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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beekeeper leaks EPA document

If you eat you must watch this because without the honey bee and the wild bees we will lose most of our fruits-apples, peaches, squash, melons, berries, etc., as well a a lot of other crops that are dependent on insects to pollinate their flowers. Write the EPA and tell them to do real science again and quit buying conventionally raised food that uses the very chemicals that are killing the bees (and these same chemicals are killing us, just a lot more slowly)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How To Find real Food at a Super Market

This is a fun little article  How to Find real Food at the Super Market Flow Chart
Of course if you shop our farm, join our CSA, shop at a farmers market (but stay away from the processed foods), grow your own you would not need this flow chart. but since the vast majority of us living in the modern western world do indeed make use of the industrial food stream at least periodically this is good (and rather entertaining) information to have.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011: The Main Seed Order

Yesterday Eugene and I sat down in front of the computer with several seed catalogues and proceeded to do our main seed order for 2011. This year we ordered from Fedco, Johnny's and Baker Creek. We will likely order some more seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and Dixondale (they do nothing but onion and leek plants and we have heard great things about them and after 15 years of starting our own onions, scallions, leeks and shallots from seed we are thinking about trying seedlings and see what happens).

Here is what we have ordered so far. You won't see many lettuce or tomato seeds in these orders as we save most of what we grow from our own stock, same with yellow and red onions, popcorn, arugula and many other things. And, of course, we have left over seed that is still viable from last year and years before that. But this does give you a fairly good account as to what we plan to plant this year. for the complete list see our

FEDCO Seeds
Jade Bush Green Bean
Maxibel Bush Haricots Verts OG
Golden Gopher Muskmelon
Sunsweet Watermelon
Crimson Sweet Watermelon OG
Halona Muskmelon
Peace Watermelon
Dark Star Watermelon
Super Zagross Middle Eastern Slicing Cucumber
Telegraph Improved European Cucumber
Cocozelle Zucchini
Carnival Acorn Winter Squash
Zeppelin Delicata Winter Squash OG
Sunshine Winter Squash
Yellowstone Carrot
Arat Root Parsley
Gilfeather Turnip
King Sieg Leek OG
Ailsa Craig Onion
Space Spinach
Olympia Spinach
Tyee Spinach OG
Giant Winter Spinach
Flashy Green Butter Oak Lettuce OG
Bright Lights Chard
Champion Collards
Red Russian Kale OG
Winterbor Kale
Diamond Eggplant
Purple Beauty Sweet Pepper
Revolution Sweet Pepper
Valencia Sweet Pepper


Johnny's Selected Seeds
Flavorburst Peppers  Sweet Bell
Lipstick (OG) Peppers
Merlin  Beets
Green Magic Broccoli
TendersweetCabbage
Purple Haze Carrots
Atomic Red- Carrots
White Satin Carrots
Bolero Carrots
Nadia Eggplant
Javelin  Parsnips   
D'Avignon-Radish Long French 
Easter Egg- Radish
Discovery  Daikon   
Emu Spinach
Costata Romanesco Zucchini
Waltham Butternut
Tatsoi
Kyona Mizuna


Baker Creek Seeds

Charentais Melon
Red-Seeded Asparagus Bean
Valencia Winter Melon
Raspberry Lyanna Tomato
Striped Roman Tomato

Monday, January 10, 2011

Decisions

Eugene  showing Doug Randolph, new manager of the MOON Co-op, spring mix in a hoophouse


On Thursday we had a visit from Doug Randolph the manager of the MOON Co-op which is set to open in early April. The MOON Co-op will be offering as much locally sourced food as it can find so Doug is visiting the farms from which they will be buying which is a great thing. He is both verifying his sources and developing a relationship with us farmers so that all parties have the best experience possible.

We have been patiently waiting for this co-op to open for at least 10 years, maybe 11. Long ago there was an OEFFA chapter called the Miami Whitewater chapter and that became the Miami Oxford Organic Network or MOON. in the beginning we were a group of OEFFA members, mainly farmers who got together once a month and shared food and talked about issues pertaining to Organic food and farming. It was a pretty loose group that over time became more coalesced and changed direction from a group that had monthly potluck dinner meetings with no real direction but the connection of Organic/sustainable food and farming to a group with a new direction-creating a cooperatively owned natural food store (this is quite different from a privately owned health food store though they may look very similar) that will provide the Oxford, OH area with an alternative to the other grocery stores around. Gone were the monthly dinners for us Boulder Beltians as the change in direction meant a big change in the potluck dinners-they were phased out quickly.  But now on the horizon was a potentially fantastic market for us. So when Harv Roehling asked us if we wanted to buy a share of the co-op we got out our checkbook, cut a check and bought a share. Than we waited and waited some more. For the entire story (and more) go to the MOON Website

So now we have to adjust our planting plans a bit. We were well aware that the co-op would open sometime this coming spring for sometime but had no real idea how much food they would need. It turns out they will likely need a lot. But they will not need a lot of everything we grow. They will need a lot of say, 15 things we grow (we generally grow 60 different crops). Looks like they want spring mix and garlic so far and I am sure they will come up with other needs. We seem to be enjoying success with the Farm Share Initiative as well this year. So far we are way ahead of where we were last year at this time with our membership. We have 8 paid members and many more interested in joining. This time last year we had 1 paid member and not a great deal of interest until March. I hope we are sold out by March this year.

What this means for us, being a small farm run by 2 people, is we have pretty finite resources-we can only grow so much and between the FSI and the Co-op we just might sell everything and that means we have a 3rd market that we may have a hard time filling-the farmers market. So we either have to make the hard decision to cut back on the farmers market in the future (probably not this year, though) or go the expansion route and figure how to grow and harvest more.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Organic Census

I was reading America By The Numbers in the NYT and saw that Organic acreage has increased 170% since 2000. In 2008 there were 4.8 million acres in the USA which makes up .7% of total US farmland.

Of course this is only the certified Organic farmland, there is likely about the same amount of acreage of Organically managed but not certified farmland out there and if that is the case than we have almost a 2% share of all the farming done in the USA.

We can do better.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The New Food Safety Law

For better or worse we have a new Food Safety Law that gives the FDA more power over part of our food supply. I am happy to say this bill was signed by President Obama with all the small farm exemptions left in so Boulder Belt Eco-Farm should not be affected by this new law

This is what Jill over at La Vida Locavore has to say about it all
http://www.lavidalocavore.org/diary/4375/food-safety-bill-signed-into-law