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Friday, December 23, 2005

The Plastics Order

Rowcovers on the ground surrounded by hoophouses. Both row covers and hoophouses allow us to grow in some pretty bad conditions and get better quality and yields in good conditions but they are made from PLASTICS, which are not sustainable

It's Solstice week meaning we in the north have the shortest photo periods of the year but at the same time the sun is as close as it will get to us. Does that make summers in the southern hemisphere just that much more hotter than in the north?

For solstice week we got busy getting orders for farm stuff together. We got our first order of the 2006 season (and ironically our last order of 2005) phoned into Nolt's Produce Supply (Amish outfit, no web-presence) on Monday. About $2,000 worth of plastics for hoophouses, landscape mulch and AG-30 row covers. In the past we have ordered about $500 worth of plastics from this company but they had an ominous note on the cover of their newest catalogue suggesting the price of plastic will sky rocket Jan 1st. Plus they give an 6% discount to everyone who orders before the first of the year.

Because this new farm has a hell of a lot more storage space than the old farm we decided to order more than we will need this season (hopefully). I believe this will save us about $500 bucks in the next couple of years on shipping and plastic prices. This will also buy us a bit of time while we figure out how to farm using without using as much plastic.

You see over the years this sustainable farm has started using less than sustainable practices and it is now the time to reassess our sustainability. We need to grow a lot more op/Heirloom crops, we need to cut the use of plastics dramatically (and how we will be able to make lightweight moveable hoophouses is a mystery) and we need to get off the power grid. And when we do these things than we can feel more honest about using the term sustainable.

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