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February Farm News!

Posted 2/1/2012 9:52am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,

     Thanks to all who have joined our CSA for 2012 so far.  We look forward to providing fresh fruits and vegetables for you again this year.  Gregg has been buying seeds.  He and Oliver are arguing over which heirloom tomatoes to grow this year - Black Tula, Mortgage Lifter, or Boxcar Willie.  Gregg and James have been pruning apple trees.  This month they will do peaches, cherries, and plums.  Martha is pruning yellow, pink and black raspberries.  We are going to replace most of our red raspberries this year.

  
   For your information:  We own property in three different locations.

-Our home place with berries, vegetables fruit trees and pasture
-a 16 acre farm about 1/2 mile south of us with fruit, vegetables, and pasture
-a 15 acre piece about 1 1/2 miles north of us with vegetables, pasture and a pond
-We also have an agreement with a dear friend and neighbor to care for 5 acres of apple trees with no rent- just our promise it care for the land. 

So with that said every year after we butcher the large steers, we bring the smaller ones back to the home place for the winter.  It is easier for us to care for them in the snow and we can keep all our hay in one place.  In January we replaced some livestock fencing that was 15 years old.  One steer kept getting out and visiting all the neighbors along our road.  Thankfully he was very friendly, just a little to free with other's property.  So now he is back in the pasture and we are no longer searching throughout the neighborhood for him.

   The weather has been usually mild so far.  Gregg is hoping if the weather holds to plant peas by March 1.  Oliver, on the other hand, thinks we will probably have a blizzard by March and change all those plans.  It is nice, in a sense, to be dependant on the weather.  It gives us change and variety of occupation and food.  If we have a dry spring, the strawberries will be smaller, but very sweet.  If there is a wet spring the strawberries are larger, juicier, but not so flavorful.  Either way we know why things taste as they do.   The predictableness (My dictionary says that this is not a word, but it is the word that I want to use, so I hope that you understand it.) of the outcomes gives each of us a sense of control.  To us this is more preferable than buying strawberries in the store and not understanding why they look or taste as they do.

    CSA- if you are planning to sign up as a business or neighborhood drop off for either a Wednesday or Friday delivery in 2012, please let us know.  Some already have contacted us.  If you know that you WILL NOT be joining us as a group drop off, please let us know ASAP so that we can fill in your slot with other locations.  We will save space for our regular drop offs first and then add new ones if there is space available.  Remember if your location has 6 shares (any size) we will arrange a drop off.

     Farm Friends and Market Customers- We are looking forward to being back at each of our market locations again this year - same time- same place.  We are hoping to offer more bulk sales of certain items that we grow in abundance and we also plan to plant more of the rare and unusual vegetables.
 
Winter Delivery Customers - We thank you so much for your support during he winter months.  you have helped us by eating our apples and winter vegetables instead of buying store bought ones.  We appreciate your kindness.  It is truly kindness to pay for and eat less than perfect fruit and vegetables as well as support a local farm.

Future plans- order chicks and turkeys, buy piglets.

We will be having at least one tree planting day in March or April depending on the weather.  Bring the family - visit the farm - plant a tree - have lunch with us - and breathe the good air!

Let us know if you have a group that would like to do some planting on a weekday.  We will try to arrange something.  Have a great month!

Gregg and Louise Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm