As we head into a new year we have time to reflect on our accomplishments last season as well as the always present challenges. Some humps were bigger than others, link but the soil was still very giving!
We started off the spring with an early crop of sweet tender carrots. We had great success with carrots which carried us into the winter months. We were also impressed with the cucumber yield and our heirloom tomatoes were dynamite. We experienced less pressure from the cucumber beetles than in seasons past. Despite our efforts to improve soil quality, viagra buy we had a number of fertility problems on some newer ground we are farming. This had an effect on our late beet and brassica crops. We took note and will be taking steps to improve the boron levels in hopes of correcting the issue.
During the heat of the summer we dealt with a devastating flea beetle infestation, viagra buy which stunted the growth of many vegetables and killed some too. Our potato crop was a great disappointment. Potato blight paid us a visit once again in the late summer, but it was ultimately the flea beetles which infested the crop around Labor Day that caused us to lose about half our crop of almost fully mature potatoes.
We are gradually becoming more organized thanks to a number of improvements to our outbuildings this season. We poured a stretch of concrete in the old loafing barn which gave us a full lane to park tractors in over the winter. We also built a new dry room in the same barn for squash and potato storage. Installing new sliding doors on both ends of the barn was the final touch. The improvements will keep the barn dry and the squash and potatoes protected from the winter cold for years to come.
Melissa planned a number of Farm to Table dinners at the farm this summer. We enjoyed sharing the farm with out of town guests. Josh led the guests out to the field for a tour while the chefs did final prep. Our resident and Seattle chefs created some outstanding five course meals using locally sourced ingredients. We plan to put on another series of dinners in 2014. It wasn’t easy pulling off the events in the middle of the season, but we met some really wonderful people and enjoyed some exquisite food.
In mid-December, we suffered the effects of a week long stretch of freezing temperatures. Frozen hoses, frozen pipes, frozen ponds and frozen crops. We weren’t sure what would survive the nine degree low temperatures. Most things were hit hard with the exception of carrots, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and some leafy greens. With small windows of opportunity, we raced out to the field to harvest as many carrots as possible and get them to the cooler. Once the sun came we could thaw out hoses and make the carrots shine.
We recently harvested delicious oranges from our two Washington Navel orange trees. They produced 150 lbs of fruit! Josh kept them warm through our cold spells by stoking the wood stove in the greenhouse in the middle of the night. We’ve enjoyed sharing them with neighbors during the holidays and have been sipping on fresh squeezed orange juice!
As we begin browsing through our seed catalogs, we can’t help but look forward to our 12th season of farming. We appreciate all the support we have received from our customers and friends in 2013 and wish you all a Happy 2014!
A Season of Table to Farm Dinners at Newaukum Valley Farm
For many consumers, there understanding where their food comes from is becoming very important. Though this may be a daunting or difficult task for many people, Washington State is rich in dedicated local producers and artisans who supply some of the finest foods available and access to these fantastic food sources is much easier than you think. By showcasing a diverse selection of fellow farmers and producers through a series of dinners at Newaukum Valley Farm throughout the season, we aim to provide an intimate setting where you will meet your local producers, understand their operations, and become more aware of the accessibility of rich foodstuffs.
Our farm is deep in the heart of rural Lewis County, Washington. We are surrounded by small farms, the Chehalis River and the very green and picturesque scenery for which Washington is known. We cannot think of a better way to share our dream farm with others and our passion for food than by featuring some extremely talented chefs who we have had the great pleasure of working with. As you step onto our farm, you will be greeted with a total sensory experience starting with a tasting and some simple hors d’oeuvres before heading into the field for an educational farm walk. We will discuss with you our growing methods and the vegetable varieties we grow. You will see how the crops are grown which will later be part of your farm dinner. Once situated at the table in the field, the chef will guide you through their memorable meal and discuss each dish as it is presented. You will have the opportunity to chat with new friends and enjoy the company of the farmers whose products will be featured during the 5 course meal.Read More»