ANNUAL REPORT ….OVERVIEW 2017
Greetings in this mid-winter /early February, as we prepare and coordinate the Farm Seasons ahead. That includes ourselves, you all, the soils, beds, and budget, and too many other details to mention here.
We will follow what is for us a rather routine procedure at this time of year. We inventory and order seeds, plants, supplies for farm and greenhouse, while also keeping the lights on and the mortgage company happy.
And staying in touch with you all.
We update current year’s prices or share adjustments in the budget, based on actual figures from the last year’s activities. Past years have seen our expenses inch upward, and we try to reflect that in yearly adjustments, including this year.
We then put out this green Subscription Form” to last year’s members, and other interested persons, based on responses from last season CSA, Saturday Farmers Market, as well as our early sign-ups from last fall.
We ask that those wanting the “Spring Garden”, Shares, let us know and pay at least a deposit by March 1.
Those wanting “Summer Season” Shares should sign up, and pay at least a deposit by May 1.
We continue to plan and plant for an abundance in this our 37th year. As of early February, the winter has given us more rain than snow here, though higher reaches have heavy amounts. Irrigation reserves seem to be in good shape, for now.
Temperatures have ranged relatively warm overall, other than several quite low night time stretches in January.
Many fall seeded field crops are in the ground, (we’ll see how well some germinate as we warm up)…. 1000 or so garlic cloves planted last fall should begin to emerge in the coming weeks. Most hoop-house areas, and numerous field beds are seeded. Some cold frame beds are yet to be turned over.
Most field areas were cleaned up last fall, and will be much easier to work in the next months, compared to those we faced last spring. The dry weather gave us time to get more of that done.
We'll again strive to fill in some of the gaps in last season garden production, with protection, coverage, and evolving planting schemes. We'll not promise much again with sweet corn or large pumpkins, perhaps looking to other growers for that.
We'll maintain strong plantings of butternut winter squash, as well as carrots, beets, brassicas, greens, squash, cukes, and tomatoes. Most other production items should remain somewhat similar to past years.
This year should again see a more prolific PV apple crop, as we enter the " bearing year", boosting overall production.
Weather is always a factor in these production areas, but such is the risk (and art) of field / orchard grown agriculture.
We are grateful for last year’s solid PV apricot and plum yields, and hope to repeat that again this season. They are not alternate year bearing as apples.
We’ll lean on fellow fruit growers, Kokopelli Orchards, in Palisade and First Fruits Orchards, Paonia, for larger amounts of cherries, peaches, and other summer /fall fruits.
We’ll continue to work also with one other small local organic vegetable grower, helping to augment our weekly production of tomatoes and cucumbers.
BIRDS and BEES
Bees dropped again in honey production this past season. After replacing all hives in spring 2015, last year saw not much better results.
We have decided to relocate several new hives, for at least a year, see if we can redirect some of the lack of success we have encountered at the current location.
We will work this year, as last year, with Paul Limbach, Western Colorado Honey, and breakdown his larger plastic tubs into glass quarts and pints. Mark on your green sheets if you would like some.
Laying hens and Eggs also seemed to be a bit more steady this year. Perhaps the warmer weather, or timing for getting chicks, have been factors. We’ll have new layers arriving this month to again help us keep egg production strong for the season.
Last season field labor and share pack outs, were accomplished with three full time workers (two owners and one intern), as well as help from eight working members (1/2 day per week) through the 20 week summer/fall season. A lot to coordinate, but lots of great experiences to accompany the work, daily routines, and shared meals.
All these plans, plants, hopes, and schemes, will hopefully translate into bounteous produce …..to make it’s way to our plates by spring and early summer (Spring and Summer Garden).
We’ll plan to keep share numbers similar to the past several years. We have put forward a share price increase of less than 2%. For now, we’ve kept our delivery rates the same, and will hope for gas prices to not go through the roof as we move through the summer. We will also use more of the gas / delivery monies to do more doorstep deliveries.
For those that signed up last fall, your green “Subscription Form” sheets will be filled in with the share items you indicated. Please double check, and make any changes, before returning with payment.
Our goal for CSA has been to empower one and all to become involved in the farms and gardens that feed us, to build family and community security, and to ascertain and insure for ourselves, the quality and nutrition of the foods we eat.
Our model promotes small scale, low tech systems, with emphasis on field grown, seasonally tuned, yet creative, profitable, and accessible operations.
We emphasize the value, of small, independently owned farms, and how to be productive, profitable, and sustainable.
We know that large, corporate, high tech, “industrial organic” operations will continue to fill a role in our local and national food scene.
We simple prefer to keep strong our local sources of all types of production.
Numerous alternatives exist in the local food arena that were not available years ago. We realize being a part of our CSA requires upfront commitment and weekly engagement through the production seasons. Not all easily accomplished in our fast paced world.
We are grateful for your past participation in building the local, small farm revival. We hope your experience was palatable, satisfying, and worth repeating!
These ideas and ideals may represent something of your own. We welcome your participation in the coming farm seasons. Please feel free to call or email us back with any questions, comments, or concerns.
WHAT ELSE ?
Don't forget our yearly Spring Equinox Gathering and Open House, Sunday, March 19, from 1-6 PM. Modified potluck, some meats, drinks, and vegetable dishes provided. Space limited, please RSVP, by Mar 17.
New grandbaby expected in March, so don’t wait too long to be in touch with anything Gail related ….books, shares, working memberships, included.
Our shingle is out for farm intern(s) for 2017. Information and forms are all on line……
Thanks to Tom Patierno for a great year of hard work as our 2016 apprentice. We wish you much success in the travels and adventures that lie ahead.
Some working member positions are full for the coming season, but definite need continues for Tuesday, Friday, field help, and driving runs. Information also online.
Subscription form also available online if you prefer doing it electronic. It works this year!!
Of course you are always welcome to join us for some of the work, for lunch, or both, as we continue garden work in the next weeks to come.
Ken and Gail Kuhns
Peach Valley CSA Farm
3465 Peach Valley Road
Silt, Colorado 81652
Phone: (970) 876-2850