10/3/08 Vol. 5 #27

Last Saturday market of the season (for us). For six months each year our daily life is ruled by the anticipation of Saturday market. We may have lots of things going on here at the farm during the week but in the back of our heads it is always there, the inevitable weight that the Saturday market carries. Betsy says it always feels like Friday-Saturday, Friday-Saturday. Somewhere over sixty percent of our business is done in those five hours on twenty seven Saturdays. 135 hours a year to make most of our living. Most retail businesses are open something on the order of 3000 plus hours a year. At times I realize what a miracle it is that we can make a living, outdoors, in such an intensified way. Of course with out all of your support it would not be possible at all, thank you.

The winterizing of the farm goes apace. Yesterday the last of the pepper trellis was pulled out. We build quite an elaborate trellis system using metal t-posts, wooden cross arms, wire and baling twine to hold up the 1800 feet of row. Sometimes when you design these support systems you find out it takes longer to take it down than it took to put up. So over the years we have come up with a system that is not only fast to put up but also to take down. It is designed so, if done well, all the wires and strings are easily wound up on spools as they are pulled out of the plants. The spools are stored for the winter and next year will be reused and just rolled back out over next years pepper plants. Finally all the metal posts are pulled up and stacked next to the mountain of wooden cross arms, ready for another season.

The last of the tomatoes are gone too, trellises out and the last of the Big Top covers pulled down and wrapped up for the winter. The guys even got a fresh layer of mulch on the blueberries last week. All last winter the power company had crews trimming the trees along the power lines all around the area. We told them they could dump all the brush chips they wanted here. Now after half a year of composting it is beautiful mulch for the berry bushes. The turkeys have been moved to their last stop in the tour of the farm, a field with lush green grass to eat and rest on. In less than two weeks they will go away.

Two weeks from today we will have just landed in Italy, fighting jet lag and driving our way up into the Alps to see a part of the country we have never been in. Next week I will give you a run down of what our two weeks in Italy will be like. Don’t forget the fundraising Chicken dinner at Castle Rock Gardens in Chatham county on Sunday Oct. 12th. Chicken from their farms along with vegetables too for only $25. Check with them at market for further details and tickets or call them at 336-376-1025 for Joann and Brian Gallagher of Castlemaine Farm or 919-636-0832 for Ristin Cooks and Patrick Walsh of Castle Rock Gardens. Picture of the Week With the trellis gone, the guys are picking (and throwing some) the last peppers before mowing

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