Green and Red Little Gems), Striped Armenian Cucumbers, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Heirloom and New Girl Tomatoes, Cipollini Onions, Hakurei Turnips, Spinach, Mustard Salad Greens, Olympic Red Kale, Dino Kale

U-PICK in the GARDEN: Sugar Snap Peas (still going!), Basil, Cilantro, Savory, Chives, Parsley, Sage, Oregano, Dill, Thymes, Mints, Sorrel, Chamomile, assorted cut flowers (Cosmos, Nasturtium, Bachelor's Buttons, Zinnias, Calendula, Snapdragons, Red Spike Amaranth, Sunflowers, Love-in-a-Mist)

U-PICK from the FARM: Cherry tomatoes (Sungolds on the right when approaching the rows are ripe when deep gold, SuperSweet 100's on the left are ripe when scarlet red)


Of all the strokes of luck your farmers were graced with in the start-up phase of this farm, one firmly in the top five was a large equipment purchase that allowed Kayta and I to get ahold of most of the farm equipment we needed very affordably and in one-fell-swoop. 

A pair of local farmers, early torchbearers of the small farm and local food movement in Sonoma County, had decided to move on to different careers. Through the grapevine, we heard of their equipment sale: Three tractors, wash station equipment, horticultural equipment, hand tools, a farmer's market stand, hoes, seeding trays... their list read like our wish list.  

Furthermore, the farming methods of this duo and their scale were close to what we envisioned experimenting with here, so the tractors and implements in the lot included a key set of relatively rare small farm tools that, when used thoughtfully, can make for a potent soil stewardship and soil building situation. A flail mower... for pulverizing cover crops (aka green manures) into small pieces more readily digested by soil microbial life, feeding soil life and storing carbon in the form organic matter grown on site. Also included was a spader: An Italian tillage implement that digs and then "fluffs" soil rather than inverting it or pulverizing the little aggregations of minerals and organic matter in a clump of soil that are the homes and pathways for soil life. The lot even included an old broad fork, essential in the "bio-intensive" aka "no-till" style we practice in the garden.

Finally, the lot included a converted Allis Chalmers G cultivation (weeding) tractor -- converted from diesel to run electrically off of 4 deep cycle batteries. This tractor will help keep fields clean and free of weeds and weed seeds, you can hear the birds chirping while you're on it, it is light, and, considering how much of our power comes from Sonoma Clean Power (and hopefully someday on site solar) is a pretty cool piece of appropriate technology.

Your farmers are just beginning the process of learning the soils here, the literal lay of the land, how water flows and settles in the winter, and how equipment (or lack thereof) fits in to all of this. But because of that stroke of luck, experiments could begin in earnest starting Season 1. 

Thank you for supporting the journey and we'll see you in the fields,