8/30/06 Vol. 3 #24

We look skyward as we do the rain dance hoping that something will come to erase that crispy look and feel the farm has been developing over the last few weeks.  Now that Ernesto is on his way I hope we didn’t dance too gleefully as they are now calling for up to seven inches of rain before Friday afternoon!  Now we go into batten down the hatches mode.  Mostly that means we have to pick quite a bit of stuff for Saturday market this morning before the rains start.  Fortunately peppers are one of those vegetables that can be picked quite early and their quality holds up beautifully for days.  When you see how long it is possible to hold peppers one begins to wonder how old those peppers in the grocery store actually are, but I digress.  Anytime that it is dry, for this length of time, we also get lackadaisical about making sure everything is put away completely so it doesn’t get wet.  So we need to circle the farm and make sure there is nothing laying out in the weather.  We also need to pull the gravity feed intake out of the bone dry creek in case it floods as well as keep an eye on the river levels over the next few days as we might have to pull the irrigation pump if it actually rains that much.  Not much wind associated with this storm so at least we don’t have to make sure everything is tied down too.

Further signs of fall this past week as the days get noticeably shorter and the staff begins to move towards their fall and winter schedules.  Rachel started back at UNC this week so we only have her help on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings.  Joann, who keeps a schedule that makes us weary to think about (she runs her own farm, mostly runs ours and also works a couple of days a week at Weaver Street Market!), is beginning to pick up more shifts at Weaver Street for the winter season.  Rett is already gone to his new farm in the mountains.  Will is still hanging in there for the next month or so until we have the place put to bed for the winter.  Several mornings a week it is just Will, Betsy and me to hold the place down.  Soon as my mother used to say it will be “just us chickens”.

We have just four Saturday markets left in our season so the end is in sight.  That means it is turkey reservation time!  We always wait until now to make sure we have a fairly accurate number before we start to take peoples names and deposits.  For those of you who got birds last year I will also send out a separate message just to make sure you don’t miss it in the regular newsletter mix.  We have 84 birds on the ground right now with many of those already spoken for, so don’t delay.  Attached is the turkey reservation information and form.  Eerily like last year we are not exactly sure where we will be getting the birds processed.  The local plant is in a state of transition and so we may have to go out of state or process them ourselves.  The law allows farmers to process, without inspection, their own birds (up to 250 turkeys a year) and sell them to the public.  Many people argue that in many ways this is a safer and cleaner option than large plants (like Perdue).  In either case they will be frozen just as last year at a state of the art freezing plant that results in excellent meat quality.  Because we are going to Italy before Thanksgiving we are going to process the birds early so we don’t  have to worry about them while we are gone.

Picture of the Week

The dry creek bed with the end of the gravity feed water line
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