A little bit of snow is rolling into the valley today, so winter is still here, but the last week of sunny, warm weather got the farm thawing out. Spring is right around the corner and projects are sprouting like weeds. Several tractor implements need work, and we're building a new chicken coop down at the farm this spring. We're re-locating the hoop house which was unused last year, and doing all the usual spring tasks: clearing rocks, spreading manure, discing, spading, planting cover crops.
This year the hoop house will get planted with an assortment of early favorites for the CSA:
tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash as well as a few peppers, eggplants and melons. This should help insure a good supply of early crops. This year we are continuing to focus on the CSA and providing the best supply of veggies. We are extending our season by starting CSA harvest two weeks earlier, and collaborating with a few other local organic/natural producers to fill in possible weak areas.
Another reason we are able to extend our season this year is that for the first time we are going to have early water. Usually our irrigation season begins April 15th, when Fire Mountain Canal is turned on, and we can't count on rain to keep early plantings wet, severely limiting what we can plant early.
This year our neighbor developed his very old water right that provides a huge amount of spring runoff water from Jay Creek. He reestablished the old ditch a few years ago, and this winter he buried a 15" pipe nearly one mile from his property up the his diversion out of the creek. Before installing the pipe, most of his water seeped, overflowed or evaporated before reaching his property, now he'll actually get all his water. This ditch and now pipe also flow directly across our farm property directly beside our large irrigation pond and the new pipes will fill the pond soon after the snow begins to melt. This means we'll be planting early peas, lettuce, spinach, scallions, kale, chois and more some 4-6 weeks earlier than we usually do. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of starting harvest earlier than usual.
If you are interested in joining the CSA this year, we are now offering memberships. The 2009 sign up for is available at the website (turkeyhillcsa.com) and includes all the details, including slightly updated prices. Other than the earlier start and longer harvest season, a few other changes are in store. This year we are offering half share members a new half fruit share. Also new this year we are using re-usable plastic totes for our delivery customers, a $35 refundable deposit is required for two totes. Farm pickup customers can purchase totes if they want to use them or just bring their own containers.
Happy spring, please call if you have any questions.