1. Pick up and shuck chestnuts, shuck all the easy ones in the gray cooler. throw out small nuts and ugly ones always.
2. Make 50 one lb bags of nuts using the red net bags. Write $7 on each.
3. Move and spread wood chips to the main entrance area next to the water trough.
4. Wash and trim sweet potato @ $2/lb for the yellow sales cooler. Make price sign.
5. Bring golf cart loads of chips to the creamery office building to put around the parking lot trees.
6. Refresh the onion lugs, throw out bad ones and slough off loose layers.
In the last few days we have had many chestnut harvesters. I think they are climbing the trees to shake down the nuts.. nuts are being taken from 40' high branches. Just when I don't feel like climbing , I am happy.
The cash box included two Ben Franklin $100 bills, who seemed to get along with Washington and Hamilton. Someday, we may be making a political statement by the people we keep ....in our wallets.
Our broccoli in row 16 or so, is starting to make heads.
Nuts in bloom last july 4.
Choy, kohlrabi, cilantro, kale, arugula, sorrel, daikon, parsnips, hot peppers, are ready for picking.
Sunset Farm : 20 Brigham Lane , Amherst ,Ma 01002
413-374 5193 bill's cell
1. Check for nuts on the ground in the chestnut field. Several hundred dollars of nuts were harvested by the Turks over the weekend so we might be all done as for new nuts.
2. Shuck the 8 lugs of nuts in the gray cooler, put ten one lb bags of nuts in the yellow sales cooler jhouse. $7 each / Write that in big letters on the paper label attached to each bag. Keep the yellow cooler stocked now with 8 lbs.
3. Move wood chips with the yesdeere loader to the winter berry row, this row is at the west side of where we tried to grow corn. Make chips 6" deep at least 2' on each side of the row.
4. As soon as the onion sets arrive, plant them 4000 asap. They might be here today. (they will be delivered to my house) Instructions include, 1" deep.
5. Be sure there is a full lug of sweet potatoes in the yellow sales cooler, wash and trim them.
6. Make the onion lugs attractive by moving them one by one from one lug to another, shucking off loose skins and throwing away idiosyncratic misfits . Make a beautiful display of onions you like at the yellow sales cooler.
7. Pick a lug of green peppers if they are there.
8. Pick leeks in row 63. Be gentle so as to not bruise the main trunk of the leek at the base. trim the leaves off "crisply" in one straight line at least 6' above the white base. Put them in the yellow sales cooler house.
While at the cape yesterday I saw a sign for GARLIC, I think the cape would be a good place for the english/irish weather loving garlic. But, you have to keep them "clean " cultivated. You have to be there. If there ever was a good market though..the cape is green, no dried yellow grass, this year.
1. Pick up nuts.
2. Shuck nuts that are easy, they are stored in the gray cooler. Key is in the Hussein drawer in the shed.
3. Place wood chips both sides of the winterberry row with the yesdeere.
4. Water seedlings in the greenhouse.
5. Let’s surprise bob by cleaning his yesdeere.
6. Fill golf cart with chips and dump them around the parking lot trees at the creamery office building 150 fearing St
7. Set traps for chucks at row 65 north end and row 55 south end.
8. 20 lbs ..4000 onion sets will be shipped this week. They are to be planted 1” deep no deeper, and 4” apart in the row, three rows to a plastic row.
The van being loaded for market: cilantro, parsnips, okra, hot peppers.
Next year: plant more beans, find out if neem or pyrethrum will control bean beetles.
Plant a second crop after the peas are done.
Plant two adjoining rows of okra, plant a second seeding of carrots.
Plant more squash all kinds cover them as soon as they have germinated.
Plant same amount of leeks..which I thought was way too much…plant them in the chestnut field where the deer and chucks reign.
Plant three rows of potatoes again but spray them once the beetle eggs are laid.
Plant successive seedlings of champion radish.
Plant lettuce seedlings when we plant choy.
What to plant in chestnut field? Items not too bothered by varmints: Leeks, onions, peppers ,hot peppers, eggplant ,basil, maybe potatoes, some tomatoes.
I don’t know where to do corn, if at all. Because of the raccoons.
Last night 'til dark with lights on, the turkish chestnut harvested, dropped, and shucked nuts. They got plenty by climbing the trees and shaking the branches. Who knows how many they left on the ground in the dark, I will find out as soon as I have showered and shaved. Jason got comfortable with the "yesdeere" hauling wood chips from a big pile on Brigham Lane to the blueberry bushes in row 50. Then, I drove it to the gas station and pumped almost 8 gal diesel fuel. We will also mulch our winterberries in row 81 and out driveways along brigham Lane with the same stuff. When you are running into a pile with the front end loader, happiness is a full bucket : wood chips are the best they fill and flow. So nice to learn a skill again.
1. Tour the chestnut grove, pick up nuts and also bring back the three extension rods (before you drive over them)
2. Shuck easy shuckers that are stored in the gray cooler put them in lugs, they need air. Bag them in the red net 1 lb bags. Need three full lugs of bagged nuts. Elayne, I like to make a mountain of 1 lb nut bags front and center on a stand table, out of the lugs, just one big exuberant display. And yes they will keep till Christmas in your crisper drawer. I remember too more than once we have been told that they were forgotten and by spring they had rooted trees ready to plant, in the crisper drawer. I don't know what to expect if you do plant them, since they were sold to us on grafted root stock. See the "Chestnut Hill Nursery " website in Alachua Florida.
3. Harvest choy and cut vertically into 3 or 4 pieces, cleaned to taste and ready for the bagger folks. Be sure they are stunningly crisp, clean and fresh.. seductive. Do two full lugs of pieces.
4. Harvest two lugs of arugula and make red rubber-banded bouquets. Do the same with cilantro and sorrel.
5. Hand sprinkle a band of nitrogen fertilizer on one side of each of our three rows of spring spinach.
The broccoli, brussel sprout, cauliflower rows next to the plastic row for onions.
UM students in forest agriculture class shucking nuts and using a long telescoping pole to knock them down. Later our Turkish customers showed how it is best done: they climbed the trees and shake, rattle and rolled.
The second row of plastic for onion sets was placed last night with Robert Cyr directing and acting. It is not straight.. that was my independence as I was steering.
Several lugs of nuts were knocked down and stored . They will be shucked .. and more knocked down today with the help of a 24 student UM class.
1. Restore electric fence wires in upper and willow fields.
2. Move wood chips using the yesdeere front loader to the winterberry row #81 and row #50 blueberries. The pile at the top of the hill is on Church property. I would like to get it moved and reseed the grass. Any handwork is done with the mulch forks, we have two or three.
3. Wash and trim a lug of sweet potatoes put them in the yellow cooler not the gray cooler.
4. Dig and trim another lug of leeks. Pick the big ones this time. Jason did a lug yesterday but it has mostly sold. They are in row 63 or so.
5. Any okra left? Pick it.
6. Pick and bind with red rubber bands 6 Kohlrabi and put inside the yellow cooler with a price: $2.50 each. I looked up the price online. Do not cut off the leaves except for ugly ones.
A chestnut hit me in the face..not something I expected would never happen a few years ago. Shuguang had a tube of anti biotic in her car for me which worked fast. So wear hats with wide brims when hitting nuts.
The blue casting that carries the rear set of cultivators is broken. Bob Cyr will find a replacement on the web for the Farmall part... next to that are 10 file cabinets I am giving away...I will provide yellow van, you provide labor.
Next stop will be the dump and I will be the labor. I am putting that off. Hoping.
Sunset Farm : 20 Brigham Lane , Amherst ,Ma 01002
413-374 5193 bill's cell
Yesterday Jason and I laid a plastic row in the 40's for the onion sets. The first 80' were truly ugly as I didn't remember that the plastic roll had to be close to the ground. Once that was corrected the rest of the row was unbelievably beautiful. We will have to shovel cover over the edges of the first part.
We have to do the new row #19 but I worry that the ground will be too soft due to the frequent rain.
1. Pick up chestnuts
2. Water seedlings in the greenhouse
3. Trim the sweet potatoes stored in the greenhouse cut off the squirrel damage
4. Dig -- don't pull-- up leeks from row 63 or so -
5. Replace the electricity to the spinach rows.
Make one lb red net bags of nuts-- I will put a 5 gal pail of good nuts in the cooler, use them.
Write $7 on each label. Put 4 bags in the yellow cooler. Leave the rest in the gray cooler.
Pictures of Jason, cultivating the spring spinach rows yesterday, using the farmall.
1. Harvest nuts, knock down burs with cracks put all in lugs and into the gray cooler.
2. Hoe the three spinach rows, just do within 4" of the spinach each side, I will cultivate the aisles and everything else with the farmall cultivator.. I have been waiting for the rain to stop. The farmall might get stuck as well as be difficult to keep shallow enough as the tractor wheels will sink further into the ground.
3. Weedwack the winter berries down below the corn in the chestnut field. Then place wood chips around the winterberries using the front loader to move the piles of wood chips.
4. Help me install the mulch layer on the yesdeere tractor. We need two rows of mulch set with tapes before the onion sets arrive.
5. Make a burn pile about 4' high of branches in the eggplant field. Set at the north end of the rows on bare ground. We will start burning this week.
6. Install the white latticework panel over the glass at the yellow hut for wreath display.
7. Put wood chips around row 50 blueberries too. Use the loader to do that.
Does anyone want a black two-drawer file cabinet? I have 10 to get rid of from my old life. See picture. I emptied them but have left the pendaflex frame and empty folders in. You can use my van, if local. Come a revolution we may have to go back to paper, manila file folders, id tabs: will people have the time, or the will, to file? Or better yet will anyone be able to find what they filed?
Sunday we got the manure spreader on and fertilized two rows 3' side for a plastic mulch, biodegradable of course, these are for onion sets and scallions.
Monday we will try to lay the plastic.
1. Knock down and pick up chestnuts.
2. Shuck nuts that are in four lugs in the gray cooler.
3. It is supposed to be a misty noreaster week...perfect for a burn of the branches we have accumulated at the northeast corner of the farm. I will get a permit and let you know.
4. I hope to cultivate the three new spinach rows with the Farmall.
Our stand at the market 1st Saturday, included flowers, eggplants, arugula, cilantro, sweet potato, onions, peppers all kinds, leeks, choy, parsnips, parsley, kohlrabi ,kale, chestnuts.
Our spreader above saves so much work. and the kale is doing very well. It was cherry picked for market on Saturday.
We should have had beets and squashes, beans ... operator (my) error. Soon we will have new broccoli and cauliflower and a ton of nuts.
Having left the architecture business, March 2020, it doesn't miss me, I could have been playing farmer for the past 50 years. Working at Sunset Farm, no one wants to know what I am going to grow next year..they are probably afraid to ask. I liked calling Barry Roberts (our town's developer) for more manure from his daughter's horse farm... so he knows that I am not planning on retiring from this trade, since the manure is next year's fertilizer.
A new wide row for plastic has been prepared at row 18 the first row uphill of the peonies. Shuguang rototilled it see the photo attached and I spread a load of good horse manure over it. This will be a row of 2000 onion sets for harvest next May.
I have to do another row since we are getting another 2000 red onions sets.
We will also be picking up chestnuts . We have two lugs full in the gray cooler which are unshucked so we can do that too.
The old manure spreader connected to the old 8N ford, a look at the plops on the row and Shuguang rototilling. She is just passed a Baptisia false indigo bush.
Today we knocked down several lugs of chestnuts all from trees 26, 28 and 29. We used the new 24' extension
pole and I also bought another. I picked up 10 50 lb bags of fertilizer 5-10-10 and 10-10-10 in anticipation of planting 20 lbs of onion sets ... about 4000 plants this fall. We will also seed some scallions at the same time for overwintering. All will be planted thru biodegradable black plastic and irrigated with a drip tape. I set up an account at Nutrien (not t)
a nation -wide distributor of fertilizer. Mostly so they will know I am tax exempt and I will know what I used for fertilizer last year.
There was a group of Turkish people at the farm this afternoon . They picked about 30 lbs of chestnuts and will be back next week. After they left more came since they had texted friends about it. I forgot that last year they also harvested collards and I later discovered that they had picked a bushel of broccoli leaves thinking they were collards.
They did the same this year! The Broccoli will survive but the yield will be reduced. You can see the leaves snapped off.
I was so pleased with the neem oil spray which took care of the cabbage loopers. The leaves looked good enough to eat... so that is what happened.
This is cilantro which will be bunched with red rubber bands for Saturday's market. Cilantro does very well in the fall.
In addition we have two lugs of leeks, and a lug of big parsnips.
Friday morning we should pick up nuts and knock down any the ripened over night. All nuts shall be shucked and packed in red 1 lb net bags .
More eggplant is needed as well as more peppers.
Do a lug of rhubarb too. Pull row 50 rhubarb stalks.
1. Pick up chestnuts, knock down the burs (husks) that are open, put them in the cooler . Don't bother opening them further now.
2. Harvest sweet potatoes, put them in the greenhouse.
October 7 next Thursday at 2:30 UM will bring 24 AG students to help harvest nuts. They will also shuck the nuts in the cooler. Right now we have one full lug of nuts.
I also ordered 20 lbs of red and white onion sets to be planted right away and harvested next April. We will have to set a row of plastic down for that. We will have 1000 onion sets of red and white.
1. Harvest all the sweet potatoes. Store them in the greenhouse
2. Knock down ripe nuts and pick up fallen nuts , we have about ten lbs so far. use a wrench to open and extend the plastic tree pruning handle, Use it to hit branches so the nuts fall.
3. I will order some onion sets for planting this fall. We will harvest them in April, I hope. We will plan them next to the b spouts about row 19.
Glad to see the spinach has been electro protected. I moved the one baptisia bush out the aisle at row 20, next year all the aisles will be clear for weekly cultivation.
The chestnuts are beginning to open Two trees have dropped nuts 29 and about #20 at the southeast corner of the growing field next to the white eggplants.
A chicken question answer: How long will a hen sit to lay an egg? They lay one a day, but the time laying varies from day to day bird to bird 15 min to 2 hours.
1. Walk the chestnut grove, now down nuts that have "cracks in their husks" at trees 28 and 29
2. Run the brush hog under the grass to the east of the hydrant. At trees 28, 29 use the little mower and cut down the grass under any tree that needs it.
3. Weed wack under the electric fence wires on the west side of the fenced rows.
4. Pull the drip tape out of the eggplant rows.
5. New idea for the spinach rows: set a single strand of elec wire over the center of each row: Set them about 6" above the ground and nothing else. I think this should take care of the wood chucks and deer. Why didn't I think of this before?
7. Use hand loppers to trim remaining shrubs and vines at the base of the willows.
Questions I need to answer for our egg customers: How long does it take an egg to get laid? Should I wait?
What time do they do they lay them?
How many eggs a day now?
how old are they? How long will they lay ?
How will I replace them?
I will research this as soon as it rains during the day. (and I am not napping)
1. Dig a lug of parsnips.
2. Dig at least three more lugs of sweet potatoes, "Beauregard." It has been 100 days since they were planted.
3. Go to chestnut tree 29 (at the northeast corner of the field) and shake nuts down pick up the still loaded husks as well as any that fell out. That is always the first tree to drop nuts. Put the nuts in a lug and put it in the gray cooler right away.
Yesterday harrowing the entire farm was completed. Now we must get the sweet potatoes out before frost. The sweet potatoes are vertical in the ground and connected by a clothesline-thick root. Many are more than 2" in diameter. We will have a ton. We cooked one tonight - I loved it because it was not sweet.
They will get sweeter by sitting on a shelf in 80 degree temp and hi humidity for two weeks. That can be done by putting lugs of them under the benches in the greenhouse. But I prefer them fresh out of the ground. There was no mention online of the nibbling they endure from squirrels, since it is vertically growing it is just a few bites off the end, easily chopped off and still too much left to eat in one meal.
Sunset Farm : 20 Brigham Lane , Amherst ,Ma 01002
413-374 5193 bill's cell
Photo of an aisle with rye seeds scattered on it before and after being disk harrowed, The disk harrow weighs 700 lbs, you can change it's aggressiveness by changing the angles of the disks (the pitch) and you can also shorten the top hitch to make the front set of scalloped disks dig in more. Unlike other tools, this tool does not get tangled up by the roots and trash. I disked to plant the rye seeds.
The green row on the left side of the center photo has parsnips. We will dig some for this weekend's market. Many will be dug next April.They will be more than 12" long. I don't want to sound like I know all about cooking, but soups always started with parsnips in Gertrude's (Connie's Mom) recipes.
The diskhrrow squeals and creaks ( like the BMT's sea beach express as it changed direction after crossing the manhattan bridge: I remember covering my ears) My harrows might be about the same age at the subway train too) I don't cover my ears at the farm. Time to force in some grease: you think?
1. We will dig and clean up 2 full lugs of leeks. They are very good this year.
2. The last of the yukon gold was dug, Several people remarked that Yukon Gold is the best... none was French.
3. Tomorrow we continue harrowing that will take all day. The entire cultivated area of the farm was spread with winter rye on Wednesday and the seeds have to be worked a bit into the soil to grow. It took 5, 56 lb bags (bushels) of rye. The rye was grown in Canada.
4. Spray the broccoli, kale with its second neem oil cover to stop the cabbage looper.
5. Do a real dig at the row 62 sweet potatoes. Let's see if we got any the size of a bratwurst, enough with the finger sizes. Dig a 12" trench about 12" wide too deep across a row ..about 4' The vines look healthy and in places dense enough to shade out the weeds.
6. I will go to tractor supply for a load of chicken feed. I call ahead, tell them I am Sunset Farm and tax exempt and ...84, when I get there they are ready to load me up. I get about 10 bags and keep them in my basement out of the squirrel zone and in the dry. A bag lasts a couple of weeks. We have 13 mature egg laying hens..
7. In anticipation of heavy rain possible on Friday ... let's cut a full lug of arugula and cilantro. In another week we will have new Kale.
1. We are trimming and storing in the gray cooler all the onions. Throw imperfects out. In the greenhouse, we will stack one set of benches on top of the other at the west side so as to make more room to walk around. After the space is cleaned and vacc'd let the wreaths begin.
2. Pick at least three full lugs of perfect large peppers big ones put them under cover in the gray cooler too.. they have to be harvested before the bugs do it for us.
3. I picked up 5 bushels of rye seed yesterday ($20 per 56 lb bushel) at Nutrien in South Deerfield. We will use our new white drop spreader to apply it to all the fields. Then we will run the disc harrows over it to embed the seeds... they must be disked or no sprout. In the spring we will spread the manure and plow.
4. The photo below is the best way to display our joi choy, do not put in plastic bags. Do put the red rubber bands around to keep branches from breaking. Start harvesting tomorrow and put them in the cooler. Harvest a lug today for our yellow cooler. Put them inside with a price $4/ head (they are much larger now maybe too large) and might need to be cut into two bundles. Display them as shown. We will pack 3 lugs full for the market.
5. When Connie comes down this am, work with her on Gomphrena cutting! Everyone stop what you are doing and help her gather the gomphrena for bouquets. Work with her because Connie has very specific standards as to how to do it and what to cut.
6. Shuguang saves the chicken feed bags for use by people who would like to take some manure ($3). They are next to the sign file in the phyllis shed. They will also be good for chestnuts in their prickly husks (those will be $3/ lb for husks with nuts in them). Loose nuts out of the husk are $5/lb and if we pick and husk them they are at the stand for $7/ lb. in one lb bags. Chickenfeed bags with festive graphics filled with manure or chestnuts make perfect presents too.
I am sending this to our Maine-born neighbor Charles Heffernan so he can forward it to grandchild Hannah who is farming in Maine.
We are looking for info about flail mowers, would a flail type do a better job on our dead rows and bordering meadows? Any comments?
1. Clean and trim onions, throw away the soft and or ugly ones. Littles ones are good. Put them in shallow lugs in the gray cooler
2. Pick several lugs of big sweet peppers. Put them under cover in the gray cooler too
3. Continue to weedwack the blueberries and rhubarb in row 50. Cut out the weeds and vines that have grown into the blueberries.
5. Clean greenhouse and bring down the wreath making supplies and equipment from the gray house basement
We need to clean up and organize the buckets. I would like to try out using the pressure washer on them.
Once the grappler is replaced with the bucket loader on the "yesdeere", we will be placing wood chips under the blueberries and on the main farm drives off of Brigham Lane and we will start moving the manure. We also spread leaves using the manure spreader :maybe it would be better to spread the leaves, then the manure on top of them or should we try spreading the manure now, disking and sowing rye for the winter? The rye won't be well established before the snow but will have sprouted.
Spreading the manure in the spring is also possible as is the likelihood of getting stuck in the mud. With the current, above normal rain, getting stuck in the spring is a fact. What to do?? Maybe we should leave our large pile of manure undisturbed till we are plowing in the spring and apply it just before we plow. We don't plow till it is dry enough for the soil to be worked ...I like that idea.
So My plan now will be to spread rye seeds today and disk/harrow in what is seeded. Then in a month spread leaves, in April spread the manure and plow. The willow field and deerfield can be plowed earliest, then the upperfield, then, in May, plow the wet chestnut field. The wet chestnut field is great in dry seasons and for late planted crops like corn, beans, eggplant, pepper provided we can keep the deer and the woodchucks away.
We moved..or mostly Bob moved, the coop to the winter home. Issac stretched 6x6 netting over the whole yard to keep the chickens in and the hawks out.I will put a clip board in the corn barrel so we will know if the chickens have been fed that day.I have to search my basement for the heat girdle for the 5gal water pail.The big red tractor is back and is fully operational now. Bob will see if he can pull our plow thru a row of the old vineyard..or do we have to hire a company to pull the big woody roots..sumacs, multi flora rose and hawthorns...as we did last spring.We will rake leaves later this week after more leaves are down. Now that we have done the edges and found the fallen branches, the leaf raking should be easier.We need to read up on peonies. Connie would like to make a new peony row, shall we dig up what we have or buy now roots do we do that now or next spring...stay tuned for the answers to the farm's important questions.We don't need the refrigerator in the shed...do you know someone who wants one? Anyone?Bill Gillen. 413 374 5193 cell
Please take yellow van and a few empty tubs and leaf rake to 401 main st where my office is.A tenant has raked leaves in the back and made about ten piles!Fill the tubs, dump them in the woods at the south edge of the parking lotPull weeds from the pachysandra bed along sunset Ave at the creamery office building.The tall Woody weeds should be obvious..not a big job.When issac comes ...usually Friday afternoon, he should drag any remaining vineyardPoles to the pole pile. If Noelia is there at that time, work with issac doing that.We are not going to the market anymore .BillBill Gillen. 413 374 5193 cell
1. If several people are present, hitch the vineyard posts to the gray tractor and drag them three and four at a time to the post pile near the greenhouse.2. Apply the second sowing of rye over the willow field, unless it has already been done twice.3. Rake leaves at the fearing st side of the creamery, make piles that can be loaded into the manure spreader and spread on the willow field.4. Bring the chestnut husks to the compost pile.Bill Gillen. 413 374 5193 cell
1. The deer ate spinach yesterday, if there is enough left to cut for Saturday's market do it today, before they take the rest.2. Shuck the nuts in the cooler, put them in the refrigerator "A" in our basement.3. Spread rye again at the sunset fields.4. Rake leaves at the front of 136 sunset, do not rake leaves out of the pachysandra ground cover but do all the rest, I will load them and spread them at the farm at 5pm.Bill Gillen. 413 374 5193 cell
1. Feed the chickens.
2. Take the lugs of dahlias and shovel over them wood chips from our big pile then put the lugs with the dahlias and chips in the 24 SP st basement. Stack them up.
3. Then rake the leaves off the grass in our back yard. Make a couple of piles . Also rake the leaves from our north side driveway and make a couple of big piles, one in front of our garage. If the manure spreader is free at noon, I will show you how we fill it and spread the leaves in the field. Put the piles where we can get to them with the tractor both at the curved front driveway and below the house, but don't block the road.
1. Put corn in the feed barrel at the chicken coop. Feed some to them.
2. Learn how to use the new seed spreader and spread rye seed on all the sunset fields. Learn how to use the spreader and how to limit the spread and the density of the seeding. Practice in the middle of the field till you learn, do not get seeds where we don't want them or we will be pulling rye weeds all next summer! We have a open bag of seeds in the yellow van and two more bags in the basement. That is more than enough for everything at sunset ave.
3. Do not let seeds fall on the perennial flower rows by the shed, the spinach rows, the rhubarb or the strawberries. You can spread them right over the top of the chard, kale, brussels sprouts and sorrel.
4. Put the two tubs of dahlia roots that are next to the big farm scale, in our basement, they will be killed if there is a frost tonight. Tomorrow we will process them for winter storage.
5. The internet instructions say dry out the bulbs for a week before storing them. So, do not put them in our basement, put them in black lugs as complete bunches, don't separate the bulbs, and put them in the greenhouse. In a week later, we will fill the airspaces in the lugs with wood chips and store the stacked lugs at 24 s property st where they won't freeze.
Bill Gillen. 413 374 5193 cell
1. Walk thru the chestnut field first, as early as possible, and pick up nuts. As soon as we have some winds there will be a lot to pickup.
Do number 8 next!!
2. Pick up ALL wood stakes, stack them in the pile on the WEST side of the greenhouse. Pull off the strong 6x6 plastic mesh and roll it on a tomato stake. This is true for the flower rows left in the willow field. Most of the 6x6 is biodegradable. That stuff we will mow over, but the strong stuff can't be mowed and may be reused.
3. We are leaving the flowers that are in bloom, in case they put out new blooms this warm week.
4. We have the rye seed, I hope to receive the new seed spreader this week so we can plant rye.. when we do, do not get any seed on the strawberries, or the perennial rows.
Or the rhubarb rows.
5. Remove plastic in the willow field and the swimming pool field, using the red tractor. Put the plastic in tubs destined for a dumpster.
6. Open nut husks in the gray cooler as they dry, open only the easy ones, throw away very small husks, that will have a pea sized nut, these are garbage. Put the open nuts in a bucket and put in the silver refrigerator A in our basement.
Nuts in the husk are for sale at the farm: $2.50 per pound.
7. Use the bolt cutter, remove the wires from the next row of the old vineyard.
Cut the wires at each pole so they are about 20' long. Roll up the wires and put cable tie on them to keep them tight. We must get every wire out .
8. In the trunk of the blue car there is a bag of calcium nitrate which we use once a year to fertilize the spinach. Use it to side dress our three spinach rows, do not put it directly on the spinach, put it next to it. Use a hammer to break up any clumps in the bag.
Wear thin plastic gloves .
9. Mow down the peppers and eggplant at univ drive.
Mow down the okra too.
10. Connie hopes to make arrangements in hollowed out pumpkins this weekend.(if we have flowers)
Bill Gillen. 413 374 5193 cell
1. Walk around the trees and pick up nuts.
2. Cut and clean up celosia ...the brain flowers... put in the gray cooler on a shelf. Pick at least six buckets of them.
3. Stack all the wood stakes next to the greenhouse on the west side..be extremely neat in doing so. Stack full size ones, in its stack at the southeast corner of the greenhouse.
4. Pick long thin Asian eggplants at univ drive put in yellow cooler..we are getting a deep frost this weekend so this is the last pick.
5. Pick hot peppers put in yellow cooler.
6. Pick the quart or so of tomatillos from the willow field, then mow the field and lift the plastic, we will bring plastic to the dumpsters on Saturday.
7. I will get rye seed for sunset farm today.
8. Fill six tubs with manure from the old pile at university drive and dump them at the 401 main st office vegetable patch. It should be light and easy to handle it is two years old. You will need to use the yellow van.
1. Tour the chestnut field and pick up drops first thing today, before the squirrels get there.
2. Shuck easy nuts that are in the cooler, just open the burs that have opened a bit and return the closed ones to the cooler. Hide the nuts on the high shelf in the yellow cooler. We need to save them for the market.
3. Put the gladiola bulbs that you stored, somewhere in the shed, in my basement, we cannot allow them to freeze, put them in lugs. Use the blue car if the van is gone.
4. I will set two 4x4's on the grass next to the west side of the greenhouse retaining wall for the short stakes, stack them neatly there and cover them with a tarp. All stakes will be stacked neatly and separated . The long perfect ones will be where they are stacked now and all the short ones will be lined up and stacked around the corner of the greenhouse. Both will be covered.
5. Remove the six by six netting everywhere. Put it in the barrel for the dumpster.
6. Dump a lug of dried corn into the feed barrel at the chicken yard so we can use it to feed our eggless chickens..molt time.
7. Did all the eggplant get picked? Pick the hot peppers too.
8. I will take the yellow van to be inspected at Boyden and Perron today.
1. Walk under every tree and pick up nuts. Urgent.
2. Pull up ALL wood stakes and all the tomato twine.
3. Try pulling out the 6x6 mesh from the flower rows, if it is very brittle we will have to leave it and mow it.
4. Pick eggplants unless they were touched by frost, if so they are garbage.
5. Put all nuts that are in the gray cooler into lugs, get them out of the tubs where they won't dry.
1. Knock down and pick up nuts.
2. Put nuts in black lugs and store in the gray cooler, we will shuck them on Friday before the next market.
3. Remove nuts in tubs in the cooler and put them in black lugs.
4. Remove the plastic netting from flower rows, we are not saving it.
5. Make wreaths.
6. See the youtube video of sunset farm posted by John Riley.
7. We have three lugs of green tomatoes, Josh said they are good for half sour pickles. They are in the gray cooler. Make some and we can offer some samples at next week's market.
Same as yesterday:
Do walk under the trees and pick up nuts, put them in black lugs in the gray cooler.
Spray the b sprouts and broccoli.
Pick up plastic.
Take down wires from the old vineyard, coils the wires, then remove the poles.
1. Several tubs of chestnuts were harvested by Dylan and Vince yesterday. They are in the gray cooler.
2. In order to promote drying so the burs will shrink and open, we need them to be transferred into black lugs in the cooler asap.
3. Put plastic piles from the former tomato rows, into tubs and put into the yellow van to be brought to the dumpster at the creamery office building. That dumpster is emptied tomorrow morning so that would be ideal to get that done today.
4. It is time to spray the b sprouts and broccoli with spinosad ..capt jack.. to kill the cabbage caterpillars. Two tablespoons per gallon. This is an organic approved spray.
1. Harvest chestnuts, put them in the gray cooler.
2. Remove all stakes from the farm, don't break the long ones.
3. Where Bob has mowed, use the red tractor to remove the black plastic. Make a pile every 20' of so. Put them in tubs, put tubs in the yellow van and head for the dumpster at the creamery. That dumpster is emptied Thursday mornings early.
1. Collect nuts and burs with nuts every day. Do not worry about burs that are still tightly closed, just put them in a lug in the gray cooler, they will open as they dry out.
2. Pick up all short posts and long posts.
3. We need arborvitae trims for wreath making. If you see any we can trim let me know. The trims will keep for months.
4. Dig some parsnips for Saturday, wash them tomorrow, they are bright white for awhile after washing, begging to be chosen.
5. I have ordered 8 large new burlap bags from amazon for hanging more of the corm in the greenhouse: $ 3.50 each bag, they sell them for young people jumping races. There should be a source for used ones. I should have them tomorrow.
6. Connie is now making fall wreaths in the greenhouse. Bring up tubs of gomphrenia, they are down near the new rhubarb row. Cut an armful at a time, put them outside next to the door to the greenhouse.
1. Clean the greenhouse, vacuum it. You can leave the empty trays under the benches in the middle of the greenhouse. All around the perimeter we need to be able to see under the benches to find mouse or squirrels or chipmunk or rat holes. We need to set traps now too.
2. Pull out, by hand, the sticks supporting the flower grids. Bring them to the greenhouse.
3. Pick up the hoses at the hydrants and put them in the van, roll them up individually, tie them so they don't unroll, put them in the gray house basement. Leave the hose in the greenhouse, leave the hose at the shed.
4. Collect all the black pressure reducers that Connie the the drip tape to the hose, put them in a box with irrigation stuff in the middle shed.
1. Stack as neatly as can be done, the perfect tomato stakes that are in the trailer.
2. Be sure the stand is supplied.
3. Clean and vacuum the greenhouse, clean up that bench that has loose cobs on it.
4. Wash the pumpkins, go to univ drive and pick up perfect fully colored orange pumpkins. There should be only two more big lugs of them. Maybe more. Since pumpkins have been found to absorb bad things in your body like sugar and fat.
Eat your pumpkins now and look better at Thanksgiving, who knew we had planted the perfect crop.
4 feed the red stemmed Russian kale to the chickens , they love it.
1. Harvest any tomatoes, keep the San Marzano plums separate ..they are the still green vines just east of the new rhubarb row.
2. Pick okra, favor the little ones about 3 inches long they are prime. Try taking a bite of a big one and you will see why.
3. Bok choy in the broccoli row if the willow field?
4. Be sure the squash going to market is clean, we need three lugs of butternut, all of the butter cup and two lugs of pumpkins loaded either on the trailer or in the yellow van.
5. I think the beans have been picked.
6. Really do need two full lugs of carrots, perfect carrots. Three lugs of leeks pack them today in the yellow van
7. Pick a couple of pails of perfect celosia flowers put in water , put in gray cooler
8. Pick all the bell peppers that are big..should have two or three lugs, pack them to go in the van.
9. Has celery grown after the rain? Ready for market?
10. Remove string/twine from the tomato rows put it in the trash barrels immediately.
11. Is there a full lug of potatoes, washed? Separate baby potatoes from bigger ones.
Baby potatoes will sell for more. Pack them in clamshells like cherry tomatoes.
Pack them to go in lugs in the yellow van
Tomorrow we have Umass volunteers they will harvest and shuck the corn, pull tomato stakes, stack them very neatly behind the greenhouse.
Harvest carrots, put in the gray cooler after washing.
Harvest the plum tomatoes: San Marzano ones that are still growing next to the new rhubarb.
Remove string from all tomatoes.
Remove tomato stakes, do it using the stake extractor tool, do not wiggle them free they will break.
Harvest beans in the middle of the upper field.
Weed the new basil plants in the upper field.
The UMASS volunteers are coming NEXT WEEK.1. Using the big hoe left in the field at the spinach pull soil away from the spinach rows so when we cultivate with a machine, soil does not fall back over the spinach and smother it. Pull the soil to the middle of the aisle.I did one row.2. Clean up the lugs of onions in the greenhouse, throw away soft ones that are rotting.See how I did it, look at the stack of lugs in the scale shed. Put lugs of cleaned onions in the shed, we will bag them later. We need to get them out of the bright light and to remove the rotting ones asap! I say bag them later so we have another chance at that time to cull bad ones before they are bagged and sold.3. Clean the butternut squash under the blackboard, put them in lugs in the scale shed.4. We don't need the refrigerator, does anyone want it?5. Weed the Swiss chard, it is embarrassing, "the chard is right over there, behind the tall weeds."6. Go to university drive, pick up the buttercup squash. It is the best squash. Use clippers to leave a handle on it.7. I will have the UM volunteers harvest pumpkins, corn, they will make long lines and pass the pumpkin and corn one to another and not have to walk a heavy lug over the weedy, tangled undergrowth.8. Run the big mower over the carrot rows at the willow field to make harvesting easier.9. Harvest plum tomatoes from the row just uphill, east, of the new rhubarb row.Thank you for weeding the new rhubarb row, it is a beautiful job.10. Drive the rotten onions and their dead skins to the compost pile, in my next life I will not be a garbage man, no matter that it is satisfying.
1. Weed the new broccoli row in the middle of the willow field. Cover the broccoli from the deer.
2. We will install an electric wire around that row this weekend. This should be a big crop in October. Leave the wire, little white posts in the field today and I will install it tonight.
3. I am ready to forget about the beans, they will be killed in two weeks by the cold, so don't cover them.
4. Pick roma tomatoes, put in the coolers, we are racing the rot, pick the perfect tomatoes left before they get spots on them.
5. Pick green peppers, put them out at the stand.
6. Pick the acorn squash, put them in the scale shed.
7. Are there already two full lugs of carrots in the cooler?
1. Pick eggplant, peppers, three lugs of eggplant all kinds. Keep the farm stand display full, put them in the gray cooler with paper over them.
2. Wash potatoes for this weeks market put them back in the gray cooler to dry.
3. Pick up acorn squash in the willow field.
4. Gather the butternut squash into a pile in the willow field.
5. Pick tomatoes globular and plum. Put in the cooler.
6. Pick a lug of leeks trim them, put them in the gray cooler.
1. Put the onions into lugs and stack them in the greenhouse. If you feel a soft one while doing this , throw it away. Clear the benches for drying corn which will be picked by umass volunteers on Saturday morning. They will also process and pack the onions into onion bags. About six pounds per bag. $5 bags.
2. Dig carrots... Ok to keep carrots 8 or more inches. Stack them in lugs in the grey cooler
Be extremely picky about only perfect ones. No crooked ones, no spots on them, no ugly side growths, no worm damage at the top...really really perfect ones only. Just leave the rejects in the field. Dig them up with a form or shovel don't attempt to pull them up.
3. Pick more eggplants, all kinds. Keep a lug full on the stand, put full lugs in the yellow cooler with a cover so they don't dry out.
4. Are the new broccolis in the middle of the willow field ok? Are they being eaten by deer? If so, be sure to cover them. The fall broccoli is the best.
5. Water the spinach, also pull the top 1/2" of soil away from the spinach rows about 6 inches.
This will kill the weed seedlings that are about to sprout. It will also level the tiny hill either side of the furrow so that when the aisle is cultivated mechanically, the seedlings will not be buried and killed. Use a wide hoe so it goes faster. This is very easy to do, go down one side and back the other. You can do it at walking speed.
6. Pick perfect tomatoes.
1. Pick tomatoes. Plum type and globular. Put all but one lug of each in the yellow cooler.
2. Make five bags of mixed onions. The six pound $5 bags.
3. Make sure there are prices on signs and they are taped in place.
4. Find the part of the carrot row that has big carrots. Dig the all up and then pick out and bring back to clean only perfect big carrots approximately 12" long. Smooth blemish free sides. We don't leave the small carrots growing to get bigger, dig the row up completely till you have a full lug. Wash them trim them and put them in the grey cooler with a towel or paper cover so they don't shrivel.
5. Put the onions on the benches in the greenhouse into lugs and stack them up. This weekend we will have UMASS student volunteers clean them up and bag them.
6. We will also have the students pick up butternut squash and buttercup squash this weekend.
7. They will also harvest all of the corn and shuck it. I will get 30 50 LB net bags so we can hang the corn to dry in the greenhouse again.
1. One lug each of clean butternut , butternut, pumpkins ..put in yellow van now.
2. Two lugs of eggplants, I picked them last night and they are in the van already, they are clean..leave them in the van.
3. Two lugs of leeks, put in van today you have to pull them.
4. One lug of onions in bags...( they are next to the refrigerator) one lug of large onions and one lug of loose onions, none of them to be cleaned more than 4 seconds each. Put them in the yellow van now.
5. Lugs of perfect tomatoes all kinds . At least two lugs of globular, plums and yellows.
Put them in the yellow van now.
6. Pick pint clamshells of small cherry and yellow tomatoes, fill a lug put them in the yellow van now.
7. I looked at the green peppers last night, there are not enough to pick and pack.
8. Do pick a dozen pint clamshells of hot peppers a few of each kind.
9. At five I will pick more corn hopefully six lugs and I will put it into the yellow van.
10. Bok choy, fill a lug put in the gray cooler.
11. Potatoes, put in white bags then put the bags in lugs. ..do two lugs one red one white.
Only perfect potatoes in each, throw away scarred and ugly ones DO NOT WASH THEM.
12. Chard and kale a lug of each. Put in the cooler
1. Wash carrots for the market have two full lugs of 12" ones.
2. Harvest cantaloupe and watermelons from UNIV drive.
3. Pick a lug each of tomatoes for the yellow hut stand.
4. Pick a lug of young corn.
5. Pick a lug of butternut squash.
6. Pick okra if it wasnt done yesterday.
7. Bag onions, don't bag the really big ones we will sell them individually.
Yesterday Bob and I measured water in the well . It was 6.5 feet deep (about 400 gallons)
The well is 25 ft deep.The drip tapes emit about a gallon per row per hour..so I will have to check that, they seem to do more than that.
1. If there is corn in the cooler put it out on the trailer, if not go get two lugs of corn at the south edge of the field, the new corn, pick thin ears..we had some last night, it was sweet and perfect.
2. Pick red globular tomatoes for the stand.
3. Do some exploratory carrot digging both in the upper field near the rhubarb and in the willow field. I am hoping you will find 12" long carrots..no more 6" ones wanted. Dig two lugs of perfect large carrots. Put them in the gray cooler with towel.
4. Pick okra.
5. I turned the water pump off so the well can get recharged, I will turn it on again today.
Give chickens water, give them corn and tomatoes.
6. Pick up squash, put in the scale shed in lugs.
Let me know if you run out of work
1. Move irrigation to new rows.
2. See if we can irrigate the new basil and broccoli in the upper field.
3. Pick globular red and yellow tomatoes, drive the van down the row to the large red follow my tracks.
4. I think I left the Yukon gold potatoes on the wash stand. Go ahead and wash them, discard all the damaged spuds , put them on the counter of the yellow cooler.
5 .Pick three lugs of plum tomatoes.
6. Pick up ripe butternut squash at the willow tree put them in the scale shed next to the refrigerator with the others.
7. You can always clean up onions in the greenhouse. Pull the tops off and slough off the outer loose skins, a few seconds each, nothing like the exquisite peeling we did a week ago. Put them in red onion bags with at least five lbs in each. Red onion bags are on a bench in the greenhouse. Stuff the bags at the table in front of the yellow hut so you can easily weigh them.
Big white ones stay loose at $1 apiece. Stack the onion filled lugs in the scale shed too next to the squash.